SPECIAL TO OCALA STYLE
A secure future, the ability to pay for your child’s college education, and a feeling of financial stability — these are all forms of insurance, a comfort for both you and your family. You trust your home, auto, and life insurance to the Allstate group of companies, so why not trust these important aspects of your life to the people who are already taking care of you at Allstate?
When you think of an insurance agency, what comes to mind? Home, life, and auto insurance are givens, but the Kevin McDonald Allstate Insurance Agency is different. They offer their customers broad-based financial services products. *
Kevin’s father started the McDonald Agency in 1985. A life-long Ocalan, Kevin graduated from Forest High School, CFCC, and the University of Central Florida.
“I started working with my dad in 1987,” he says. “I was finally hired as an Allstate agent in 1989. In time, my father and I formed a partnership. We worked together until he retired in 1998. We opened a second location in Summerfield in 2001.
“What most people don’t know about our business,” he continues, “is that we have the capability and the expertise to provide our customers with a financial track for their future. Our agency has been expanding our financial services team for the last four years.”
The McDonald agency offers educational workshops for both retirees and working people. These public- and customer-appreciation programs are designed to show people how their assets can start working for them, and then go on to create a legacy for their children.
Brad Shepherd has been working closely with Kevin for five years and was the first to assist in initiating the successful financial team. Over the years, Kevin has put together a team of well-educated, highly motivated associates to head up his financial division.
“Twenty-seven years ago, I was approached by a man who offered to help me start making plans for my own financial future,” Brad recalls. “He told me something that has always stuck with me. He said, ‘People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan.’ At that time, I was 21 and working in a warehouse in Bloomington, Ill. I was very impressed by what this gentleman had to say and eventually began working with him, learning the ins and outs of the financial world.”
Twenty-seven years of experience and education have given Brad expertise in long-term care, annuities, and life insurance. In 1986, he, his wife Julie, and their growing family moved to Ocala where he opened his own insurance practice.
Brad met Roy Jackson, an Allstate manager through church and Kevin at the YMCA. Through casual conversation, the group realized they shared similar business philosophies. The rest, as they say, is history.
Nick Yeager began his Allstate career under different circumstances. Nick’s own dissatisfaction with his homeowner’s insurance prompted him to contact an Allstate agent in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“I called simply to switch insurance carriers,” Nick says. “I was always interested in the insurance business and decided to get serious and give it a try. At the time, my father had Traveler’s insurance and his agent was retiring. I had a bit of a business background and his agent asked me to take over his practice for him. That was my first real experience.”
Nick also had the opportunity to pursue another life-long dream — owning an antique car dealership.
“It’s something I always wanted to do,” he says. “I learned many valuable lessons about how difficult it is to own and run a business with that dealership. We started with just six cars in the beginning and by 1979, when I was ready to move on to something else, we had sold more than 800 cars.”
Today, Nick and his wife live in Spruce Creek Country Club in Summerfield.
“We found Kevin McDonald quite by accident,” Nick explains. “My wife and I were placing an ad in, of all things, Ocala Style magazine. An ad that was already running really caught my eye. My wife had a yellow T-Bird at the time and there was an ad in the magazine featuring a yellow T-Bird. The ad was for the McDonald agency. I called them to insure our new home.”
Within months, Nick joined the Allstate team and has become an integral part of the operation.
Nick has many years of experience in the industry and twice won the Citation Awards for quality of business while with Prudential. Quite an achievement considering Nick was competing with 23,000 other agents. Only the top 10 percent are awarded such an honor.
Specializing in 401(k) rollovers and Florida’s “DROP” Program (Deferred Retirement Option Program), Nick knows the importance of planning for the future.
“The products we offer can help our customers sleep better at night,” he says. “First and foremost, we educate our customers.”
If there’s one thing Nick is adamant about, it’s listening!
“Most salespeople,” he says, “don’t listen. I don’t consider myself to be a salesman, but rather a problem-solver. I listen to my customers’ needs and expectations, and develop a plan that will assist in solving those needs. Each customer’s goals are different.”
Steve Smiley has been with Allstate for 12 years and agrees with Nick’s sentiments.
“My customers know I work for them first, Kevin second, myself third, and Allstate fourth,” he says. “That’s the correct protocol.
“People of all ages and backgrounds have been negatively impacted by the stock market,” Steve says. “We inform our customers on ways to make their assets grow and exceed inflation. That’s the goal. People can very quickly outlive their money if it’s not properly invested.”
Steve, who has 27 years of financial experience, holds both the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designations, and assures his customers of not only well-intentioned insights, but also well-informed and customized service. Steve and Kevin are founding member of the Allstate National Advisory Board. It was that council that brought them together at a meeting in Chicago.
“Kevin approached me in January and asked me to come to Florida to head up his financial services team,” Steve says. “Kevin knows savings and protection products are the most valuable tools we can offer our customers.”
Specializing in investment products, Steve’s customers range from the couple starting a new life together to those who are ready for or already enjoying retirement.
“It doesn’t matter who the customer is,” Steve says. “The key to the securities business is to properly allocate a customer’s assets so they meet their desired objectives. The key is not to time the market; it’s to spend time in the market. I truly believe that the McDonald Agency can help each and every customer achieve their objectives.”
The Kevin McDonald Agency
2118 SW 20th Place, Suite 101
Ocala, Florida 34474
* Securities offered by Personal Financial Representatives through Allstate Financial Services, LLC. Registered Broker-Dealer. Member NASD, SIPC. Main Office: 2920 South 84th Street, Lincoln, NE 68506-4142. 1-877-525-5727.
SPECIAL TO OCALA STYLE