By Guest Blogger on April 14, 2014 at 2:00 PM
Posted in: Marketing & Communications
Guest Blogger: Alex Danoff, Public Relations
If Will Ferrell ever hits the racetrack to reprise his role as Ricky Bobby in a sequel to the hit 2006 movie, “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” the GEICO Gecko just might have a starring role.
GEICO and Talladega Speedway have announced that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at NASCAR’s celebrated speedway in Talladega will now be known as the GEICO 500. Talladega Superspeedway, which is the biggest of NASCAR’s race tracks and also offers the most acreage for camping and vehicle parking, will host GEICO 500 weekend Oct. 17-19, 2014.
And while GEICO had previously sponsored various campgrounds around Talladega Superspeedway, the new partnership will also make GEICO the Official Auto, RV, Motorcycle and Powersports Insurance Provider of Talladega Superspeedway. GEICO has been a mainstay in NASCAR in recent years with its sponsorship of Germain Racing and driver Casey Mears, as well as its sponsorship of the GEICO 400 at Chicago Speedway from 2011-2013.
So NASCAR fans, mark your calendars and get ready to cheer alongside the Gecko this fall in Talladega. Just be sure to keep an eye out for that pesky Jean Girard; he gets cranky when the other drivers spill his macchiato.
By Guest Blogger on April 10, 2014 at 9:39 AM
Posted in: Working at GEICO
Have you ever met someone that you could just listen to for hours, and continue to learn and be inspired? For me, one of those people at GEICO is Thea, our director of management development.
Here is her GEICO story …
Thea J., director of management development
GEICO associate since 1985
What do you do at GEICO?
My current position is director of management development. In this role, I have responsibility for GEICO’s Emerging Leaders Program, which prepares new associates for management-level positions. Additionally, I lead and direct companywide diversity training initiatives and corporate mentoring, and I participate in talent management initiatives.
Can you tell us about your career path?
I started as a sales counselor and did that job for about one year. Originally, I was planning to stay at GEICO for two years until I figured out what I really wanted to do.
Then, I was offered a position to train new sales and service associates, as well as to lead executive training sessions. After that, I was a senior management training & development specialist before transitioning to HR to lead management development.
As a hiring manager for the Emerging Leaders Program, what do you look for?
Mostly, I look for well-rounded people. We are very interested in hiring candidates who have demonstrated strong academic skills, leadership experiences, participation in extracurricular activities, emotional intelligence and self-awareness, analytical skills, drive and intellectual curiosity, a strong work ethic, and an ability to work well with others. Being well-rounded is a key component to being successful during and after our program.
How have you made a difference at GEICO?
I’ve had a lot of opportunity to impact a lot of people in very positive ways. I’d like to think that, through our development efforts, I’ve contributed to the organization having stronger leaders. Along with others, I’ve also helped keep diversity, mentoring and development in the forefront of people’s minds. The work we do here has been very gratifying. There is nothing better than seeing people reach their full potential.
29 years is a long time. What is it about GEICO that keeps you here?
The associates at GEICO are just terrific! I have really enjoyed the relationships I have developed over the years with my fellow GEICO associates in all locations! GEICO’s work environment has also provided me the opportunity to do challenging and important work and to make contributions that improve our workforce. I have enjoyed all of the different areas I have been involved in during my career. Additionally, we have a very collegial work environment, one that is respectful of people’s differences and encourages people to do their best. I’ve been give many opportunities to do what I love and that’s why, 29 years later, I am still here.
What has been your all-time, favorite moment at GEICO?
I don’t just have one favorite moment at GEICO. I get to work with amazing people and so my favorite moments (if I can have more than one) are when I am talking with my associates and helping them develop in some way, and seeing them move into positions of greater responsibility.
If you could tell someone one thing about GEICO, what would it be?
If you like a challenge, are a hard worker, and want to have lots of opportunities to be successful, then this is the company for you.
For more than 12 years, GEICO has hired driven, bright early careerists into our Emerging Leaders Program. We offer two tracks – IT and Operations Management. If you are looking for an opportunity to be challenged, mentored and inspired, this may be the program for you. Learn more at geico.jobs/oncampus.
By Guest Blogger on April 8, 2014 at 8:20 AM
Posted in: IT @ GEICO, Working at GEICO
Welcome back to the IT @ GEICO series. Today, we’ll meet Eric, a Hoosier who first joined the team after graduating with a degree in Informatics. He began his career in the IT track of our Emerging Leaders Program and today is leading new development efforts for the geico.com claims website.
Eric D., lead application systems analyst
GEICO associate since 2006, Indiana University alum
Some people might not consider GEICO a tech company. What would you say to them?
GEICO was founded on the idea of utilizing a direct channel to sell and service insurance. The Internet is an extremely effective way for our customers to reach us 24/7. Every week, nearly 800,000 people get an online quote and 200,000 customers visit our claims website. Every day, it seems, we find new ways to provide better service using technology!
