Strength in family
Tiffany Neely Farmers Insurance Agency’s slogan reads, “Putting your family first in all we do!”.
For Tiffany Neely, that couldn’t be more accurate.
Having a child at the age of 16, and graduating high school early followed by an abusive relationship set Tiffany on a path that would allow her to help those dealing with an emergency.
“Being in an abusive relationship in my past, I had seen a lot of home emergency situations,” Tiffany said. “Those who are going through a home emergency, I know how they are feeling at the time. The reason why I love insurance is it allows me to help and love people.”
Tiffany started the Tiffany Neely Farmers Insurance Agency in 2018 with her cousin Josh Rylander. They were joined by Tiffany’s brother Joey Neely shortly after they started. On Dec. 31, 2018, they signed the lease to their new office, located at 807 E. A Street Suite 101 in Jenks.
It took several months of construction to get the new office ready for business, but the doors to the new location opened April 1 of this year.
“I couldn’t believe it when I walked into the finished office,” Tiffany said. “I still can’t believe it. It was a humbling experience. It reminds me every day that God reigns in His glory. It is all about family here. I did not envision the success we have had to start out, I definitely see it becoming generational in our family.”
When the doors opened April 1, they added another member to their crew, Brooke Daugherty, who all three say has become a family member herself.
“When Tiffany first called me to talk about a job, I told her how crazy it would be to change jobs in the third trimester of my pregnancy,” Daugherty said. “In addition, I would be the only outsider that isn’t related at a new agency. Being in the insurance game for seven years, I knew better. But I took the job any way. They all welcomed me with open arms and I instantly knew these were my people. It has been the biggest blessing to not only my career, but more importantly, to my family.”
Joey echoed Daugherty’s comments.
“It really is pretty cool working with family,” Joey said. “The way we can communicate sets us apart. At the end of the day, we all know where our hearts are and that’s to give the people that we serve in this community the best possible service and coverage they need from us. It definitely makes communicating a lot easier and makes working together a lot easier.”
Rylander said their family is unique, which has allowed for the success.
“Our family works well together,” Rylander said. “We have always lived in the same town and have always come together when there is an issue. That dynamic has definitely helped us in starting this business. It has been a fun process and it is going really well.”
The insurance industry wasn’t always what Tiffany wanted to do. While in nursing school and working at Ron’s Hamburgers & Chili in Jenks, she received an offer to go to Scottsdale, Arizona for a medical sales internship in the summer of 2013, so she packed up herself and her son and headed west to the desert.
Following the summer internship, she was offered a full-time position with the company she had just interned with and she accepted.
Tiffany’s mother, Ann Neely and her cousin Josh loaded up a car and took Tiffany the rest of her stuff to help her get settled into her new home.
Tiffany worked in Scottsdale for a year and after her son became homesick for Oklahoma, she asked her bosses if she could work from home back in Tulsa. She said she was surprised when they agreed, and she headed back to her hometown.
“My purpose in life is helping people heal from broken hearts and I feel like I can do that through this. Nobody has to be a victim of their circumstance.”Tiffany Neely
Tiffany worked for the same company for four more years before deciding it was time to pursue another career, so she put her resume on Indeed.com and was noticed by Steve DeSpain, who is a Farmers Insurance Agent in the Tulsa area.
DeSpain told Tiffany she needed to become an insurance agent.
“I said no way because I didn’t know anything about insurance,” Tiffany said. “Steve just said you need to learn from my boss.”
DeSpain’s boss is Farmers Insurance Tulsa District Manager Kirk Fryer, and Tiffany immediately went to work for Fryer, where she learned the insurance game.
Once Tiffany decided it was time to start her own agency, she sold insurance out of Fryer’s office and out of her home office, which was about 100 square feet, sometimes 16 hours a day building what is now one of the most powerful insurance agencies in the Tulsa area.
Getting the opportunity to do what she loves and to help people in her hometown and have an office in the town and near the high school where she graduated makes it even more special, she said.
“At the end of the day, it’s because I’ve been in a lot of emergency situations in my life because of the abusive relationship I was in, I know how my clients feel when they call me, and they are having an emergency. I want to be there for them. It is a personal touch for me. My purpose in life is helping people heal from broken hearts and I feel like I can do that through this. Nobody has to be a victim of their circumstance. We are all responsible for our own actions. Being in Jenks is so special. My son goes to Jenks schools. Every day, your whole life, you’re doing things for your future that you don’t even realize are significant. This is my purpose.”