By Alex Danoff on August 5, 2014 at 2:52 PM
Posted in: Odds & Ends
Motorcycling has long been a hobby and passion for many members of our armed forces. There’s something about riding out on the open road (or off the road for that matter) with the wind in their face that calls out to servicemen and servicewomen when they’re away from the call of duty.
The thrill of riding is something GEICO Honda team road racers Jake Zemke and Chris Ulrich know all about as they take to the track to compete on the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) Pro Racing circuit. They are also extremely well versed in the kinds of precautions and maneuvers that are critical to keeping them safe while riding.
To help spread the message of safety and spend some quality time with military members, Zemke and Ulrich recently took time away from their racing schedule to pay a special two-day visit to members of the California National Guard at Camp Roberts outside San Luis Obispo, California. The riders relished the chance to spend time with fellow riding enthusiasts who also proudly serve their country.
“Our military does so much for us that it’s always a pleasure to be able to give back to them,” Zemke said. “Being able to talk to them about something we have in common made for a very enjoyable couple of days. I’m so thankful to be able to share my passion for motorcycles with such a great group of servicemen and servicewomen.”
By Guest Blogger on August 1, 2014 at 10:54 AM
Posted in: Marketing & Communications
By guest blogger Poojah Ganesh
A city with fewer than 7,000 residents, Sturgis, South Dakota, sits amid serene mountains and rolling hills. For the most part, the winding roads that pass through this part of the state are quiet, with little traffic. But all of that changes during the first week of August each year, when more than 500,000 motorcyclists and RV owners descend upon the quiet town from all over the U.S., transforming the area into the ultimate biker’s paradise.
This year marks the 74th Annual Sturgis Bike Rally, one of the largest events of its kind, attracting throngs of motorcycle and RV enthusiasts and their families and friends.
The origins of the Sturgis Bike Rally can be traced back to August 1938 and Clarence “Pappy” Hoel, who envisioned a place where bikers from all over the U.S. could come and enjoy motorcycle camaraderie. A decade after the first such gathering (which drew a total of nine participants), Sturgis featured a 2-hour ceremony, blocking off the town’s Main Street. Over the next several decades, the event expanded into a seven-day rally featuring thousands of bikers from all walks of life.
At its height in 2000, more than 600,000 people participated in the rally, the most ever at a U.S. motorcycle event. Most recently, Sturgis has attracted bikers from places as far away as Germany, Japan and even Australia.
One of Sturgis’ most famous landmarks is Buffalo Chip. In 1981, Rod Woodruff established Buffalo Chip, which is now one of the biggest motorcycle hangouts in the nation. Buffalo Chip started out as a biker “party” where bikers could come, listen to great music and have fun. Today, Buffalo Chip activities include beauty pageants, games, activities, tattoo artists, food, performances from some of the greatest music legends. The Zac Brown Band, Train, Collective Soul and Alice Cooper will be performing at Buffalo Chip on the Wolfman Jack Stage.
Your favorite insurance company and mine will have a huge footprint at Buffalo Chip, serving as an exclusive partner. Visitors to the Buffalo Chip area will have a chance to meet the GEICO Gecko and enter Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Harley-Davidson® & GEICO® Motorcycle Give-away Sweepstakes. GEICO is bringing along its impressive array of big-boy toys featuring the Miss GEICO boat, the Lucas Oil NHRA dragster, Paul Jr. Military Tribute Bike, and NASCAR driver Casey Mears’ #13 GEICO racecar. And on Aug. 5, there will be a special Military Appreciation Day, honoring the brave men and women who serve in our armed forces.
So get your motor runnin’, and head out on the highway … to Sturgis!
By Nathan Erb on July 29, 2014 at 9:08 AM
Posted in: On the Web
Looking to save money on your next trip to the gas station? With a little help from our friends at GasBuddy.com, you can now search for the cheapest gas prices in your area on geico.com.
Just enter your address and use the interactive map to see the gas stations near you and the current gas prices.
Try it now!
In addition to picking the cheapest gas station, here are some additional ways you can save money by increasing your fuel efficiency on a hot summer day.
- Opening the windows as soon as you get in the car will help cool it down faster. Then, the air conditioner won’t have to work as hard. Parking in the shade helps, too.
- At low speeds, it’s more fuel-efficient to open your windows. At high speeds, use the A/C because the wind resistance will create more drag.
- The heat can be unkind to your engine and fuel economy. Make sure your car is properly maintained with a clean air filter, new spark plugs and proper fluid levels.
- Keep your tires inflated at the PSI recommended for your vehicle.
- If you’re going on a road trip, don’t use a rooftop cargo box unless absolutely necessary. The wind resistance will drop your MPG’s.