What programming languages/technologies do you use?
.NET and Java, and we are looking for more people with these skills to join our teams.
What is the “coolest” project that you have worked on?
My very first project was the digital upload project. Before the implementation, customers had to mail or fax photos and documents to GEICO in order for them to be attached to their claim file.
This project allowed customers to sign on to geico.com and upload accident photos and electronic documents, and in turn they were placed directly on the claim file and available for a claims representative to review. While a relatively mainstream concept today, GEICO was one of the first insurance companies to offer this functionality back in 2006.
What do you like most about your job?
Each day offers a new challenge … what makes it rewarding are the people who work here and the projects that drive us to be the best company in the industry.
What is your favorite GEICO moment?
My favorite GEICO moment was when Warren Buffett made a surprise appearance, shortly after he announced a large donation to charity. I will always remember what he said when asked why he chose to donate his money to charity. “This money always belonged to the people, I have just been very good at managing it for them, and now after all these years, I’m giving it back to the people.”
Do you want to drive change using technology? Working in IT @ GEICO offers the ability to utilize the latest technologies and work with innovative teams. You will learn a lot, be challenged and can build a lasting IT career. Learn more and apply today at geico.jobs/IT.
By John Fonville on April 3, 2014 at 11:17 AM
Posted in: Marketing & Communications
Considering the upsets in this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament, there’s a good chance your bracket isn’t going to win you a billion dollars, or any amount close to that. But don’t let those upsets ruin your financial plan.
The kind of analysis that helped you determine which team will win this year’s tournament can also be used to get your financial house in order. According to Chuck Thoele, a Dallas-based financial planner and author of Bulls, Bears and Basketball, simply apply your knowledge of the game to help recognize the winners and losers in your financial portfolio.
In the April edition of GEICO Now online, we take a closer look at Thoele’s advice and offer up some great sports analogies that relate to sound investment strategies. It’s a unique twist to financial planning we think you’ll enjoy.
By Nathan Erb on April 1, 2014 at 10:11 AM
Posted in: Marketing & Communications
Fifteen minutes could save you 15 percent or more on car insurance. Everybody knows that.
And soon, 1.5 minutes could save you 15 percent or more on your breakfast burrito.
Later this year, GEICO will open “Gecko’s,” a new chain of fast-food restaurants across the U.S. with the same values as our insurance products: big savings and fast, reliable 24/7 service.
“We know our insurance customers like saving time and money,” said Aryew C. Ryuss, the new vice president of the Gecko’s restaurant division, “and everyone has to eat, so the next logical step for our brand was to expand into fast food.”
For added convenience, customers will be able to pay with the GEICO App and policyholders will be able to earn food rewards for safe driving. There’s something for the kids too. All kid’s meals will feature toys of our famous icons, like the Gecko and Maxwell.
While the menu is still being developed, we’ve already hinted at one of the items in the recent Cheesesteak Shuffle commercial.
Are you excited about “Gecko’s” restaurants? What do you want to see on the menu? Tell us in the comments!
Please note: Although writing this article made me hungry, it’s not a true story … because it’s April Fool’s Day. You can still get a taste of products we actually do offer at geico.com. Happy April 1!
By Greg Marsh on March 25, 2014 at 9:14 AM
Posted in: IT @ GEICO, Working at GEICO
Each month, we share an image from GEICO’s past and invite you to exercise your caption-writing skills.
This mid-1970s photo shows how GEICO stored policy records and other company information as it moved into the computer age. These IBM 3420 tape drives held about 120 megabytes of data. But converting from paper files to this type of data storage was a lengthy process; when I started at GEICO in 1984, we still had large areas of the headquarters building devoted to racks of policy papers in folders, in addition to racks of these storage tapes.
And it would be many years after that before these types of tapes went completely out of use – in 2004, to be exact. We still use tape storage, but our preferred tape these days is the 3592 JA, each one of which holds 1.5 terabytes of data. It would take 12,500 of the 3420 tapes seen here to store as much information as one of the 3592s! We still need shelf space for the 3592 tapes, but a whole lot less of it than we used to need.
Here’s another way to look at how far we’ve come: When I showed this photo to my pal Bob, who has worked in IT here for many moons, he said, “My cell phone has more storage than one of these magnetic data storage tapes.”
Data storage is just one example of the amazing technological progress we’ve seen over the last 40 years. Come to think of it, cell phones are another. Can you think of others? Share them in the comments.
By Guest Blogger on March 21, 2014 at 10:30 AM
Posted in: Claims, Working at GEICO
By David Smith, guest blogger, corporate communications
GEICO was a magnet for a young George Rogers. The eager Bethesda, Md., native grew up just two miles from the corporate office, and he began sorting mail and hustling policy files as a part-time associate in 1969, while he was still in high school.
