GEICO's Fredericksburg, Virginia "pioneers" reflect on 25 years in the Stafford County community
FREDERICKSBURG, Va., July 20, 2019 – Time flies at a company you love. Just ask Angela Cooke; she is one of the "pioneer" associates who was there when GEICO's Fredericksburg Regional Office opened in 1994.
"I look back at that time and we were all in it together—one team," she remembers. "I'm really proud and sentimental about it."
The 25th anniversary of the opening of the Fredericksburg Regional Office has opened a floodgate of memories for other pioneers as well. Past and current associates from the first "pioneer" group took a look back at how much the company and the office have grown while still retaining its familial atmosphere.
"The expectation was that this would be the model for all GEICO offices around the country," said former regional vice president John Izzo, who supervised the new office opening and celebrated a 38-year career with the company. "Helping establish our insurance operations here in Fredericksburg was one of the most rewarding experiences of my career," he said.
Cooke, now a software engineering manager, remembers the cooperation and teamwork that were necessary to keep the office running smoothly and growing. "It was just a real sense of community and family when we first started."
"Every day was definitely an adventure," recalled Donna Stocking, who currently works as an HR representative.
The office had legendary picnics with dunk tanks and festive games, Field Day events which felt more like a family reunion than a corporate event, and holiday gatherings. That sense of camaraderie has existed since the company was founded in 1936 and helped GEICO grow into the second-largest auto insurer in the country, and the number one auto insurer in Virginia.
GEICO has a history of not only serving its customers, but also serving its local communities. Associates were—and continue to be—active in the community, volunteering their time and fundraising on behalf of hundreds of non-profit organizations.
"Fredericksburg associates have always been dedicated to helping in the community," said current Regional Vice President Scott Markel, who was also part of that pioneer group. "Even back in the day, our associates were as committed to doing good works as they are to helping our customers."
Over the past 25 years, GEICO's Fredericksburg office and its associates donated more than $14 million to local charitable causes. Some notable items funded include handicapped-accessible playground, multiple busses and vans for summer camps, golf carts for law enforcement safe driving programs, child safety seat inspections and donations, and many other projects.
GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company), the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S., was founded in 1936 and insures more than 28 million vehicles.
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