Giving back to the community is a family tradition for the owner of Glenn Insurance in Absecon.
The CEO Thomas L. Glenn III, known by most as Tim, is the 19th winner of the Bailey Award, which The Press of Atlantic City presents annually to honor a community-minded business in the spirit of Jimmy Stewart’s character George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the enduring holiday classic about a businessman who gets a glimpse of a Bedford Falls without him.
Glenn Insurance is this year’s winner, chosen from among 47 people nominated from 33 businesses.
This year's winner was chosen in a vote by the past five winners: Kline Construction Co., Mays Landing Golf and Country Club, Formica Bros. Bakery, Greate Bay Country Club and Gillian's Wonderland Pier.
Winning the award “is a big deal,” Glenn said. “We are extremely humbled to be in the group (of past winners). This is not taken lightly.”
Giving back to the community is a lesson he learned from his family, he said. The family’s business has been in Atlantic County for more than 100 years. His grandfather had been involved with the Board of Education for Atlantic City’s public schools and set an example of being heavily involved in local charities.
The tradition of being involved in various organizations and donating to local charities has been passed down through generations.
The business depends on the local community. As a result, the recipe for a good small business is to reinvest in the same community, Glenn said.
The idea is to distribute it as evenly as possible, rather than “sticking it right back in your pocket.”
While it’s not a requirement for the CEO of a company, Glenn believes the only way to make a community better is to be a part of it.
When attending the South Jersey Field of Dreams event, which brings baseball to handicapped children, Glenn said, he makes sure to bring his kids along to impart the same values he was brought up with.
“I cry (when I attend the event), because it’s incredible just to see these kids who can’t even hold a bat play baseball,” he said. “Sometimes I get goose bumps.”
Learning about how different other people’s lives are through exposure to different events is what Glenn hopes to impart to his own children, who he said will one day be sitting on the board of the company as he does.
“Don’t let your ego get in the way. Glenn Insurance is bigger than all of us. It is like an extended family,” Glenn said. That is the advice his father gave him.
When the economy took a bad turn in 2008, Glenn cut from his own paycheck to help keep the business going, he said.
The efforts of the staff are not overlooked either, Glenn said.
“We have a great staff,” said Richard Petry, the company’s COO. “As long as I’ve been around, for 28 years, they have always talked about and demonstrated (giving back to the community).”
In fact, one way the organization pooled to donate to various charities was a “casual Friday” fundraiser.
Employees donated $5 for the privilege of wearing jeans on Fridays. The money collected each month was donated to different charities — totaling 12 recipients of a combined $5,000 in one year.
“I have incredible employees to boost me, and we boost each other,” Glenn said.
Past Bailey Award recipients:
1996: Ocean City Home Bank
1997: AC Coin & Slot
1998: AtlantiCare Foundation
1999: Ole Hanson & Sons
2000: Roy Goldberg
2001: South Jersey Industries
2003: Seaview Marriott
2004: Viking Yacht
2005: Crest Savings Bank
2006: Cooper Levenson Law Offices
2007: Kindle Autoplaza
2008: Gillian’s Wonderland Pier
2009: Greate Bay Country Club
2010: Formica Bros. Bakery
2011: Mays Landing Golf and Country Club
2012: Kline Construction Co.
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