Raised in Oakland City, Indiana, Ted grew up on a farm growing watermelons, tomatoes, and cantaloupes, and raising pigs and cattle. At 21, he left college and proceeded to operate several small businesses over the next 10 years: Tresslers, Ben Franklin, and other self-branded stores. He was learning business management from the ground floor up, and gradually assumed several leadership roles in his community. At 27, while working full-time and with a growing family at home, Ted returned to college. Then, frustrated by ever-increasing advantages of his big-box competitors, Ted decided to consider other career options.
1985 - 86
Moves to Cape Coral, Florida, buys a renters policy from a Sears booth at Edison Mall, and is prompted to interview for an Allstate job by an agent. He does, and embarks on a 16 weekend insurance course. Late the following year, he writes his first auto policy.
Opens first office, a 500-square-foot room in a Barnett Bank. Soon after, takes the leap from employee to agency owner.
Is awarded Top Life Agency out of 140,000. The following year, becomes one of only three agents allowed to open a second office. His wife, Marilyn, becomes an Appointed Allstate Agent for the firm. She quickly becomes #1 in Florida for Auto production and is named Agent of the Year.
Is one of only 34 Allstate agents inducted into the Allstate Hall of fame as a charter member. He makes the risky decision to open an office in sleepy but developing Estero, Florida, the site of Florida Gulf Coast University and South Florida International Airport, and the construction of many new businesses.
Hurricane Charley hits on Friday the 13th of August. Large national Insurance brands pull home insurance off their product shelves for the state of Florida. Ted, seeking to continue serving his customers, is a pioneer in offering home insurance products through multiple carriers.
2005 - 2011
Acquires offices in Lehigh Acres by buying out the Allstate agent who, 20 years earlier, had recommended that he go into insurance. In successive years, he opens offices in Cape Coral, Bonita Springs (headquarters), Sarasota, Melbourne, and Boca Raton. Becomes a charter member of the Allstate Executive Council.
Begins a big cultural shift toward creating a environment that employees enjoy and that makes them excited to come to work. Renovates office spaces, creates ergonomic workspaces, adds pneumatic desks. Plans more great things for employees and customers.