By R. Christopher Haines, President and CEO

Another year has flown by. I say it a lot, but I still can’t believe how quickly time goes. I’m lucky work allows me to be busy most of the time and on the road quite a bit, but that makes it go by even faster. I hope 2018 was as good for you as it was for me. Life has its ups and downs. But as long as the ups outnumber the downs, things usually end up okay.

Like most organizations, we spend early December completing our budget for next year at Marias. While working on the sales budget and setting up all of the places we’ll visit, I usually reflect on the places we visited in the year just passed. Each year consists of conferences, industry events, and visits to customers, partners, and prospects. I really enjoy being at the events seeing the people. Some of them we only get to see once a year or once every other year. But it’s great getting to see all of the old friends, new friends, and other vendors that attend these insurance events.

2018 saw existing relationships continue for Marias with some great customers, as well as the addition of new customers. It’s no secret that Marias would not exist without our customers. We are very thankful that these companies continue to put their faith in us, and we look forward to another great year with them.

As Marias moved forward and continued to grow, we were able to add many new members to our staff in 2018. I’m glad to have the staff we do, and we’re very fortunate to have the people that are here. Skill and experience are one thing. But when we have a fundraiser for the non-profits of our community, and our staff averages $100 per employee in voluntary donations from their own paychecks, that tells you a lot about the character of our people. I’m very proud to be just a small part of this great team.

I can only hope 2019 is as good as 2018. I hope it’s good for each of you, as well. I wish you all another year of health, prosperity, and happiness. And if any of you are looking to get me something for the holidays – just remember to leave some room in your Christmas budget for those with less than you and that will be all I need.

See you next year!