Gary Louie, LUTCF
Insurance Agent | Insurance specialist in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Auto * Life * Business * Health * Home * Specialty
I have been in the insurance industry for 13 years. It’s a rewarding career; one that has allowed me the opportunity to help hundreds of families and businesses build and protect their assets. It’s a tremendous feeling knowing you’ve helped bring security to someone’s life. It’s why I’m in this business.
I didn’t start out selling insurance, though. In fact, I had a long career doing something entirely different. I was a manager for Safeway in Portland. I joined the company after I got out of the Air Force. I spent 19 years with Safeway and might have stayed longer had circumstances in my personal life been different.
In 2005, my daughter got sick. I took personal leave, but as a manager it was difficult to be away from work completely. At the time, Farmers Insurance approached me with what turned out to be the right opportunity at the right time. I left Safeway and became an insurance agent, a move that allowed me to spend more time with my family. It was a good fit for me, for a lot of reasons, and I knew it immediately. But as I met more and more clients and built strong relationships with them, I realized just how much I enjoyed this new career.
We don’t always know what losses we’ll experience in our lives. And certainly insurance cannot replace a life or take away the emotional or physical pain from an accident, illness or injury. But just as insurance cannot prevent something from happening, it can serve as a powerful shield against the economic impact of a loss. Putting people in a well-designed policy and giving them peace of mind has really meant something to me. I welcomed this career change.
My time and experience with Safeway served me well. I learned a lot of solid business practices that I applied to my own business as a Farmers agent. With proven success in building and managing businesses, Farmers asked me to become a district manager. After a yearlong management program, I was offered a position in North Idaho. Leaving Portland was a big move. The youngest of eight siblings, I grew up in Oregon. My parents moved to Eugene from Canton, China in the 1960s with their six children. My youngest sister and I were born later, here in the United States.
After visiting North Idaho, the decision to move was easy. My wife Kari and our four daughters, Karly, Ashley, Kassie and Kiannah fell in love with Coeur d’Alene and Hayden. We enjoy our community and being involved in efforts that help others. Over the years, I’ve volunteered for a number organizations including Rotary, Susan G. Komen and I’ve helped raise money for March of Dimes through a golf tournament I started about five years ago.
In 2012, I was faced with another big move. Farmers restructured its districts and asked that I go to California to manage a district there. I brought my family to North Idaho and I didn’t want to leave. As it turned out, I didn’t have to. A local Farmers agent was planning to retire, so I struck a deal with him and bought the business.
I’m no longer a district manager, but I still work with other Farmers agents in the greater Northwest. Staying here was one of the best decisions my wife and I have made. North Idaho is our home. It’s where our heart is. And it’s where I enjoy two of my favorite pastimes: golfing and spending time with my growing family that now includes six wonderful grandkids!