Jack Smith, Chicago Northwest Agency ManagerRetires after quality stint as a Leader, Board recognizes success, achievement
The Cook County Farm Bureau Board of Directors took time to recognize and congratulate Mr. Jack Smith, COUNTRY Financial Agency Manager for Chicago Northwest, during their December 9 Board of Directors meeting. Smith who has been the Agency Manager for 30 years stepped down on December 31, 2020 to enjoy the fruits of retirement. Smith said, “I plan on playing retirement one day at a time. I have two grandchildren on the way and I am looking forward to being able to help and be of service to my family. With my kids and family in the Chicagoland area, we look forward to being in the area for the foreseeable future.”
Smith, originally from Tolona, Illinois, was hired in 1984 as a Country Companies agent in the Champaign Agency at age 22. In December of 1989, he met the Cook County Farm Bureau Board and Manager Alden Kilian at the William Tell restaurant in Countryside regarding the possibility of leading a new scratch agency in Schaumburg. His first day in the new position was January 1, 1990 and he reports that he met with Manager Alden Kilian and CCFB employee Darlene Lundeen (future COUNTRY Financial Rep) in the Farm Bureau building in Rolling Meadows that first day on the new job.
During Smith’s tenure, he earned 14 All-American Recognitions from COUNTRY Financial. He is especially proud that he was able to assist and support 15 different Financial Reps from his agency over the years in earning the All-American Recognition as well. While attempting to deflect the question regarding other notable recognitions received from the insurance company, he did concede that he received Executive Club recognition through GAMA, adding that one of the best parts of being Agency Manager has been serving as a mentor and team leader for many great individuals and their families.
Jack reminisced that there are too many great Cook County Farm Bureau memories to count. However, among the best memories include, “Everything that the Cook County Farm Bureau/COUNTRY partnership did to benefit Ronald McDonald House in the Cook County area” and “the many years of attending the Illinois Farm Bureau convention in Chicago and going out as a group for fantastic dinners with Board interaction.”
Smith reports attending an estimated 300 County Farm Bureau board meetings (for three different County Farm Bureaus) during his career. This does not include the many Member Relations Team meetings, Foundation Fundraiser meetings, and FB/Country Agency manager meetings through the years.
“It has been a heckuva run,” Smith said. “Farm Bureau and COUNTRY Financial have always been a true partnership and I have always treated it that way. I would not have done it or wanted it any other way!”