Marietta Main Street’s Downtown Mini Golf event returns for its third year on Saturday, June 22nd. This special one-day event features 18 unique putting greens created by local businesses and organizations throughout downtown Marietta from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Earlier this month, our friends over at Schwendeman Agency, Inc. gave us an insight on their success of providing quality service to their Mid-Ohio Valley clients for 90 years!
What has contributed to your three generations of operating Schwendeman Agency and the 90 years of success?
The common thread has always been that we work for our clients. We have embraced the changes in the insurance markets by investing in tools and employees to support our clients. We have expanded the agency over the years and are a full-service agency with 30 employees including group employee benefits, commercial lines, personal lines, individual insurance products including life insurance and health insurance, and retirement/financial planning services including 401(k) plans. The Agency has been extremely fortunate to have excellent people working with us throughout our 90-year history.
Family is such an important value, how has the family history and the business evolved over the years?
The agency was founded by our grandparents, who opened the agency in their General Store in downtown Marietta in 1929. Our grandfather was the 20th agent hired by Motorists Mutual Insurance Company and the Schwendeman family is the longest contracted family agency with that company.
The agency then moved to Lowell, OH and was run out of our home by our father. In the early 1950’s, the agency moved back to downtown Marietta and was located in the old Dime Bank building. In 1988, the Agency moved to 103 Putnam Street and when the Agency outgrew that location, a second location was opened at 311 Putnam Street. Operations continued in two locations until the current home office was purchased in 2003.
We had opportunities to move to a couple of larger facilities outside of Marietta, but we wanted to remain in town. We feel that decision to remain in town has been extremely beneficial for our firm. We have since also added locations in Parkersburg, WV and St. Clairsville, Ohio.
Along the way, our mother was employed by the agency, as well as our sister, Marcia, and brother, Mike, who was an owner for many years. Mike joined the agency in 1971, Mark joined the agency in 1980, and Larry joined in 1989. Jack Sigafoos became a part owner of the agency and the name changed to Schwendeman-Sigafoos Agency Inc. After Jack left the agency, the name became the Schwendeman Agency Inc. and has been so since 2000.
Who is currently the owners of Schwendeman Agency, and how has the agency expanded beyond the Mid-Ohio Valley area?
Mark and Larry Schwendeman are brothers and the current owners. They have continued the tradition, which brings us to the 90-year celebration.
The Agency works locally and has expanded to multiple states through the client relationships established. The Agency became a partner in United Benefits Advisors (UBA) in 2003. UBA is the sixth largest group health insurance and employee benefits brokerage in the county. The UBA relationship has been instrumental in the growth of the Schwendeman Agency and assists us in offering Fortune 500 solutions to our clients, with the service of a family owned business.
What can we expect at your ribbon cutting on Today, May 30th?
We are fortunate to celebrate 90 years and to be part of this community. We appreciate all of the clients and individuals that we work with and have been with us for many years. We are going to have a ribbon cutting and cake as a celebration to commemorate the event. We look forward to seeing local dignitaries and clients at the ribbon cutting.
More than 1,000 community members voice their aspirations for the future of Downtown Marietta.
Last fall, the City of Marietta initiated a process to create a Downtown Revitalization Plan. The plan, Enrich Marietta, is intended to be a results-driven, inclusive process that results in a strategic vision and guide that outlines future public and private improvements.
Public engagement is an important component in the planning process. It ensures the Plan is rooted in the values and aspirations of the community. Marietta community members were invited to share their individual thoughts and help shape a collective vision for the future of the Downtown. In total, over 1,000 people were engaged through meetings, community events, and online activities. The engagement included digital advertisements on the project website, the City website, and social media accounts and in-person messages with paper flyers and at city events.
The community had many opportunities to participate in the first round of engagement. Engagement events were held at the Marietta College’s Winter Weekend, multiple venues at First Friday in March, and there were two community meetings held in the Harmar neighborhood. Attendees of the events were presented information about the planning process and invited to participate in mapping and board activities. Additionally, a community survey was available online and at the public meetings, which included questions about the current conditions of Downtown Marietta and preferences on future growth and development in the area.
The feedback gathered during the public engagement process is summarized as follows:
Residents and visitors place a high priority on downtown revitalization.
People value the riverfront and want it to be enhanced to improve access and enjoyment.
The public enjoys existing programming downtown but would like to see additional events and activities.
General upkeep of roadways and building maintenance should be improved.
Additional restaurants and shopping downtown, including availability outside of normal business hours, is desired.
There is an interest in living downtown across all housing options.
There is a desire for more informal gathering areas for seating and outdoor dining. This could be in both public and private areas.
Increasing connectivity across all modes of travel is important.
Downtown is the cultural hub of the arts and historical assets.
Harmar and Harmar Bridge are priority areas for reinvestment.
This input will be instrumental in shaping the outcomes of the Plan. It will identify what topics are most important to the community and inform the recommendations regarding projects, programs, and policies. Currently, the planning team is utilizing what was learned from the public input to develop the draft Plan, which will be shared with the public for additional comment this summer.
For a complete summary of the results, click here!