While there are many ways to help people, making sure that people are insured may not be the first method that comes to mind. Pam Ridings believes that ensuring people are protecting themselves and their livelihood is her calling.
“I feel that I have a gift to talk with people and make them feel comfortable and appreciated. It gives me a platform to help them,” Ridings said. “A simple car accident can change someone’s life forever if they’re not properly covered.”
Ridings has worked for State Farm for nearly 29 years. She said that her father-in-law, who was a State Farm agent, inspired her to get involved with the company. She remembered that he was approachable and seemed to have the right answers for people throughout his career.
She attended Indiana Wesleyan University and majored in business. Her husband attended Purdue University. The couple met and began dating while attending Wawasee High School.
Her husband got involved in the Navy and she followed him to Jacksonville, Florida where she began her career with State Farm. She worked for the corporate office in Jacksonville for 22 years before deciding to move back to Indiana and establish her own agency.
“In August of 2014, I opened my agency, and the process took about a year. I always dreamed of being a small business owner.” Ridings said. “With State Farm, they want a certain type of person to represent them. You’re selected and then you go through their training.”
Ridings took over for a retiring agent in Lafayette. Under Ridings’ leadership, the agency moved to downtown Hobart and hired three full-time employees.
During her time with State Farm, she has seen how everyday risks can be devastating for people if they do not plan ahead to protect themselves. Ridings said people are often unaware of their options and are left to figure things out on their own. She feels she has a responsibility to inform consumers and enable them to choose the insurance option that best fit their needs and lifestyles.
“I get to help people uncover things that they don’t really realize need protection. It’s more about educating the public about risks versus needing insurance by law to drive a vehicle or to have a mortgage,” she said.
Ridings loves nothing more than helping people and knows how much life insurance can improve the lives of others.
“My passion is life insurance. I love having a storefront where people feel comfortable and safe to come in, ask questions, and have a cup of coffee while they talk about their life,” Ridings said.
She has been able to serve her community through her business in a variety of ways. She has donned the Good Neigh Bear costume, read at daycares, painted walls with Habitat for Humanity, and worked with The American Red Cross.
State Farm is a supporter of The American Red Cross which led her to become a board member of the organization. Through that position, she has been able to serve people in additional ways, such as providing relief at hurricane catastrophe sites.
Her favorite memory working at State Farm was the day she opened her own agency.
Ridings said part of what attracts her to State Farm is that their mission aligns with her personal philosophy: If you see a need, fill it. If you can’t, try to find someone who can. She also praised the company for its response to the COVID-19 crisis. State Farm gave every agent $500 to put back into the community during the pandemic.
Career and volunteer work aside, Ridings enjoys crafting, traveling, riding motorcycles, and doing CrossFit with her husband. However, she spends most of her time on her career because she is passionate and proud of her work.
“I’m one of six and the first child to graduate college. I’m proud of what I’ve shown my children through being a female business owner and working so hard,” Ridings said.