Each month, we share an image from GEICO’s past and invite you to comment or exercise your caption-writing skills.
I started my GEICO career some 21 years after this woman ascended to the throne of GEICO’s Irish Fellowship Club. Here, she’s apparently dictating some royal edict to her court scribe. What her other duties and responsibilities as queen may have been, I can only guess, because by 1984, the Irish Fellowship Club had either ceased to exist, or it had gone so far underground that I never heard of it.
My money’s on the former fate, because Jack Byrne was GEICO’s CEO during my first year here. Jack didn’t hail from the Emerald Isle, but he was as Irish as an American can be, and if there WAS an Irish Fellowship Club at GEICO then, he would surely have been among its most prominent members. And I, as a writer for the employee tabloid, would have known about it.
We may not celebrate GEICO associates’ Irish heritage these days (except on March 17, of course, when everyone’s Irish), but we celebrate many other cultures – Black History, Diwali, Asian Pacific Islander, Caribbean, Hispanic Heritage, and more. We’re proud of our diverse associate population, and we enjoy the sights, sounds and flavors of ALL their cultures.
I’m particularly partial to the Diwali and Caribbean celebrations – so colorful, and such great music! How about you? Other than your own heritage, which ones do you most enjoy?
Sizzle up some corned beef and cabbage. Don your favorite green outfit, and don’t forget about that shamrock and the pot of gold. OK, I’ll stop with the St. Patrick’s Day stereotyping, but hey – it’s the one day everyone gets to be Irish, and we just want to make sure nobody takes the fun a wee bit too far.
Here are a couple things to be mindful of if you partake in the day’s revelries:
Good libations are a part of St. Patrick’s Day – that’s no secret. So, if you plan to drink, please don’t drive. Find a watering hole accessible by bus, subway or taxi to get your green beer.
If you’re heading off the beaten path and have to drive to your celebration, assign a designated driver. He or she will have to stick to soft drinks for this one – you can return the favor on Cinco de Mayo.
Remember to eat something with all that green beer. Three hearty helpings of corned beef and cabbage should do the trick.
If you’re driving around areas with lots of bars, stay extra alert. St. Patrick’s Day is a popular day for pub crawls, and the number of pedestrians out and about will sharply increase. In 2013, more than a third of pedestrian fatalities had a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more.
If you’re a pedestrian, try to travel with a group and be aware of your surroundings. Always cross in a crosswalk when it’s clear, and never assume a driver will magically see you.
As you shake your shillelagh and do your best leprechaun impression, do remember to be careful, too, and the luck of the Irish will indeed stay on your side.
And, don’t count us out of the celebration, because green just might be our favorite color here at GEICO!
You get a special feeling when you are engulfed by a sea of travel trailers, motorhomes and campers as far as the eye can see. The sights and sounds provide participants with a unique experience cherished by legions of RV enthusiasts, who often drive hundreds of miles to attend NASCAR or RV events across the country.
If you have ever attended an RV showcase or been in the infield at a NASCAR race, you may well have seen GEICO’s own RV team hard at work. Well, the RV team is back in 2015, ready to hit the open road with a full schedule of events. The GEICO RV tour will launch at the Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona, on March 13, and it will end at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida, on Nov. 20.
The tour will visit NASCAR, RV and motorcycle events across the country, and will feature a wide range of promotional activities. The RV team focuses on creating a great fan experience at each event, with an abundance of fun and excitement, music, prizes, cool vehicles, games and giveaways for RV fans.
Events like the Daytona 500 and the Sturgis motorcycle rally provide a perfect environment for GEICO to connect and interact with motorhome, RV and travel-trailer customers on a personal level and all in one place. For the RV team, it’s all about appealing to the throngs of RVers, letting them know that GEICO is here to serve all of their insurance needs.
Don’t miss the chance to see the “GEICO for your RV” Team in action at an event near you! Here is the 2015 RV tour schedule.
Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, Arizona, March 13 – 15
FMCA’s 91st Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase, Pomona, California, March 26 – 29
INTO (International) Area Rally, Shreveport, Louisiana, April 26 – 30
GEICO 500, Talladega, Alabama, May 1 – 3
Daytona 400, Daytona Beach, Florida, July 3 – 5
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Sturgis, South Dakota, Aug. 3 – 9
Watkins Glen Int’l, Watkins Glen, New York, Aug. 6 – 9
Bojangles Southern 500, Darlington, South Carolina, Sept. 3 – 6
Pennsylvania RV Show (Industry), Hershey, Pennsylvania, Sept. 14 – 15
Pennsylvania RV Show (Public), Hershey, Pennsylvania, Sept. 16 – 20
Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet, Illinois, Sept.17 – 20
Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, Alabama, Oct. 22 – 25
Phoenix Int’l Raceway, Avondale, Arizona, Nov. 13 – 15
Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, Florida, Nov. 20 – 22
Geckos are only found in tropical locales, right? So wrong … if you’re the GEICO Gecko.
Recently, our jovial and amazingly athletic Gecko hit the slopes at Big Boulder in northeastern Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains for the first annual Mascot Mayhem Ski Race.
This comical caper pitted some of the region’s most popular branded mascots against each other in a friendly downhill ski race, and was the brainchild of radio personality John DeBella from Philadelphia’s Classic Rock 102.9 WMGK.
The Gecko’s competitors included Swoops, representing my beloved Philadelphia Eagles; the Temple Owl, mascot for Temple University; Screw Ball from the Reading Fightin’s minor league baseball team; Phil E from Philly Pretzel Factory plus a cast of 10 more classic characters.
Against the white mountainside, fans were treated to a wash of colors that could give a jumbo box of crayons a run for its money. Shapes ranging from short and rotund to lean and lank clumsily cruised down the slope, and soon a clear winner emerged in the form of a sleek fox clad in neon green.
The champ ended up being Tricky from the Pocono Mountain Raceway. No fair! He had home-field advantage!
Nonetheless, Mascot Mayhem was a blast, and I do hope the Gecko makes a return trip next year. I think invitations should get air-mailed down to Disney, as well as to the Nationals’ Teddy Roosevelt, the Penn State Nittany Lion, Tony the Tiger and Mr. Peanut for the second annual Mascot Mayhem.
Tell us who you’d like to see race the gecko in the comments! He’d better start training now!
Rhetorical question: If your brand new car breaks down and there’s no one with the training and skills to repair it, will you ever get it back from the shop? Well, thanks to a new approach to collision repair training, that head-scratcher might not be as much of a concern in the future.
Recently, GEICO representatives joined the ribbon-cutting celebration of an innovative new collision repair program at Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC) in North Carolina. Governor Pat McCrory also attended the event, calling the new program a “role model for the rest of the nation.”
The new FTCC program is designed to address a major skills gap in collision repair by training students in the auto industry with the latest technology. GEICO hopes to add future graduates of the FTCC program, including military members from nearby Fort Bragg and similar programs to its growing team of auto damage adjusters and auto damage management development candidates.
GEICO supports the FTCC and similar programs through a partnership with the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), to which it donated $100,000 at the event.
GEICO also recently partnered with CREF to award grants for collision repair programs at four high school and college trade schools through CREF’s Ultimate Collision Education Makeover program. Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla; Norwalk High School in Norwalk, Calif.; Texas State Tech College in Waco, Texas; and Wilson Technological Center in Dix Hills, N.Y., received the grants, which will allow them to purchase new collision tools, equipment and supplies.
Visit the Careers site on geico.com for more details about claims careers and the many other opportunities GEICO offers.
GEICO is all about saving you money. Everybody knows that, as our commercials suggest. But I’ll bet you didn’t know this: For more than 10 years, GEICO Auto Repair Xpress shops and claims staff have been participating in environmental and safety training programs provided by S/P2.
In order to be a certified GEICO Auto Repair Xpress (ARX) shop, a minimum of one person at each shop must complete a comprehensive training program. Shop staff and GEICO claims staff go through pollution-prevention training and learn how to safely handle materials like paint, antifreeze and other shop chemicals. These programs ensure that we meet OSHA and EPA guidelines to protect you, our employees and the environment!
