In 1983 two good friends who had retired and settled in Wimberley decided to become partners in founding an insurance agency that would become DeMasters-Daniel Insurance. Tom Daniel had retired from Southwestern Life and Leonard DeMasters had retired from Exxon. Within a few years their agency had grown and they hired two customer service representatives, one of whom was Angela Dahl who joined the agency in 1994.
Today the agency comprises offices located in Wimberley and Dripping Springs. Despite being primarily a personal lines agent their commercial book is growing.
Below are some excerpts from my interview with Angie:
Tell me a little bit about how you got into insurance?
Angela: Initially upon moving to Wimberley, I was planning on continuing my career in school administration, I had not considered an insurance career. That all changed though when Tom and Leonard offered me a job to work in their insurance agency as the office manager/customer service representative. With three young girls I decided this would be my best option for being able to work locally and be available to my family.
In my previous job as an administrative assistant with the school district I had some experience with workers compensation and annuities but I knew nothing about P&C! Because I worked in a small office (there were only four of us, including me), I had to do a bit of everything. This helped me to learn about all aspects of the insurance business.
When appointments with new carriers came up they would ask Tom and Leonard what their perpetuation plan was. I was involved in all aspects of the agency and was also active in community and school events. They ask me if I would be willing to take over the agency when they could no longer run it. So I became their perpetuation plan. I think initially for all of us it was the plan, it was something we put in writing and could reference to, at the time I don’t think I believed it would ever happen, that I would ever actually own the agency.
Then,In 2008 Leonard passed away. He and Tom had a buy/sell agreement in place which allowed Tom to buy out Leonard’s interest in the agency. Tom in turn sold 50% interest to me, we became partners and executed our own buy/sell agreement.
In 2011 Tom fell ill and was recuperating most of the year, he felt it was time to execute our buy/sell agreement to ensure the future of the agency. In January 2012 I purchased his interest in the agency. Tom stayed actively involved in the agency throughout 2012, but he loved the Texas Coast. He purchased a condo in Port Aransas, sold his Wimberley home and moved to the coast in April last year, sadly Tom passed away last July.
Who has had the most influence on you and in what ways?
Angela: My former partner, Tom Daniel. He was a very kind and considerate man who put his family first. I got to see how his compassion allowed him to relate to the people he worked with.
He was a great leader and coach.
What do you think it takes for an Agent to be successful?
Angela: Having a good foundation – strong ethics and a moral compass, the agency was founded in 1983, serving Hays County for 30 years. We’ve seen many changes in our community and the industry in that time span. You adapt, always do the right thing and press on.
In your opinion where is the insurance market headed and where do you see opportunities for growth?
Angela: I won’t even try and guess where the industry may be headed, I’ll leave that to those who have much more knowledge than myself. As far as growing our agency, I believe there is opportunity in rounding out accounts. People are a lot more coverage conscious now than they ever have been before both from a liability and property point of view, comparing coverage and cost. I think this is especially true in our area; for the most part our clients are conservative. Making sure they have all the protection they need is an opportunity to better serve your clients as well as grow our agency.
Finally, when you are not building DeMasters-Daniels Insurance Agency what personal interests do you have?
Angela: I am passionate about spending time with my family. I married to my high school sweetheart, Wade, and we celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary yesterday (9th July). We have three beautiful daughters (Jennifer, Julie and Jantsen) as well as three granddaughters. My parents also live close by as well as my brother and his family. We like to get to together with family and friends, we barbeque or have a fish fry and enjoy each other’s company.