By Andrea Paton-Ash on June 24, 2014 at 3:50 PM
Posted in: Marketing & Communications, Working at GEICO
Ever wonder what it’s like to be advertising icon the GEICO Gecko? Our D.C. office held a Gecko Appreciation Lunch to honor past and present Gecko costume wearers, and I was honored to participate in the Gecko auditions!
Fun fact: you can’t see your feet! At each event, the Gecko has a full-time handler who makes sure they don’t miss a step and go for a tumble or whack people with the tail.
Lucky wearers of the Gecko costume attend special company occasions as well as community events sponsored by GEICO. Whether handing out high fives to fans or cheering on charity runs, the Gecko is a busy lizard!
So what does it take to be GEICO’s biggest celebrity? Michelle Kelley has been donning the costume for seven years! From sporting events to flash mob dances with the Girl Scouts, here are four reasons she loves being the Gecko:
- Meeting all kinds of people from kids to grandparents
- Taking pictures with the Gecko’s enthusiastic fans
- Going to walks to cheer on the tired participants who get the extra push from seeing the Gecko
- Riding the metro and making the riders’ day
The Gecko first appeared on TV late in 1999 and, over the last 14 years, the Gecko has become the most recognizable and beloved spokescreature in America. Want to learn more about the Gecko? Check out his book, You’re Only Human, which includes bits of wisdom and musings he’s gathered over the years!
By Greg Marsh on June 20, 2014 at 2:00 PM
Posted in: Working at GEICO
During my career, now in its fourth decade, I’ve seen a lot of things change here at GEICO. But there have also been some constants; for example, we’ve always been a data-intensive company. When I started here in 1984, our IT operations were more or less in their infancy. We were converting paper policy records to computer storage, but still had long rows of filing cabinets in many areas of the building.
That’s not the case now. Most of our data is digital and stored electronically these days, and rows of filing cabinets like the one in this 1970s photo are few and far between. This photo also shows another thing to which we can’t really relate around here anymore, but you have to look closely to see it. Look at the guy in the background. That black spot near his mouth is a pipe; he’s enjoying a bowl of tobacco while scouring the files for whatever he’s seeking.
GEICO went smoke-free a couple of years after I joined the company in 1984. I don’t know whether this chap was still with GEICO or not, but as a reformed smoker myself, I imagine he wouldn’t have been too happy when he couldn’t smoke in the office anymore. We now have spaces for our smokers outside, and I hope the brutal winter we just had helped some of them to quit!
GEICO wants us to be healthy, which I appreciate. The company now offers help and incentives to employees who DO want to quit smoking. I’m guessing the fellow in this photo didn’t see that coming.
So what sort of caption would you write for this photo?
By Guest Blogger on June 17, 2014 at 3:54 PM
Posted in: Odds & Ends, Working at GEICO
By guest blogger Lucinda King, planning
You know those old shoes that you rarely wear anymore that have been sitting in your closet for ages? Turns out they can make a big difference in peoples’ lives. Who would have thought?
Associates in GEICO’s San Diego regional office recently put their old shoes to good use by holding a donation drive that gathered nearly 1,700 pounds of footwear in a fundraiser campaign benefiting The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).
GEICO’s “Women of the West” spearheaded the office collection, and associate contributions filled five large containers with their donations. GEICO partnered on the donation drive with Shoes with Heart, a local organization that buys gently-used footwear to refurbish for resale in low-income countries where the cost of new merchandise is out of reach. GEICO will then donate the proceeds – more than $800 – to LLS.
By Guest Blogger on June 13, 2014 at 3:03 PM
Posted in: Working at GEICO
By guest blogger Alex Danoff, public relations
Ever since GEICO opened its doors in 1936, our company has had a strong bond to the military. That connection was recently reinforced when associates in GEICO’s Virginia Beach office showed their commitment to military members by organizing a care package drive.