Earlier this year, S/P2 awarded GEICO with the Excellence in Safety in Pollution Prevention Award for our continued commitment to the cause. GEICO was the first major supporter of the S/P2 training, which has been adopted by automotive educational programs, automakers and other insurers.
By guest blogger Christine Tasher, public relations
GEICO is celebrating Black History Month through art, news, music and dance during February. Observances vary from location to location, but at its headquarters in Chevy Chase, Maryland, the opening ceremony featured a diversity choir, 17 voices strong, led by Virgil Crawford, a gifted pianist who performs in the D.C. area when he’s not analyzing systems for the company.
Associates enjoyed a breakfast while listening to such songs as “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” familiar to many GEICO associates who added their voices to the choir’s. The song was penned by James Weldon Johnson in 1900 on the occasion of Lincoln’s birthday.
Each month, we share an image from GEICO’s past and invite you to comment or exercise your caption-writing skills.
We revere Leo Goodwin here at GEICO. He was GEICO’s founder – a man who gave up an executive position at another insurer to launch his own insurance company. Without agents, contrary to what was by far the dominant insurance business model. In the middle of the Great Depression.
Daring, storybook stuff, that. But brilliant and visionary as he was, Goodwin couldn’t have done it alone; he lacked the capital for such a venture. Texas banker Cleaves Rhea actually owned 75 percent of Goodwin’s fledgling company from its inception in 1934 (it didn’t become Government Employees Insurance until 1936) until it was a thriving 13-year-old business. At that point, weary of monthly train trips from Texas to Washington and back, Rhea decided to sell his stake in GEICO.
The two gentlemen pictured here, Ben Graham and Jerry Newman, ran the investment company that bought most of Rhea’s interest in GEICO. They wound up owning 55 percent of the company, which was converted into 175,000 shares of stock and distributed to the approximately 300 shareholders of the Graham-Newman Corporation in 1948.
Graham and Newman joined the GEICO Board of Directors, Graham as chairman. As important as both gentlemen were in GEICO’s development over the ensuing years, Graham contributed to the company’s fortunes in another, perhaps more significant way. In addition to his investment activities, Graham taught investing at Columbia University, where one of his most apt pupils was a young Warren Buffett, who became a legendary investor in his own right, and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.
It was Graham who sparked Buffett’s interest in GEICO, which was the first stock Buffett ever purchased. Buffett subsequently sold those shares, but later bought more – and more and more, until he owned roughly half of the company’s stock. Then, in 1995, he made a very generous offer to buy all the shares he didn’t yet own.
That deal was consummated in early 1996, and GEICO has been a Berkshire Hathaway company ever since. But the long and mutually beneficial relationship between Buffett and GEICO might never have come to pass if not for Ben Graham and Jerry Newman.
You can’t use your grant or scholarship funds to pay your cell phone bill or buy snacks – that’s where GEICO can help. For the past 20 plus years, GEICO has given out $1,000 Achievement Awards to college sophomores and juniors from all across the country. In 2015, we will recognize more than 50 students with $2,500 to cover the cost of books, supplies and personal expenses. This award program is just one of the ways that we help support tomorrow’s future leaders. It’s a long-standing tradition that makes us happier than a camel on hump day.
So, who’s eligible for one of these awards? Well, you could be, if you:
Are currently enrolled full-time in a bachelor’s degree program.
Attain sophomore or junior status.
Have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
Are majoring in business, computer science, mathematics or a related program.
Have demonstrated leadership on campus and/or within the community.
HOW TO APPLY
First, we encourage you to go to our Careers page and learn more about our program at geico.jobs/achievement. There, you can review the step-by-step application guide and read about our past award recipients, including a few who are now GEICO employees. To qualify for a GEICO Achievement Award, you’ll need to submit your resume, a short essay, letter of recommendation and unofficial transcripts in one email, fax or envelope.
Also, there’s a list of participating schools posted at geico.jobs/achievement, but please note that students from anyaccredited four-year college or university are eligible to apply. This year’s recipients will be selected later this spring and notified in June 2015.