• 52°

A fixture at CCIA for four decades

SALISBURY — She can unclog your sink, kill your spiders, counsel you on personal problems and even sell you some insurance.
When Joanne Brown graduated from high school, she did what many people did in Rowan County. She went to work in a sewing factory. Her textile career lasted only one day, not quite as long as she has been in the insurance business.
On Nov. 1, Brown will celebrate her 41st year with Central Carolina Insurance in Salisbury.
“I took all of the business classes in high school, like typing and shorthand,” Brown said in a press release. “So I knew after just a few hours of sewing the same seam, that wasn’t for me.”
She joined the company in 1970 when it was known as Riley-Clay Insurance and owned by John Riley and David Clay. She started straight out of high school as a Commercial Lines Customer Service Representative. Today, she serves as assistant vice president and office manager.
“We have had wonderful bosses to work for,” Brown said. “They have all genuinely been concerned with their employees.”
Brown shows compassion for employees as well and has earned the title “office mom.” Associates in the building often come to Brown with their heartaches and personal problems. She always makes herself available with advice.
Brown jokes that her job description involves everything from making sure that payroll is done to unclogging the kitchen sink, to even killing spiders around the office.
“Joanne is one of the hardest working and consistently pleasant people I have ever met,” said co-owner Jay Whittington, who has worked with Brown for almost all of her 41 years with the company.
Her work ethic comes from being raised on a farm, which she says was an around-the-clock job involving every family member from a very early age. As children, they milked cows and fed the pigs before and after school.
Brown is a little embarrassed by the idea that she has been with Central Carolina for more than half of its 80-year history.
“They say if you ever get into insurance, you stay and that has proven to be my fate and I have enjoyed it,” she said. “I believe that God gives us a fresh sheet of paper every morning and whatever we write on that sheet is permanently in our life, and we can either have a good attitude or our sheet can be marred by what we say and do to others or don’t do for others.
“I strive to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem every day at work.”
These days, Brown and her husband, Guy, enjoy being active in their church and disaster relief work, which has taken them to Florida, Georgia, West Virginia, Honduras, Alaska and other places. They have a son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.
When asked about retirement, Brown says she never thinks about it.
Then again, “moms” never really retire.

Comments

Comments closed.

News

Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies

Local

With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions

Education

Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration

Coronavirus

Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline

Local

Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance

Local

Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list

Local

Board of Commissioners will convene for third time in May

Business

Biz Roundup: Salisbury, Kannapolis among recipients of Region of Excellence Awards

Local

Cheerleading team competes at Disney

Education

Salisbury High to celebrate football, swimming champions with parade

High School

High school girls soccer: Isley, Webb lead all-county team

Local

Spencer awarded $10,000 to develop trails at Stanback Forest

Books

‘Tails and Tales’ coming to library this summer

Local

Public Records: March Deeds

Entertainment

Salisbury Symphony’s ‘Return to the Concert Hall’ available May 24-31

Coronavirus

Salisbury teen becomes one of first in age group to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Business

Down Goat: Local farm and creamery poised to add goat yoga, artisan goat cheese to offerings

Local

Pandemic’s impact, uncertainty of transit funding prompt request to eliminate Rowan Express service

Lifestyle

New Waterworks’ exhibit opens June 1

High School

High school football: Walsh accepts the South football challenge

Lifestyle

Price of Freedom Museum gets donated landscape project

Lifestyle

Rowan Museum will have Upscale Yard Sale Saturday

Business

Seventh dragon boat festival set for July 24; deadline for sponsorships is May 28

Nation/World

‘Shocking and horrifying’: Israel destroys AP office in Gaza