- Avoid aggressive driving. Frequent and sudden acceleration and braking can lower your mileage by 33 percent, according to fueleconomy.gov.
Have a great summer and stay safe!
Gas prices are provided by GasBuddy.com.
By Greg Marsh on July 24, 2014 at 11:48 AM
Posted in: Working at GEICO
Each month, we share an image from GEICO’s past and invite you to exercise your caption-writing skills.
On this very day, 57 years ago, GEICO’s founder, Leo Goodwin, sank a shovel into the earth to begin (symbolically, at least) construction of the building that would become GEICO’s new headquarters. With his business steadily growing since Day One in 1937, Goodwin and his management team had determined that the various Washington, D.C., buildings that had housed GEICO’s operations for 20 years would no longer suffice.
No, the company needed some elbow room in which to handle the business of its half a million policyholders, and found it just outside the D.C. line, on a 27.45-acre tract of prime Montgomery County, Md., real estate. There, not long after this photo was shot, construction began on a state-of-the-art 600,000-s.f. office building that would open two years later, in 1959.
Goodwin would not be involved in many more major decisions about the company. Within a year of this groundbreaking ceremony, Goodwin announced his retirement at age 72. Having made the decision to move his company out of Washington, he and his wife, Lillian, then decided to move themselves away from the Nation’s Capital as well.
But they didn’t stop at one of the adjacent states. They lived out their retirement years in the warmth and sunshine of Florida. And much later, having grown to more than six times the size it was in 1957, GEICO followed its founder to the Sunshine State in 1996, by opening an office in Lakeland.
By Rachel Meemken on July 16, 2014 at 11:15 AM
Posted in: Working at GEICO
One of the advantages of working at a large and growing company like GEICO is the many possibilities for growth and success. We’re not the only company that offers such opportunities, but there aren’t many that can compare to us.
GEICO has been the fastest-growing company in our industry for most of this century, and that growth brings opportunities for career advancement. Even for its entry-level associates, GEICO provides the right tools to succeed. Many don’t know that our CEO, Tony Nicely, started at GEICO as an entry-level clerk, and worked his way up to the top job in the company. And his story isn’t unique; you see similar career progressions in more than three-quarters of our management team.
This is a company where hard work, dedication and self-development can get you where you want to be. We encourage our associates to further their educations with tuition reimbursement, and as one’s skills improve, one finds many different jobs to move into, with the support of colleagues.
Here at GEICO, we celebrate each other’s success. This builds a strong community within GEICO and really promotes teamwork. There is always someone willing to help and answer questions. With this type of support and advancement opportunity, there’s no better place to build a great career.
If this sounds like the kind of place you’d like to work, check out the variety of positions for which we’re hiring, all over the country, and apply! If you’ve got what it takes, we’re looking for you!
By Kurt Wirth on July 11, 2014 at 9:30 AM
Posted in: Marketing & Communications
Delighting customers with the lowest prices and excellent customer service is something we’ve been doing for a long time at GEICO. On the social team, we’ve come up with our own way to delight folks.
The social marketing team has been scouring the Web for our biggest fans. Though we try to reach out, with at least a “like” or “favorite,” to everyone, we initiated a campaign last month that we like to call “Love Bombs.” When we come across someone who’s said something particularly nice about GEICO, has shared a picture or video that made us laugh, or in general showed GEICO some love on social media, we’re returning that love more than ever.
These “Love Bombs” are packages sent directly to the person who made us smile that include a small surprise and a hand-written letter from The Gecko. We’ve already delivered several with more to come in the coming months. We’ve even been lucky enough to hear back from recipients on social media about how excited they were! This kind of active, positive engagement while making people happy is just what our team, and GEICO, is all about.
We care passionately about engaging with our communities on social media and we’re always on the lookout for chances to get involved. Be sure to follow GEICO on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and add us to your circle on Google+! If you love The Gecko, you can also follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook.
We hope to hear from you soon!
By Guest Blogger on July 2, 2014 at 3:59 PM
Posted in: Safety and Insurance Issues
By guest blogger Poojah Ganesh
I get really excited about Independence Day. I love the crackle of fireworks dancing on the stage of the summer night sky, the smell of mouth-watering pastas and fresh salads, and the taste of various ice creams — especially dark chocolate — combined with sugar cones. But my most favorite feeling is to be in the hot summer scene, sharing the show in the sky with other people.
It’s common for people to travel during this time to celebrate the holiday with family and friends. This year, July 4 is a Friday, which means more people will be expected to travel over the long holiday weekend.
And the unfortunate truth is that July 4 is one of the most dangerous travel days of the year, due to people who over-celebrate and then get behind the wheel.
Please keep in mind some of these important tips that can help reduce your holiday driving risks.
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
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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.
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