For Jennifer Ezman-Krzan, owner of Pioneer City Insurance, "life happens" is more than just a motto on her business cards.
"As I found out myself in many different ways, life does happen, and that's why I want to help people be as prepared as they can be for whatever comes," she explained.
When Jenn's husband passed away last year, leaving her with two teenage boys to care for on her own, she felt the one area where she had some security was her job. She had been working for several years as the Nationwide Insurance agent and office manager for Paul Meagher of Honesdale, at his satellite location here in town.
However, in June of this year that office was suddenly closed and her job was lost.
"It came as a complete shock to me," she recounted. "I immediately went into survival mode."
Jenn started on a job search, but she kept hearing from clients of her Carbondale office and they all told her the same thing.
"They kept asking me where I was going and saying they would follow me there as insurance customers," she related, "so it wasn't just the lines or products I offered that kept them loyal, it was me. They really appreciated the personal service and the relationships I had formed with them, and that was very gratifying to me."
With such strong support from the client base, Jenn decided to start her own insurance company and to open it in the same office, at 41 South Main Street, which had just closed a few months earlier.
"The closing of that office left such a hole and it meant a lot to be able to start it back up," she offered. "I felt it was something I needed to do for myself, my kids and for all the customers who put so much trust into me."
She is now a certified agent with SIAA, which allows her to operate without any restrictions and have access to an impressive slate of top-flight companies, such as Met Life, Travelers, The Hartford, Liberty Mutual, and many more. She has also separately been appointed to handle life and financial services with Ron Mead and Tony Curtis at Mass Mutual.
On Oct. 19, Jenn held the grand opening celebration of Pioneer City Insurance, which was a big day for her and both of her boys — Justin, 19, who attends Johnson College, and Jesse, 16, who attends Holy Cross, both of whom she'd eventually like to see join the business.
Since that day, she said she's been working to get the word out.
"Right now, I'm just trying to let people know it's me, I'm back, the local girl who was already helping them before has returned," she noted.
Page 2 of 2 - She carries all lines of insurance, such as auto, home, life, commercial, boats, RVs, motorcycles, financial services and events.
"My goal when someone walks through the door is to determine what that person has, who they are, and what they need," she explained, "because a lot of times people don't know how exposed they are."
"Life happens, and you have to be ready for it," she related.
Pioneer City Insurance is open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and evening and Saturday appointments are available as well.
For more information, call Jenn at 282-2801.