Continuing a legacy

By Nicholas Kolb – SUNY Brockport

GREECE, N.Y. – Being in business for 59 years is rare. Finding someone who is willing to take on a business and continue its legacy is even rarer.

Larry Compson was a successful insurance salesperson working for the Prudential Insurance Company and wanted to branch off and start his own independent insurance company. In 1962 he founded Lawrence Associates Insurance Agency in Greece. 

Lawrence Associates is an independent family owned business that works with 20 different insurance companies that offer a wide variety of coverage options and price points to better serve customers in the Rochester community. 

Lawrence Associates office building located in Greece. Taken by Nicholas Kolb.

Lawrence Associates had experienced great growth and in the 1980s Compson had his daughter Kimberly Compson join the business as the second generation.

“My father asked if I would be willing to join him, at the time I had a great career in the medical field but my father needed my help and I decided to join him and I am so glad I did,” said Compson

Larry and Kimberly worked side by side growing the business during the next thirty years. 

“Like any business there were challenges, we sure had our share of them. What made it so special was being able to work alongside my father every single day. He was my best friend and I looked up to him as my mentor,” said Compson. 

Photo of Larry Compson. Provided by Lawrence Associates.

Larry was a 1954 graduate of Charlotte High School and a member of the City-Catholic Wrestling Association hall of fame for all his athletic accomplishments.

In addition, he was a military veteran. 

Larry passed away last year peacefully at home on February 22, 2020 he was 84. 

After 58 years Lawrence Associates was looking for the right person to carry on Larry’s legacy into another generation and that person is Jeremy Nau. 

“The minute I met with Jeremy, I knew my father would have loved him. He carries my fathers attributes for truly caring for and helping people,” said Compson. 

Nau, a Rochester native is the sales manager at Lawrence Associates and is the succession plan for taking over Lawrence Associates once Kimberly retires. 

Nau is no stranger to sales but is new to the insurance industry. Nau moved back to Rochester to take on this position previously working in the radio and digital media advertising industry in North Carolina and Texas before coming back to New York. 

“Changing industries was hard for me at first. Insurance has a lot of rules, regulations and coverages that I had to learn. I had to attend a class and get licensed with the state,” Nau said. 

In New York State a person seeking their property and casualty insurance license has to take a 90 hour pre-licensing course and then take and pass an exam.

Jeremy Nau working at his desk. Taken by Nicholas Kolb.

“It is very important for me to continue the legacy that Larry has built, I have never met him but what I have heard from some of our life long clients is that he was a very well respected person locally in this industry. I strive to keep that legacy alive here at the office,” Nau said. 

Over the past year, Nau has been focusing on new growth for the agency, attracting new younger clients.

One of those clients is Jessica Miller.

“Jeremy was able to get me a significantly lower rate on my auto insurance than my previous provider.  With my busy schedule, they were extremely professional and I will no doubt continue to be a client of his,” Miller said.

The lobby of Lawrence Associates office building in Greece. Taken by Nicholas Kolb

Moving forward Nau has big marketing plans for the agency.

“I plan on starting a podcast and a YouTube channel to share my knowledge of the insurance industry and help people by answering questions and topics that are insurance related,” Nau said.

Compson is optimistic about the future for the agency.

“Once our succession plan is complete within the next few years. I am excited to see how he (Nau) continues my fathers legacy. Lawrence Associates will be left in great hands,” Compson said.



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