Serving the community since 1970

Focus on Local Business - Sept. 5, 2019

'Still going strong' after 40 years -- Montgomery's chance at insurance worked out

Wayne Montgomery didn't always want to go into the insurance business. He already had a successful psychology practice in Bakersfield during the 1970s, while Sally was a homemaker raising their kids.

In all started with an insurance company's expansion plan.

"In 1977 Travelers Insurance wanted to establish 100 insurance businesses in California," Wayne said. Delbert Bowles was attending a seminar at California State University, Bakersfield, where two representatives from Travelers gave a presentation on the insurance company. The representatives, Alan Hine and Mr. Parrott, talked to Bowles, and he referred them to Montgomery.

Hine called on the Montgomerys, and Wayne told him he was not interested in selling insurance. Hine then invited them out to breakfast and dinner. "He opened up and presented a lucrative contract," Wayne Montgomery said. "I told him I wasn't going to give up my counseling practice, but I would give Travelers a chance for 180 days."

After that, the Montgomerys came to a mutual agreement with Travelers before they left for a vacation in Texas.

The agreement was signed in October. By December, Montgomery had reached a goal that was unattainable by most agents. "I sold $1 million in life insurance and made the 'Million Dollar Round Table,' " Montgomery said. He was then invited to visit Travelers headquarters in Hartford, Conn., where he was wined and dined. His picture was displayed at their home office.

Also during the 1970s, Travelers agreed to have Montgomery sell property and casualty insurance. In 1978, he passed the state exam with flying colorsNow Sally and Wayne both have their insurance licenses.

Wayne Montgomery's first office was located in Bakersfield; however, in 1985, he opened up at the agriculture office on Highway 46; he then proceeded to buy his present office at 456 E Street.

"I've been selling insurance for over 40 years and am still going strong."

The Montgomerys have been married for 64 years and have four children, 12 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. All of their children are Wasco High graduates.

Their oldest and youngest daughters are school nurses, while a middle daughter is a retired insurance agent. Their son is in the insurance business and runs Montgomery Insurance at 5500 Ming Avenue in Bakersfield. "Our oldest granddaughter is a medical doctor at Kaiser. The oldest grandson is a public defender in Bakersfield. Our second granddaughter works for MGM and is waiting for the outcome of her recent bar exam, and another grandson works in the movie industry." Their youngest granddaughter is finishing college in Monterey.

There is no question; the Montgomerys are proud of everyone in their family.

In addition to being involved with their family, they take time to travel. They recently returned from a trip to Texas and New Orleans, with some family members joining or meeting up with them at different destination points.

Meanwhile, the Montgomerys are still active in Wasco community organizations. Sally is a past president and current member of the Wasco Woman's Club and has served on the California Federation of Women's Clubs' board, spent years as a county 4-H leader, served in the Wasco Chamber of Commerce and was a commissioner on the Kern County Parks and Recreation Board.

When her children were in school, she maintained a presence on the PTA at Palm Avenue and Thomas Jefferson, while Wayne served on Wasco's Planning Commission and the Kern County Civil Commission, and was a board member of the former North Kern Vocational Training Center in Wasco.

Montgomery Insurance is located at 456 E Street and can be reached at 661-758-6478. Their office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.


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