ST. CLAIRSVILLE - John S. Marshall is retiring from Nationwide Insurance after a 33-year run. He and his wife - fellow insurance worker, Sandy - offered thanks and well-wishes to their clientele in Ohio and West Virginia for the friendship and loyalty they have shown during the past three decades.
"Our 33 years as Nationwide independent contractor exclusive agents has been blessed in many ways," he said. "We have shared celebrations and sorrows, joys and disappointments, and we thank you for all of those memories."
He is handing over the reins to Christina Lynch. A Nationwide employee of 14 years, she will maintain the current office location and telephone along with her Belpre office.
T-L Photo/ ROBERT A. DEFRANK
John S. Marshall, who is retiring from Nationwide Insurance in St. Clairsville after more than 30 years, is pictured with incoming agent Christina Lynch. Marshall presented Lynch with a silver pewter service with her named engraved on it, along with the names of Marshall and his predecessor in the business, John Zatezalo.
"We are confident she will provide you the world-class customer service you deserve," he said.
Marshall began work at Nationwide in 1978. In 1982 he took over the office of John Zatezalo, who also retired from Nationwide after 30 years.
"I was offered the opportunity to take over his agency," Marshall said. "Now, 30 years later, we have the opportunity to transfer the agency to Christie Lynch."
Marshall noted that her name has been engraved on a silver pewter service that had included his and Zatezalo's.
While the past 30 years have seen changes in available technology, Marshall has prided himself on staying true to the core values of the business.
"People have not changed," he said. "Talking to people and working with people. People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. That hasn't changed. People want to be recognized and understand they're important, that they're not just a cog."
He added that the mostly mature clientele valued the personal contact with their agent as they discussed issues such as financial guidance for investments.
His motto was "John S. Marshall, where the 'S' stands for service."
"Our intent was to build an insurance family, not to simply service a group of policyholders," he said. "We know Christie is going to carry on that same tradition of service. We feel she's the perfect fit to succeed us."
He added that they were touched by the outpouring of support from well-wishers.
Marshall added that they plan to remain in the area and stay involved in the community.
"We now look forward to the next chapter of our lives," he said.
Lynch said she was excited to take up management of the office.
"John and Sandy have a fabulous office," she said. "They do a tremendous job of taking care of customers every day.
Lynch added that she would carry on the Marshall's tradition of service.
"I'm flattered and extremely excited by this opportunity," she said. "We pride ourselves on being there when they need us."
Lynch is originally from Williamstown, W.Va. She is a graduate of Ohio State University. As the daughter of a Nationwide agent of 25 years. She has been association Nationwide all of her life.
The office is located at 144 West Main Street, (740) 695-4646.
DeFrank can be reached online at rdefrank@ timesleaderonline.com