Tom Monaghan, CIC, AINS, CISR I came to Montana in early 2001, and have never looked back. Having an extensive business background in the Detroit area, I know good customer service. I spent my formative years outside Detroit, and opened my first business at the age of 18. I worked my way through college, and later partnered in a manufacturing business, making automotive parts for the Big Three.
Owner at Summit Insurance Agency
In early 2001, I knew I needed a change, so I packed the family up, and headed west. I landed in Seeley Lake to find a different, more relaxed way of life. I moved my wife and three beautiful daughters in, and entered the insurance profession.
I spent five years with a captive insurance carrier, only having one company’s policies to offer. After an impressive run, the company offered me a management position training other insurance agents. I took the job, sold the agency, and began training. This was the best of times, and this was the worst of times.
It was the best of times because it gave me a unique insight into how rate is determined, how companies perform in loss situations, and just who can become an insurance agent. It was the worst of times because I learned first-hand just how many agents out there do not really know why we do what we do. After a long 17 months, we parted ways.
I centered on having choice in product, company, and pricing. As a client of insurance myself, I have the ultimate choice in not only who I pay, but what coverage I accept. Knowing the benefit of choice, I opened Summit Insurance Agency, Inc., with the sole intention of giving my clients the best choices of the companies, products, and benefits available on the market.
I am a lucky man. I have a successful business that centers on the premise of family. At Summit, we believe so deeply in family values, if we won’t do something for our own family, then we won’t do it for yours. I’m also a lucky man because I am able to balance the hectic world of agency ownership with my family. I have a wonderful and understanding wife, and my three girls think I’m an insurance hero. I am truly blessed.
I do enjoy the occasional round of golf. If you have a decent handicap, let’s make a wager. If you have a high handicap, don’t worry – I’ll let you have a hole or two. I also am an avid hockey player on multiple leagues at Glacier Ice Rink in Missoula. I support our local communities in which we live and work. I offer time as a Lions Club member, Junior Golf coach, and organize the local Seeley Lake Pond Hockey Tournament. For me, this business has given me the ability to give back to others, and I thank each client for allowing me to serve them.
Becky Monaghan, CLCS, CISR I came to Montana in early 2001 – with Tom! Yes it’s true – you can marry your college sweetheart.
Owner at Summit Insurance Agency
What Tom won’t tell you is that I entered the insurance industry before him. I began working for a captive district manager in 2001 as an office manager. This was an interesting ‘back window’ view into the insurance industry. Some would call it an excellent perspective.
Over the years there, I was able to learn about the administrative side of the business. My dealings were primarily with the company directly and different agents. I did not have many direct dealings with clients during this time.
That said, when Tom and I decided to open Summit Insurance Agency, Inc., I knew I wanted to deal with people. Over the years I have been in and out of the office. It’s true, it’s tough working with your spouse – but it’s worth it.
We are able to truly help a lot of people with their insurance. We are able to spend time with our wonderful girls. And, we are lucky enough to operate a good business in a great town.
Lori Thomas I grew up in Pennsylvania in a close knit family and worked for the same company for 19 years in a clerical & administrative capacity.
Office Manager / CSR at Summit Insurance Agency
In 2006, my husband & I decided we need to make some changes and moved our family from Pennsylvania for a better way of life. My family loves to hunt, fish & go camping. What better place to be than Montana? Our move to Seeley Lake has afforded us the best of both worlds, more time to spend with family and great place to live!
Tom has been our agent since we moved to Montana and insured both our home & vehicles. He has helped us with choosing the best coverage for us as well as affordable coverage.
When we first moved to Seeley Lake, I was a stay at home Mom to my two beautiful children. As they got older, I got back into the working world. An opportunity opened up at Summit and I jumped at the chance.
In addition, I volunteer as a 4H leader. It has been a rewarding experience to spend time with these kids and teach them about animals & their care.
Sarah Hargrave Having grown up in California having family in Montana, I always knew I wanted to raise my family here. Since moving to Missoula, my husband Ronnie and I have been blessed with a beautiful little girl. Thankfully I was able to stay home with her during the formative years. When it was time to reenter the workforce, I was faced with the decision of returning to the dental field I worked in while in California or simply try something new. This newness appealed to me so I went through the process of obtaining my Property & Casualty licenses. Without corporate backing, I took the appropriate classes and passed all licensing exams. The job hunt was on!
Customer Service Rep at Summit Insurance Agency
I knew I wanted to work with an independent insurance agency. While I spent much time looking around the Missoula area, one day I found myself walking into Summit Insurance Agency, Inc. I met with Becky and we hit it off. A week later I met with the owner, Tom, and was offered a job on the spot. I started with Summit at the first of the year. Since then, I have learned I have a passion for the insurance industry. I truly enjoy helping people and finding the best insurance for their needs. I am really happy I decided to walk into Summit Insurance that Wednesday afternoon!
In my free time, we love to spend weekends on Flathead lake, take longs drives and just be with family in God’s Country!