LOMBARD – Bob Goldin is the proud owner of the Villa Park Chamber of Commerce 2014 Business of the Year.
That’s especially impressive since he’s not even located in Villa Park.
He is very close, however. Goldin’s State Farm insurance office on St. Charles Road in Lombard is just a few hundred yards from the Lombard-Villa Park border.
A longtime member of both the Villa Park and Lombard chambers, Goldin said the honor recognized his commitment to supporting the community through a long list of organizations, including the American Cancer Society, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Lions Club.
Goldin recently spoke with Suburban Life editor David Good about his award-winning business, which celebrated its 45th anniversary on Wednesday. The U.S. Army veteran also reflected on the deadly shootings in recent years at Fort Hood, Texas, where he was stationed during his service.
Good: Describe your favorite part about the job.
Goldin: Dealing with my clients, helping them to solve problems and provide protection for their families.
Good: What does the Villa Park Chamber Business of the Year honor mean to you?
Goldin: To be picked out of all the members they have – the irony of is I’m not in Villa Park. I’ve been a member of the Villa Park Chamber for 20-some years and I’ve been a member of the Lombard Chamber for 40-plus years. It was a great honor when they announced it. I was flabbergasted – I never would have expected that.
Good: Why were you chosen?
Goldin: They told me because I’m so supportive of the different organizations. We try to support everything – Boys Scouts, Girls Scouts, Miracle for Mia, which is primarily a Villa Park organization. We try to support as many local organizations as we can because it helps make the area a good place to live in and work in.
Good: Obviously you have a connection to Fort Hood because you were stationed there. What impact have the recent events had on you?
Goldin: It really hurts to know that that type of stuff can go on stemming from military people. It just wasn’t that way when I was in the service.
Good: What do you do when you’re not selling insurance? Any hobbies?
Goldin: I play a little golf.
Good: Are you any good?
Goldin: In my mind? [laughs] No, I’m a duffer. I just enjoy getting out with the fresh air and friends and spending some time out there.
Good: What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the industry in 45 years as a State Farm agent?
Goldin: Computers. Companies are allowing computers to take over a lot of the decision-making. It’s sort of being taken out of human hands. … A computer decides, yes, this is a good client based on their record and also what their rate is going to be.
Good: What’s been the key to your success?
Goldin: We care. We make that very evident in dealing with our clients. … We want them to know they’re not a number and that they’re individuals and we respect them for that. With so many businesses today, it seems like people are treated like a number rather than as an individual, as a person.