Williams celebrates 20 years of insurance agency


Edie Williams has had her insurance agency for 20 years, and although it has changed locations along the way, she continues to approach each day with the same mindset she did when she started her journey as a businesswoman decades ago.

She grew up in Illinois and was going to college working on her MBA as a graduate student when a professor took her and a group of students to the State Farm corporate office.

“I met some executives that day and eventually interned with them,” Williams said.

She wound up getting a job as a financial analyst and worked a lot with vendors behind the scenes.

“I had really nothing to do with the insurance, but I knew I loved it and I wanted to be even more involved,” she chuckled. “They asked me to help start an after-hours service, which was one of the first 24-hour customer service operations.”

It was that which brought her to Northeast Florida, where she came to help start a service in Jacksonville.

“I thought it was a temporary move, but I fell in love with the area, and had three kids at the time and it seemed like a great place to raise a family,” Williams said.

So, she decided to apply to get schooled to be an agent and became a entrepreneur by starting her own State Farm agency.

According to Williams, having worked with the company, she knew that their values and her values matched perfectly.

“I started in pre-med in college because I always wanted to help people,” Williams said. “I’m still doing that but I’m just doing it in a different way but a way that still truly connects with people.”

Florida presents some unique challenges from an insurance standpoint, and she has learned that it is the relationships and will of the people that make it the great and resilient state that it is.

“We’ve weathered a lot of storms in Florida, both literally and figuratively,” Williams said. “No matter what, I’ve learned that there’s always a way you can help people to get through these big life events when they come about. These are big decisions in people’s lives and as an insurance agent you get to be there to help them along the ride.”

One of the things she prides herself most in with her business is the staff that she has assembled over the years and how crucial the quality of the staff is to the ability and effectiveness of a business.

“I could not have built the dream I had without their help,” Williams said. “As a CEO you can feel lonely at times, it truly takes a team to make all the difference.”

For 18 of the 20 years, she had her office in the Riverside area of Jacksonville but decided to move closer to where she lived and moved her location to Ponte Vedra Beach off State Road A1A a couple of years ago.

Although it was tough to leave the familiarity she had developed in Riverside she is also a mom of five children now and finding the balance was something she has always strived for.

“Business and family have really been aligned since the move, and that is something very important to me,” Williams said.