Rogers later moved into a full-time claims examiner job after starting college and was quick to embrace the company’s culture and its great potential. “I grew up wanting to be an oceanographer, but I realized early on that I was with a great company and loved the people I worked with.”
He never turned down an opportunity to learn, grow and share his experience. From regional liability director to assistant vice president for claims in Macon in 1993, he rose to become GEICO’s chief claims officer in 1997. Next came the regional vice presidency in Dallas in 2000, then Lakeland in 2002. He was elected to GEICO’s board of directors in 1997.
“My career advice,” Rogers said, “is to excel at every job opportunity you are given; maintain the attitude, drive and desire that others envy; and always continue to self-develop through both formal and experiential learning opportunities.”
In claims, he developed his analytical, decision-making and customer-service skills. As a systems manager, his planning and project-management talents were sharpened. ”From all my time in management, at every level and up through this day,” he said, “I have been blessed to be around great associates and GEICO leaders from whom I have learned so very much.”
By Guest Blogger on March 18, 2014 at 11:40 AM
Posted in: Marketing & Communications, Working at GEICO
By Marvel Burgess, guest blogger, community relations
For 10 years, GEICO’s regional office in Macon, Ga., has been United Way of Central Georgia’s top contributor. The organization uses the money it raises to fund 31 partner agencies that serve more than 100,000 people in the community.
But last year, we outdid ourselves, raising more than $1 million for United Way of Central Georgia – we’re the first company ever to reach that mark!
“This accomplishment speaks volumes about the relationship between GEICO and the Macon community,” said Rhett Rayburn, GEICO’s Southeastern regional vice president. “This is an amazing milestone that we have met and I am so proud of all our associates.”
In February, the Macon, Ga., office hosted a celebration with United Way, where Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert attended and read a proclamation announcing Feb. 19 as GEICO Appreciation Day. He also presented GEICO with a key to the city.
Scott Markel, regional vice president of GEICO’s Midwest operations, expressed his appreciation and said, “We are grateful and honored to accept a key to the City of Macon. I’m personally proud that our associates are able to give back to a community that has been so important to us for so many wonderful years.”
As Macon’s regional community relations coordinator and a former United Way volunteer, I have toured the organizations that United Way serves and have met many of those who find assistance through their programs. Knowing that there are children right around the corner from us sleeping in a shelter makes you want to help, and the numbers of the needy are so great.
By Nathan Erb on March 14, 2014 at 11:58 AM
Posted in: Safety and Insurance Issues
St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Monday this year, but the green beer will start flowing this weekend. If you’re planning to turn Irish for a day (or longer), you’ll want to plan for the safety of yourself and others first.
Here are some tips to ensure that you’re not relying on luck to have a safe, fun St. Patrick’s Day whether it’s at home or out on the town.
If you are hosting a party:
- Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served ends up in a drunk-driving crash.
- Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange alternate transportation.
- Serve lots of food and include lots of non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
- Stop serving alcohol some time before the end of the party and begin serving coffee and dessert.
If you’re going out, there are plenty of alternatives to driving. Take public transportation, or designate a driver who’ll stay sober and see to it that everyone in your party gets home safely.
In the Washington, D.C., area, the Washington Regional Alcohol Program sponsors SoberRide; you just call 800-200-TAXI (8294) and you can get a cab ride worth up to $30 for free. Most major metropolitan areas offer similar services. Or maybe you should just stay where you are; Hotel Tonight is a great app for finding a discounted hotel nearby.
You can see more tips at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.
By Guest Blogger on March 12, 2014 at 10:51 AM
Posted in: Marketing & Communications, Working at GEICO
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By now, you have probably seen the GEICO “Hump Day” commercial. This clever 30-second ad has become a pop-culture hit with kids and adults alike, and has received more than 20 million views on the GEICO YouTube channel!
These days, there isn’t a Wednesday that goes by without someone, somewhere hearing (or asking) the question, “Guess what day it is?” Last year, Wednesdays got a bit more interesting at GEICO, too. Our associates began to experience something a little extra-special.
The camel began touring our locations.
CAMELS AT WORK? ONLY AT GEICO!
“The office was in a stir of excitement with the camel visiting on Hump Day! Each associate had the opportunity visit with the camel outside, and also had an amazing opportunity to have a picture taken with the camel and their teammates,” said Anna W., claims manager in San Diego.
After visiting the West Coast office, the camel journeyed to the heartland and made a guest appearance at one of our newest locations. The six-month anniversary of the Indianapolis opening was a memorable moment, indeed. From there, it was off to the East Coast, to visit our friends in Fredericksburg, Va.
MAKE EVERY DAY HUMP DAY
Download the Hump Day ringtones from Myxer.com at http://on.gei.co/19jwTfO.
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