The beneficiaries of this effort were the members of Task Force Attack, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, which is stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and currently deployed to Forward Operating Base Fenty in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
Virginia Beach associates Olivia Jenkins, whose son is a member of Task Force Attack, and Ashley McGrath began collecting items to send to the troops, and the donations eventually began to pour in from associates throughout the office. Items collected included everyday necessities like razors, wet wipes and deodorant as well as snacks and treats like beef jerky, chips and dip, protein bars, granola bars, drink mixes, coffee and homemade cookies and pastries.
Also included in the shipment was a poster drawn by Virginia Beach associate Larissa Loomans that saluted the unit for its service and was signed by associates who took part in the collection drive.
By Rachel Meemken on June 11, 2014 at 4:03 PM
Posted in: Working at GEICO
When it comes to saving some green, GEICO delivers the savings to customers all across the country. When it comes to being green, I am sure we can all agree that the Gecko stands out. And when it comes to thinking green … that’s where our associates can truly shine.
For years, giving back to our communities has been a big part of corporate culture at GEICO. Already this year, we’ve participated in river clean-ups, hosted Earth Day fairs and electronic recycling events, and celebrated environmental heroes.
In Fredericksburg, Virginia, members of our fast-track Management Development Program participated in the spring river clean-up of the Rappahannock River. It was a great way to connect with team members and Mother Nature.
Associates working at our office in Tucson, Arizona, nominated and honored co-worker Meghan F. as their “Environmental Hero” for her exceptional work in being green.
Meghan (pictured below cutting the ribbon) is the ultimate “Green Hero” at home and work. Everything that can be recycled is recycled; she helps other associates be more environmentally friendly, too.
Since 2011, the Tucson office has recognized one person that does small things daily to reduce waste and protect the environment. The garden and bench (made by Tucson associate Jerry C.) is dedicated in their honor, to show that one person can make a difference.
By Guest Blogger on June 6, 2014 at 2:53 PM
Posted in: Marketing & Communications
By guest blogger Kurt Wirth, marketing
The past couple of weeks have been exciting times for GEICO-sponsored Top Fuel driver Richie Crampton. After his daughter, Emma, was born on May 20, Crampton approached the upcoming Toyota NHRA Summernationals with a renewed vigor. In his rookie season, he notched his first career Top Fuel victory at the event on Sunday and hits the record books as just the second-ever Australian-born pro winner in NHRA history.
Crampton’s win came at an opportune time. His father, Al, was in town visiting due to Emma’s birth and standing on the starting line to witness the big win. “The timing was perfect,” Richie gushed. “I had a really tearful moment with Dad at the top end when he arrived down there. He’s the reason I’m racing. The sacrifices him and my mum made taking me to go-kart races and the drags back home when I was a boy, all the encouragement – I simply wouldn’t be here without them.”
The battle to victory wasn’t an easy one. The final round came down to a .029-point and .009-second difference against points leader Doug Kalitta. “I’m absolutely over the moon with this win,” Crampton said. “I already know I’m the luckiest guy in the pit and now we’ve proven it. This is beyond anything I could have ever imagined.”
Crampton was a member of the pit crew for GEICO-sponsored driver Morgan Lucas before getting the opportunity to replace Lucas behind the wheel last year. We’ll keep you updated as Crampton’s push for Rookie of the Year honors progresses.
I love a good underdog story; don’t you?
By Nathan Erb on June 5, 2014 at 7:36 AM
Posted in: On the Web
Mobile apps are supposed to make your life easier, and the new GEICO Mobile app will do just that! Our mobile team knows what you want and has listened to all your feedback. As an avid GEICO app user, I can vouch that the all-new app is all about you with updates that meet your insurance needs where ever you are!
Coming later this month, GEICO Mobile will offer new self-service features previously only available on the desktop. You can update your address, add or remove drivers and vehicles, and change coverage. We’ve also enhanced and added more claims features such as assistance in case of an accident, repair tracking and real-time roadside help.
