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MAGNOLIA-- It was about two years ago that Denise Crouse and Trisha Dagenhard were approached with a new opportunity.
Jim Finnicum, the owner of Finnicum Insurance Agency, wanted them to take over as the new owners of the business.
"We were honored and shocked at the same time," Crouse said. "That's a great honor that he thought of us like that."
Finnicum had initially talked to his son, Jamie, about the assuming ownership role. But Jamie, who already had ownership of insurance offices in Sherrodsville and New Philadelphia, told his dad he wouldn't be able to take over a third office. Finnicum then had the initial conversations with Crouse and Dagenhard.
"We did do big consideration on is this what we want to do moving forward," Crouse said. "Trisha and I met with Jim and discussed it several times."
They are now ready to fully take over effective Jan. 1, 2016 as Finnicum is set to retire.
This won't be the first time though that Crouse and Dagenhard will be paired with each other.
"Trisha and I graduated together," Crouse explained. "We've been cheerleaders and in the band. It's been forever that we've been together. We've raised our families in this area."
Crouse started working at Finnicum Insurance in 2009. She previously worked for Schauer Insurance located in downtown Canton with the company's pension department. She also worked with the Bank of Magnolia in it's book keeping department
"I've always kind of been with numbers," Crouse said. "That's always kind of been my thing."
Crouse said Finnicum used to go through the drive through at the Bank of Magnolia. Crouse had been working six days a week and was seeking more of a five day per week job. She always had her insurance with Finnicum.
Crouse learned that Finnicum's office manager had quit.
"It just kind of worked out," Crouse said. "He lost his office manager, and I just happened to ask if he had an opening and I've been here ever since."
Dagenhard started with Finnicum as a CSR. She obtained her license in 2009, the same time Crouse received hers, and moved her way up to an agent.
Crouse explained Finnicum put the two together because of Crouse's knack for numbers and Dagenhard's abilities with sales.
Crouse explained the business's name will change from Finnicum Insurance Agency to Finnicum Hometown Agency, LLC because "we are both hometown girls living here in Magnolia." Little else will be different.
"Our staff is going to stay the same," Crouse said. "Trisha and I of course are staying the same. Our job duties aren't changing."
Crouse noted the partners want to maintain their personal connections with clients.
"I feel we are really good with customer service... We never turn anybody down saying I already had another appointment," Crouse said. "We do like them to come in. We go to them.
She later added, "It's as much we feel customer service. Dealing with the public one-on-one in person. Clients like that because there are so many people out there agents and that they say we don't have time. It's much better face-to-face."
Crouse also explained the importance of being out in the community for their business.
"We do all of the activities," she said. "We are out there in the public eye."
Finnicum representatives were out and about on Saturday to help kick off the holiday season as East Sparta hosted the Sandy Valley Community Christmas Parade.