RIBBON CUTTING — Pondera County Insurance had their ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday. In front from the left is Jake Stuart, Amie Salvson, Amber Stenson, Sondra Habets, Claire Bucklin, PCI Owner Vanessa Bucklin, Tyler Bucklin holding Coco Bucklin, Nick Bucklin, CofC Executive Secretary Barbie Killion and Laurie Eisenzimer. In back is Mollee Gemar, CofC President Gerald Miller, Cory Rilley and Mike Lytle. I-O Photo by Pat Lee
By Adam Jerome, I-O Reporter
From a town rich in values and community comes our ‘Spotlight on Business’ which highlights a business, gives emphasis on their contributions to our community and remembers their history.
Vanessa Bucklin’s vision became a reality in less than a year as Pondera County Insurance (PCI) opened on Feb. 13.
Bucklin was previously employed at Stockman Bank for seven years when she decided to go out on her own and bring a business to Conrad.
After years of gainful employment she got the idea to start her own business and bet on herself where she could work for her own success.
Bucklin commented on the change, “I wanted to make an even bigger commitment to the community and open my own business.”
Even though her background was in banking not insurance one could say that she decided to follow in the family business as her grandfather; Bob Emrick was an insurance agent in Conrad for many years.
The transition while quick was one filled with hard work and research as Bucklin had little experience in the insurance game.
After consulting with her silent partners, Jake Stuart of Malta and Dick Harte she maintained her job at Stockman Bank while working nights to become certified in the insurance field, including property and casualty, life, health and estate planning.
Bucklin has employed numerous experts in their fields to provide the best possible relationships and experiences for their customers.
Sondra Habets is a new agent focused on personal lines.Mollee Gemar is helping throughout the summer and Mariah Bitney is working part time as she completes her high school courses.
Amber Stenson is also part of the team, completing an internship with New York Life.
With many other insurance companies in Conrad, Bucklin has tried to carve out a niche.PCI is an independent agency so they can offer a variety of carriers for the property and casualty side.
Bucklin is also an agent for New York Life and will offer not only life insurance products to the area but estate planning and asset accumulation and preservation, for which there is a huge need.
She has also partnered with Julie Blockey to provide health insurance and utilize Blockey’s 30 years in specializing in health insurance.
With Bucklin’s 15 years of banking experience coupled with the strong relationships she has built in the community, she feels there is a lot of opportunity to assist a variety of people with their financial and insurance needs.
Bucklin comments, “Our mission is to do business differently. We are committed to providing the best customer service to each and every client. We will do this by placing the customer at the center of every decision. We will earn business by building relationships and trust and we will retain business by providing the customer with superior insurance products, better coverage and we will stand behind our products.”
Born and raised in Conrad before moving back to start her career and raise a family she believes strongly in participating in outreach to the community.
Bucklin and her husband have been actively involved in the community including their children’s activities, Conrad Community Education Foundation, Port Authority Loan Committee, TRC Striders Running Club, American Legion baseball and church youth activities.
Bucklin continues to serve as a positive example of a hometown kid that came back to the area and succeeded personally while also benefiting the community from which she came.
PCI is located at 23 5th Ave. SE and their phone number is (406) 271-2034 or by email at info@pciconradcom .