Leso's successful GEICO career began after chance meeting with exec

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 11, 2019 – Mike Leso came to GEICO by being at the right place at the right time.

He had earned his degree from California State University San Marcos and was searching for a promising career while working full-time as a janitor and part-time as a mover. He was asked to help move the new regional vice president of GEICO's San Diego regional office, Greg Kalinsky, from the East Coast. Kalinsky, who is now executive vice president and CIO, made quite an impression on Mike.

"Greg was extremely friendly and spoke of the wonderful opportunities at GEICO," Mike said. "A week later, I had an interview at GEICO, and then started my career in our service department."

In the 12 years since, the Escondido, California, native has held several positions. Last year, Mike was promoted to customer service manager at the San Diego office.

"GEICO is a promote-from-within company, and there is no limit to one's promotional opportunities," he said.

Mike's inspiration in life and his career is his father, Henry Leso, a first-generation Mexican-American who was the first of his 11 siblings to earn a college degree (and later an MBA). Mr. Leso was a teacher who eventually became the principal of the elementary school he attended as a child. He also worked weekends as a park ranger; even now, in retirement, he still serves as a substitute teacher several days a week.

"Growing up, my father taught me many valuable lessons, specifically to be kind to everyone, work hard and always give your best. These simple but important lessons have molded who I am today," he said. "He is one of the nicest, hardworking men you will ever meet."

Mike often finds himself singing GEICO's praises to others, the way Kalinsky did for him years ago.

"If you are looking for a job where you get out as much as you put in, this is the best place to work," he said. "If you are looking for a company that celebrates diversity and positively impacts the community, then GEICO is for you."

Want to join Mike at GEICO San Diego? Check out the office's career opportunities: geico.jobs/SanDiego.

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 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. A member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies, GEICO employs more than 43,000 associates countrywide. GEICO constantly strives to make lives better by protecting people against unexpected events while saving them money and providing an outstanding customer experience. Along with personal auto insurance, commercial auto and personal umbrella coverages are also available. Homeowners, renters, condo, flood, identity theft, term life, and more coverages are written through non-affiliated insurance companies and are secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, LLC. Visit geico.com for a quote or to learn more.