President & CEO at Sylvia A. Garrett & Associates Agency
“Protecting & Building Wealth for Families & Businesses”
Being hearing impaired from her right ear has posed many challenges for Sylvia Garrett, President & CEO of Sylvia A. Garrett & Associates Agency, but that did not deter her from her goal of becoming one of the most sought-after leaders in the industry. “There have been instances where I wasn’t able to hear a person in a crowded room. I am sure, it may have impacted my communication in a manner. I work extra hard to “listen” so that I can ensure understanding.”
"The Sylvia A. Garrett Agency is an independent insurance agency. We work with numerous providers to cover your home, auto, life, and business insurance. Our mission is to protect and build wealth for families and businesses by providing exceptional service while empowering our Team, our Customers and our Community. | Protect.Serve.Empower"
Sylvia believes one becomes a leader by establishing a clear vision and mission and successfully navigating others, against all obstacles, to mission achievement. Leadership also requires understanding and embracing core values and ensuring one’s environment reflects a culture whereby those values are practiced. “Finally, Leadership is caring for others, our community, and our world and demonstrating care with action,” says Sylvia, who recently received the Pillar Award, as a result of Community Service Leadership. “Our mission is to protect and build wealth for families and businesses by providing exceptional service. Our agency has structured what “exceptional service means from inception to closure, as well as defined exceptional service for the ongoing maintenance of the account."
Sylvia A. Garrett Agency was born to diversify the insurance and financial industry and to empower the community. There are few women-owned insurance and financial services companies, even fewer women of color; it is an extremely complex and highly regulated business model that requires skillful strategic and management capabilities. “At any one time, we are carefully balancing: needs of customers, carriers’ requirements, financial industry oversight, service best practices, operational HR/training demands, etc.,” she says. “Therefore, it is not a business that should be entered into lightly. I think more than anything, my presence dictates, women of color cannot only exist in the industry but compete extremely well.”
According to Sylvia, having a team of licensed professionals with extensive industry knowledge within itself is not enough. The team must be focused upon transitioning their knowledge to empower customers in their decision-making. “The goal is to protect families and households to do this, it is critical for us to get to know our customers and their needs. We must share knowledge and information so that the customer trusts our ability to provide guidance regarding insurance coverage options. We must also be sensitive to each family’s budget,” she explains. “One customer reached out to me, stating she had talked with 5 other agents and they had been unsuccessful in obtaining insurance for her agency.” Sylvia asked her questions to understand her business model and probed to determine why other agents had difficulty placing her insurance risk. “As a result, I was able to articulate her business model and determine her risks/exposure as a business owner and advocate from her business when I spoke with an underwriter,” explains Sylvia. “She was extremely happy when I reached out to her to inform her, a carrier would provide her a quote. To add icing on the cake, the cost of the insurance protection/coverage was within her budget!”
Sylvia plans to retire and travel around the world in the next 5-7 years or explore an adjunct professor's role, which she had previously taken up. Currently, she is working on a succession plan. “I am weighing multiple options. I would like to work with a partner, who appreciates my business acumen and business model,” says Sylvia. “My goal is to continue to diversify my portfolio by significantly increasing by commercial/business insurance portfolio prior to my retirement. As I look for a partner, I would want to align with a company with a national footprint. I am currently in 14 States, as well as, have “direct” access to a lot more insurance carriers.” IE
Sylvia A. Garrett & Associates Agency
President & CEO
Sylvia A. Garrett & Associates, LLC mission is to protect families and businesses by providing exceptional customer service and empowering our community and Team members.