You’ll even get a personalized experience—whether it’s an upcoming bill or a new set of ID cards, the most important information is easy to find.
Keep checking back or head to geico.com for updates as we put the final touches on our stunning new mobile experience!
Watch the promo video below to learn more about the all-new app.
By Andrea Paton-Ash on May 30, 2014 at 1:57 PM
Posted in: Claims, Safety and Insurance Issues
Hurricane season kicks off June 1, but this week is about getting you, your family, and your property ready for what’s to come this season. National Hurricane Preparedness Week is the right time for you to get and stay prepared for one of Mother Nature’s most destructive forces.
Life by the sea can be quite pleasant – nobody enjoys the beach more than I do – but don’t forget that your family and your home are exposed to the dangers associated with coastal living. A hurricane may seem like a distant possibility, but don’t be complacent! The National Hurricane Center can keep you up-to-date on the latest storm developments with projected paths, wind speeds, storm surge and more. Nothing is more important than keeping you and your family safe!
If you’re a GEICO customer, GEICO’s Catastrophe Center is your resource for claims after the storm has passed. Ready to handle your severe weather claims needs, our teams will stay in affected areas until every claim has been resolved. And one last cautionary note: Keep a sharp eye out for fraud in the wake of any disaster, whether it is a hurricane, wildfire or tornado.
Here are a number of things you can do to make sure you’re ready when the hurricane hits:
By Greg Marsh on May 28, 2014 at 4:06 PM
Posted in: Odds & Ends, Working at GEICO
Each month, we share an image from GEICO’s past and invite you to exercise your caption-writing skills.
One of the things my colleagues and I enjoy about working at GEICO is the company’s commitment to good corporate citizenship. GEICO employees support a wide variety of charitable causes – national organizations, like United Way, but also local groups that focus their efforts on the areas near our offices.
This support includes “sweat equity” efforts for groups like Habitat for Humanity and, to mention one near the corporate headquarters where I work, Greater DC Cares. But fundraising is a big component of our corporate citizenship as well, and that’s what’s going on here.
When the weather’s warm, washing cars is a time-tested and proven effective fundraising method for GEICO employees, as these workers in our Virginia Beach branch office are demonstrating in this 1980s-vintage photo. I don’t know what cause they’re supporting, but I know they’re enjoying the opportunity to do good – while getting outdoors and splashing around in the sunlight.
Things have changed quite a bit since this photo was taken – back then, the employee population in this branch office was about 150. Now, more than 2,500 employees work at a much newer Virginia Beach regional office, which opened in 1998. But you can bet that, as the weather warms up, they’ll be outside washing cars for a good cause again!
How about you – what’s your favorite fundraising activity? Let us know in the comments, or give us a clever caption for this photo.
By Greg Marsh on May 27, 2014 at 3:31 PM
Posted in: Marketing & Communications
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Next time you’re watching a NASCAR race, keep an eye out for the 13 car – mostly white, with green, blue and military camouflage accents. Behind the wheel of that speeding beauty, you’ll find Casey Mears. And behind Mears and his racing team, you’ll find GEICO and a great commitment to serving members of the military.
GEICO’s founder, Leo Goodwin, cut his teeth in the insurance game at USAA, a company that targeted the upper ranks of the military. Goodwin could only advance so far in that company, however, because USAA required its top executives to have a military background.
Goodwin had great respect for the military, but had never served, so he left USAA and launched GEICO in 1936, initially to serve only government employees – including the enlisted ranks of the military. These days, GEICO insurance is available to just about anyone; the company has grown from Goodwin’s modest start-up to become the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S.
What hasn’t changed is the affinity for the military that was part of our DNA from the beginning. Our GEICO Military division in Virginia Beach is staffed by many current or former members of the military, who understand military life and who are dedicated to providing great service to our men and women in uniform.
And the bold new look of Casey’s car is just one more reflection of our respect for the military. Now, if we could just get Casey to slow down enough so people could see it!
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