Insurance agent looks out for clients, helps community

Mike Martinek has been a south Bibb County business owner for almost 20 years. The State Farm insurance agent has been a good neighbor to many of the families living around his Hartley Bridge Road office, providing them insurance to fit every need and building a long-lasting relationship with the community.

“We provide everything: auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance, life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance– we even have a full-service bank,” Mike shares. He currently offers approximately 72 different products, which also include investment services.

Mike Martinek State Farm
Mike Martinek contemplates a question from Lauren Deal during an interview in his office. Photo by Doug Deal.

Mike has been a State Farm agent for 23 years, since 1995.

He is a Marietta, Georgia, native, who earned his Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Georgia Southern University, where he also met his wife, a Bibb County native. Georgia Southern had a strong business program, but Mike didn’t necessarily plan to become a State Farm agent.

“When I was in college, I studied general business with a marketing focus, so I knew I wanted to work with people and probably sell something, but what to sell? I didn’t know,” he says.

“After I graduated and we got married, I worked for an agent here in town for three and a half years,” Mike explains, “and then we got the opportunity to become an agent in a different town and we were there for 14 months.”

For a little over a year, he worked as an agent in Elberton, Georgia, near Athens. But when an agent in Macon retired, he was given the opportunity to “migrate” back home.

At his first opportunity, Mike returned to Macon, where he and his wife raised their three daughters, who are now 25, 22, and 17 years old. His oldest daughter is an elementary school teacher in Houston County, and she is married to a State Farm team member, who is working towards becoming an insurance agent. His middle daughter is set to graduate from Georgia Southern with an exercise science degree in early May. The youngest daughter in the family is a student at Mount De Sales High School in downtown Macon.

Mike has had offices on Rocky Creek Road and Pio Nono and then on Houston Avenue, but Hartley Bridge Road has been home to his business for a long time.

In December 2018, Mike will have been in his office on Hartley Bridge Road for 20 years. The brick building could be mistaken for a house if it weren’t for the parking lot outside. It’s small and comfortable, in stark contrast to some of the giant insurance companies with anonymous call centers.

Mike Martinek State Farm - Building
Mike Martinek’s office is located at 4108 Hartley Bridge Road. Photo by Doug Deal.

As a State Farm agent, Mike is an independent contractor. He owns his business, employees three full-time “team members,” and owns and maintains his business property.

One of the benefits of owning a small insurance company is that Mike has the opportunity to form relationships with his clients.

“The reason I moved my office from Rocky Creek Road to here, I saw the growth in sub-south Bibb,” he says. “Then, once we were out here, the growth continued. Now, if you look at what’s happening on the interstate near Hartley Bridge Road, with the industrial development and the new Amazon building coming in, it’s huge. But I moved out here because I wanted to be able to help people in this area.”

Jennifer Cobb has been one of Mike’s team members for several years. She has learned that many of Mike’s customers are like family members, and many of them have been with Mike since the beginning. He knows his clients by name, and when one of them has a problem, Mike and his staff are personally vested in fixing it. She explains that one of the things she appreciates about Mike is that he makes house calls. “Especially when he has elderly clients who need something, he goes out to see them instead of making them come in to see us,” she says.

While he is able to give personalized care to his clients, they are also able to talk to a State Farm agent 24 hours a day. “There is a State Farm call center in Atlanta, so that when my office closes at 5:30 pm, if someone calls my office, my phones automatically roll over to the call center. But they have access to my files, so that if someone wants a quote, or needs to report an incident, they can do it any time, and the information comes directly to me.”

As the only State Farm agent in sub-south Bibb, Mike has made a commitment to give back to the area that has contributed to the success of his business for so many years.

He serves on the Rutland High School CTAE (Career, Technical and Agricultural Education) Advisory Board. Through CTAE, he has also participated in the high school mock job interview program, when students have the opportunity to practice their interview skills by interviewing for “jobs” with local business owners. During the event, Mike interviewed several young people and reviewed their resumes. After each interview, he discussed with the students the strengths of their interviews and practiced ways to improve their interview and gave them tips on how to strengthen their resumes.

Mike has also participated in career days at Porter Elementary School and Heard Elementary School, both of which are located near his office. “It’s a little tough to explain to a kindergartener what insurance is,” he laughs, “but they knew our commercials and they knew our jingle, and they know if their mom is in an auto accident or if their house catches fire or someone steals something from them, that’s what I am there for.”

Another local school in sub-south Bibb is Windsor Academy, and Mike has also provided them with financial support.

“If a kid comes in to talk to me,” Mike says, “whether it’s yearbook advertising or something else, I’m going to buy local.”

Mike is an active member of Forest Hills United Methodist Church, and he’s been a member there since he and his wife married. His oldest daughter married at Forest Hills, as well. Mike has worked on different committees in the church during his years as a member of the congregation.

Between his home in north Macon, his daughter’s school downtown, and his business in the south end, Mike is active all over Bibb County. He is most excited by the positive changes he sees, like the addition of an amazing community center in sub-south, and the addition of many fantastic restaurants downtown.

“I’ve watched the community grow in downtown Macon, and it’s now a more fun place to go and eat. There is so much growth all over the county, and there are opportunities for more growth,” Mike says.

Insurance might not be a funny business, but Mike shares his humor and enthusiasm with clients and the community alike.

For more information about Mike Martinek and to learn how his State Farm business can help you, please call (478) 784-0686, or look for him online at MikeMartinek.com.

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