1964 was a busy year. The Beatles took the stage on the Ed Sullivan Show. The Civil Rights Act was passed. The US bombed North Vietnam. There were race riots in Harlem. Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins premiered to wide acclaim.
There were a few other notable events in 1964 as well. Norman Earl Adams married his junior-high sweetheart Debra (Debbie) Sue Sherrill. This was also the same year he decided to get into the insurance business. Neither one of those occasions made the national news, but they forever changed the lives of quite a few folks.
For starters, my very existence was dependent upon the first event. So I am much obliged for the occasion. But, that is just my bias. Getting into the insurance business may not seem of much import to most folks. Heck, that happens every day, right? Some guy (or gal) flunks out of some other business and decides to start selling insurance! How hard can it be?
But, 50 years is a long time to do anything! Can you imagine being married to Norman Adams for 50 years? I know the last insurance seminar you sat through seemed like it lasted 50 years, but to spend 50 years selling insurance, you have to actually like the stuff!!
When Norman and Debbie married they were both just about to turn 20 (for those handy at math, you will note that they are both celebrating an important birthday this year). That seems pretty young to get hitched these days, but they had actually been dating since Martha Porter’s party in the 7th grade! After graduating from Waltrip High School, Norman went to work as a draftsman at Southwest Fabricating and then Capital Iron and Steel. But, he soon realized that he would eventually be replaced by automated CAD machines and decided to look for other prospects . . . not really. Actually, he realized that he could make just as much money and provide for his new bride and future family working with his dad Maurice in the family insurance agency, Adams Insurance Service.
Maurice and Dorothy Adams had built a family-owned, independent insurance agency on serving and helping their neighbors with homeowner’s policies, automobile policies, life insurance, and health insurance. They had been operating in the Heights of Houston since 1947.
Norman set to work building his own book of business. He figured he needed to do just two things, (1) learn more about insurance than anybody else and (2) keep his customers happy. He would keep his customers and grow a little bit at the same time! It was a fool-proof plan!
Norman expanded Adams Insurance Service into commercial lines. He met a few home builders in the area and became their insurance agent for all their personal and business needs. Then he met the contractors they worked with and started insuring their needs. He grew with these contractors and many of them are still clients today.
Meanwhile, Norman and Debbie were blessed with two children, Tracy Lynn, born in 1966, and Andrew Allan, born in 1972. 50 years of marriage has inspired a lot of jokes about Debbie’s patience and other saintly virtues. Those are all true! But, by God's grace their marriage has been a blessing to so many both within and outside their family. Over the years, Norman and Debbie have been tireless servants at their church, Our Savior Lutheran, and many other civic and charitable interests.
Adams Insurance Service, with Norman leading the way, has been blessed with hundreds of great customers over the years. Norman’s formula for success was rock solid: provide unmatched insurance expertise and constant focus on customer satisfaction. Over the years, he has built a skilled team around those two principles.
As we close 2014, please pass along congratulations to Norman and Debbie as they celebrate 50 years of marriage and Norman’s 50th year in the insurance business!
To God be the glory for both!