For Kevin Thomas Jr., it’s all in the family- and it all began in the mailroom.
“My father was partner at an insurance agency and my mother was in the industry,” said Thomas, of New Castle-based CBM Insurance. “I started when I was about 17, in the mailroom.”
These days, it’s Thomas who’s mentoring other young professionals in the industry he grew up in. A lifelong Delawarean with a passion for skiing and service, he was recently honored with Insurance Agents & Brokers (IA&B’s) inaugural Young Agent Award for outstanding commitment to his profession and community.
[caption id="attachment_210840" align="alignleft" width="315"] Kevin Thomas[/caption]
CBM President Brandon Baffone praised Thomas for his level of integrity to both insurance partners and his clients.
“He takes great pride in being their trusted advisor,” Baffone said. “I have seen him walk away from business because he will not compromise his ethics to win an account.”
“Trial by fire” is how Thomas describes the mailroom crash course that kicked off the journey of following his parents’ footsteps into the industry.
“I started by helping my dad out one summer,” he recalled. “We had someone out due to a medical issue. I had to check in a lot of backlog, and two hours to learn it.” From there, Thomas worked his way up to the small business unit, which he eventually managed, before joining the CBM team three years ago, where he focuses on commercial sales and bonding.
“You kind of had to learn on your feet,” he said of his career progression. “My dad and I are extremely close, and I still bounce a lot of ideas off of him. He’s been a strong mentor.
Outside of agency life, Thomas is passionate about giving back, and is heavily involved in Rotary International and his local Christiana Rotary branch. Together with the Rotary Club, he’s traveled to Kenya and Cameroon, overseeing water well drilling while there, and back home, volunteering at soup kitchens, neighborhood cleanups, in reading rooms at schools and building butterfly gardens for children. Currently, he serves as the chairperson for Christiana Rotary’s 2021 Tee it Up for the Kids Golf Outing.
“The motto of rotary is service above self,” Thomas said. “I take care of myself pretty well. I ski, I golf, I have a lot of friends. It’s always good to give that back. It makes me feel good to go and help others.”
As an insurance industry professional, he added, “I’ve insured nonprofits. It helps me to understand them better, and I’ve partnered with some of my clients to give back. This is the stuff that really makes me feel whole at heart. It’s become a big part of who I am.
Thomas, Baffone said, “tackles issues head-on.”
“He is always the first to reach out to others in need and help in any way possible,” Baffone said. “He is always available to his client’s needs and I hear nothing but compliments about how he serves them. We are blessed to have Kevin in our organization.”
Thomas advises fellow young insurance professionals to do their homework and arm themselves with knowledge of the complex industry.
“Do the research, take the classes,” he said. “That knowledge is going to give you the confidence to go out there and do what you have to do. And, continue to learn, because it’s ever-changing.”
He also stressed the importance of networking.
“I’ve done all of my business through being out in the community,” Thomas said. “Learning how to network effectively and how to earn that business and partner with people. I think it goes a long way.”
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