By Bryan OchallaIn 1995, Loreto Arzola decided to change careers. Although he had enjoyed working in the claims department of Bloomington, Ill.-based State Farm, he saw the need for more people like himself to serve the fastgrowing community in the Chicago suburb of Cicero. So, Arzola became an independent contractor State Farm agent.
In the years since, Arzola and his fully bilingual staff of five have built a thriving business. “When people are shopping for insurance, what are they really looking for?” Arzola asks. “I don’t think they’re just looking at price; I think they’re looking for an agent and a company they’re going to be comfortable with.”
State Farm and its associates have helped foster that kind of trust among Latino, Black, Asian and other diverse populations by partnering with national and Chicago-based organizations, including the African American Family Research Institute, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Neighborhood Housing Services and the Urban League to improve the communities in which diverse people live and work.
Those efforts—which have been honored by publications such as Black Collegian, Latina Style, G.I. Jobs and Computer World—as well as the company’s overall commitment to diversity and inclusion, are strengthening State Farm’s brand as a socially responsible company and increasing its business with all consumers. They’re also helping State Farm fulfill its diversity mission, which focuses on the workplace, the marketplace, the community and supplier diversity.
“Diversity is a state of mind,” says State Farm Chairman and CEO Ed Rust, Jr. “The variety of experiences and points of view contained in our large and diverse group of associates strengthens the organization [and] helps us to understand the marketplace and how we can do an ever-better job of serving our customers.” (DiversityInc, Jul. 2008)URL: View Published Article
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