Nov 08, 2023Career Story: Luzette Graves
Luzette Graves' journey through the healthcare and insurance industry is a testament to her passion for advocacy. Learn about her story.
As we wrap up another year (our 136th, to be exact!) at Morris & Garritano, we’re tying a bow on what we’ve accomplished as an agency before rounding the corner into the new year. As always, our agency is committed to living out our core values and unified mission of exceeding expectations through collaboration and integrity in our work. This is what aligns us and drives all that we do to best serve our clients and grow as a company.
Despite the challenges of the past year, we’ve learned to adapt and stretch ourselves not just to get by but to thrive and come out better on the other side. It takes a hardworking team to pull it off and we’re proud to say, at Morris & Garritano, we’ve got it!
We are proud to have received several honors and recognitions from our community and peers across the industry this year. The Santa Maria Chamber named us Large Business of the Year and the Pacific Coast Business Times recognized us as one of the 50 Fastest Growing Companies. Our company culture was celebrated by both the Pacific Coast Business Times and Insurance Journal as we were ranked number three in the Central Coast’s Best Places to Work list and named one of the Best Agencies to Work For in our industry. And for the 6th year in a row, we were named one of Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, Inc.’s Best Practice Agencies.
Our company culture and the family-friendliness of our workplace can be evidenced not just by the plaques on our walls but felt throughout our offices (those both in-house and remote!) and seen in the long-term retainment of so many of our valued team members. This year, we wished a happy retirement to three of our company veterans, Bev, Louise, and Shirley, who spent 22, 22, and 38 years respectively as a part of the Morris & Garritano family living out our purpose and values in their work each day. Their impacts and contributions will continue to inspire as our team grows! In 2021, we welcomed 28 new employees of which 11 filled entirely new positions within our company, furthering our ability to serve clients and communities across the region.
Amidst our growth, our agency is proudly and passionately committed to remaining a strong, independent agency. In that, we seek to continually be improving ourselves. The Morris & Garritano name is deepening its presence with exciting expansions into the communities neighboring our home and headquarters in San Luis Obispo. Beyond our growing relationships in Santa Barbara County, new faces and hubs can be spotted in Orange County, San Diego, and the Central Valley. We look forward to strengthening current connections and developing new relationships with the businesses and people in those regions, bringing the best of our service and professionalism.
As for our existing clients, we’ve proudly enhanced our communication and advocacy this year with continued webinars and digital resources; keeping those we serve updated with the ever-changing landscape of administration, compliance, and present conditions. We’re remaining at the forefront of the industry to proactively offer the best resources to our clients and serve as their best advocates in this continued time of turbulence and uncertainty.
Caring for our clients begins internally and much of our success in the past year is attributed to our adaptability to prioritize the wellbeing and safety of our team here at home. We have not shied away from the challenges brought on by the pandemic and have worked hard to find a solution that benefits our team and honors their needs during this time. We’ve permanently adopted a functional and successful hybrid model of work allowing employees to choose whether they work remote, in-office, or a bit of both.
This shift was significant as we were deliberate in ensuring that the changes made internally did not disrupt the service to our clients. Through our transition, we continued to meet the needs of those we serve in a way that made our clients feel comfortable and taken care of, while also protecting the needs of our own employees. For the folks within our office space, we’ve invested in upgraded quality air filters and purifiers, managed our space for appropriate distancing, and ensured all staff, home or away, has access to the technology needed to stay connected and productive while ensuring safety and wellbeing.
We discuss our success with workplace culture and employee engagement in several articles and webinars aimed at providing resources and pathways for our clients and other businesses looking to achieve the same.
Finally, at Morris & Garritano, we were thrilled to extend ourselves once again beyond our office into our community. We firmly believe in doing our part to better the area in which we live and work. Standing out among our numerous contributions and charity involvements this year is our work with the virtual Walk for Healing campaign for Hospice SLO, a volunteer hospice serving San Luis Obispo County residents who are facing a life-limiting illness, end of life, or grief. Our sponsorship of the event saw 45 of our own team members in participation logging over 4,000 miles walked together and over $3,000 raised! Our team also banded together for the 6th year in a row to raise awareness and funding for the Hearst Cancer Resource Center through their Share Hope campaign. We also once again provided gifts to the Big Brother Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo, an annual highlight of our year.
Our agency believes in the power of community and understands that commitment begins within our own walls. Since 1885 we’ve been serving our region and now, with a larger than ever employee base working connectedly across the entire state and nation, are expanding our reach while remaining the committed, independent agency we’ve always been.
We are dedicated to keeping at the forefront of the industry, facing onset challenges, understanding market trends, and leveraging new technology to best enable us in our mission.
Year over year, our team proves how capable we are to consistently offer trusted, superior service while keeping our clients well-informed and protected through ever-changing climates. We’re optimistic about our future and expanding ability to serve clients in new regions and continue our mission of offering exceptional advocacy and service.