Gloria Camp, owner of Main Source & Associates, describes how she got into the insurance industry as a “divine appointment” about 15 years ago.
Prior to joining the insurance industry, Camp had owned a call center for five years, as well as a restaurant, when one day she was asked to travel to Washington D.C. to lobby for the restaurant industry.
When she got to Washington, an Aflac manager approached her and introduced her to an agent from South Georgia who said she’d like to visit Camp in North Georgia about benefits for her employees at no cost.
Even though Camp says her call center was very successful, she said the Aflac agent and her manager hit it right off the bat when they met in North Georgia, so she sold her businesses and opened her insurance business.
“I wasn’t looking for more,”
Camp said. “I kind of dabbled for two years, sold my call center, opened my restaurant, decided I didn’t want to do it and opened my insurance business. That’s where the numbers were.”
Camp has now been a business owner for over 35 years and has been the owner of Main Source & Associates for 15 years. Prior to that, she served as an insurance agent and employee benefits broker for 24 years.
Main Source & Associates is located at 1170 Washington St., Clarkesville. They currently offer major medical, supplemental, telemedicine and life insurances, but Camp said one of her longterm goals is to expand their products and services.
“I would like to add more long-term care, more on the side of Medicare supplement,” she said. “We’ve touched based on that side for the past three years, but that side of the business is growing. It leads back my personal belief for us to be more consultative that consultative agency that people are not accustomed to.”
Camp said that whereas other insurance agencies will try to sell customers things even when they just come in for a question, her mission is to employ people on her team who can act as consultants, not salespeople. Their commitment to clients, she said, is what inspires her.
“They are committed to the service and the clients that we deal with,” Camp said. “I want someone who can sit down with you and figure out what your concerns are because your concerns are different than mine. Our clients are always at the forefront. If that means they have to walk away, so be it. That’s truly how we feel. Our goal is to put our clients first regardless.”
Camp’s team is made up of five other women, but she said having an all-women team with Type A personalities was purely coincidental.
“It’s difficult for men to function with us,” she said. “It’s not that they’re bossy, I’m the bossy one, but we’re very direct and that doesn’t always work for men.”
Camp has been living in Clarkesville off and on for 35 years, but was born and raised in Northeast Georgia. She said that as a woman, she just wanted to be in charge of her income in the sense that she didn’t want to work for about $10 an hour after getting a degree.
“Basically, I wanted to be my own boss,” Camp said. “It’s not so easy as a woman. I had worked for larger corporations, but for them, I talked too country or I didn’t have a college degree.”
But despite not having a college degree, she found her way into the insurance industry. Now Camp reads, and attends several classes and seminars a year to continue her education in the industry.
She also said that her mentors are people that she’s worked with throughout her career, such as Tom Giddens and Ron Kirkland, because they think alike.
“We’re visionaries,” Camp said. “We don’t think about what is in front of us today, we think about where we’re going to be in 20 years.”
Camp said Main Source & Associates expands its clients on an annual basis, but recently added four new accounts, which she expects to lead to 5,000 employees to their list of potential clients.
With that level of success, Camp said she makes about $3,000 worth of financial donations anonymously every year and likes to support local schools, sports and recreational activities.
She decides on what organizations to donate to and who to support based on conversations she has with her daughter, who acts as the vice president of the business.