Each month, we will have a blog featuring our employees and telling their story. This month we are happy to kick off this series with none other than the ‘Mayor of Middleboro’ herself, Debbie Hollis. Debbie received this moniker because she grew up in Middleboro, and as a result, seems to know everyone and everyone knows her. We’re not sure how she does it, but Debbie seems like she never forgets a face.
Debbie has been in the insurance industry for 37 years. She started at G.H. Dunn insurance and worked there for 6 years before they were bought out by Dick Anderson to form Anderson-Cushing Insurance Agency. At that point, Debbie decided to move to Leowise Insurance. One day, after 13 years, Debbie got a call from Anderson-Cushing saying they had an opening and were wondering if she wanted to come back. For those of you who have had the pleasure of meeting Debbie, this should come as no surprise even after all that time. Debbie has an infectious presence and you can’t help but love her. She is incredibly sweet, down-to-earth, and puts her whole heart into everything she touches. In fact, in 2008, she was voted ‘Employee of the Year’ by the Middleboro Chamber of Commerce. Now back at Anderson-Cushing, she had received a call from a distraught client whose house had just burned down. Debbie went and stayed with the client to comfort and console them until help arrived.
Debbie’s genuine caring spirit shines even brighter in contrast to the dark tragedy that has struck in her life many times. Debbie met her husband Bob when they were 8 years old and she grew up together with him and his sister. While they did drift apart for some time, there lives intertwined once again as soul-mates do. Debbie describes Bob as her best friend and it is evident when she speaks about him that he lights her life. Unfortunately, Bob became ill and passed away at only 51 years old. This affected her deeply but she says she also learned her greatest lesson that life is truly precious and that “life is too short—don’t worry about the small stuff.” Debbie will always pass on this message to others.
Again, this message strikes a chord with her because her son is also ill. Debbie says, despite it all, it is actually her son that shows her support and keeps her strong during this time. Her son has said to her, “I know you’re my mom but there are some things even you can’t fix, like this, and that’s ok.” As they say, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, her son’s character remains optimistic, and full of gratitude in face of the cards he’s been dealt.
Shortly after her husband passed, her friends convinced her to go on a trip to Bermuda to keep her life moving. This ended up being one of the best vacations she ever went on and she became smitten with Bermuda. In fact, she’s gone 3 times! One of her most memorable experiences in Bermuda was when she saw a Bollywood show. She loved the sensory experience of the colors, the costumes, and the music. At one point in the show, the cast even walked down into the crowd to sing and dance with the audience.
When she does have to return to the mainland, Debbie likes to spend her time at local thrift stores and consignment shops. She has quite the knack for bargain hunting. On any given day, you will spot Debbie head-to-toe in color coordinated fashions. Everything from accessories to shoes is an exact color match– she certainly has an eye for style. Her thrifty excursions have even rubbed off on her 12-year-old granddaughter that will ask, “Grandma, are we going to Sal Val?” (Salvation Army) or even quip, “I don’t know, I think they’re asking too much for that” at yard sales.
Debbie’s gentle nature, caring, and positive outlook are only some of the reasons we love having her as part of our FBinsure family. We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her better and we hope you did too! If you stop into our Taunton office, make sure to give her a “hello!”