State Farm agency a return to roots for Gig Harbor agent

For Peninsula High graduate Kent Cashman, move to open office April 1 is special

Staff writerApril 2, 2014 

Kent Cashman, right, along with agents Colby Robinson and Justin Kano-Mannaz, opened a State Farm Insurance agency on April 1.

KAREN MILLER/GATEWAY PHOTO

When Kent Cashman saw the opportunity to be a State Farm Insurance agent in Gig Harbor, he knew it was an opportunity he needed to seize.

Cashman opened his office on Tuesday at 6745 Kimball Drive. He is a third-generation State Farm agent who grew up in Gig Harbor. He and his wife, Layne, both graduated from Peninsula High School and the University of Washington, and he said he’s excited to be back in his hometown.

Cashman said his approach to insurance is “client-first” and “full-service.” While State Farm’s traditional role has been home and auto insurance, Cashman’s agency offers life insurance, financial planning and retirement services.

State Farm also has banking services. Cashman spent the past several years working for Russell Investments and has experience with financial planning.

“I can help all different types of people,” he said. “And Gig Harbor is made up of all different types of people.”

A picture in Cashman’s office shows his grandfather, Jim Cashman, standing with a State Farm company car in Santa Barbara, Calif. His father works as an agent in Mercer Island, his wife works for State Farm in Dupont, and his aunt is an agent in San Francisco.

“State Farm definitely runs in my family,” Cashman said.

Family also motivated Cashman to move back to Gig Harbor. After the birth of his son, Cashman said he wanted a job where he could see 13-month-old Ethan grow up.

“(Ethan) was the reason that changed everything for me,” Cashman said.

Kevin Brooks, a State Farm agent located across from the Tides Tavern in downtown Gig Harbor, recently retired, and that opened up a slot for a new agent.

Cashman grabbed the opportunity. He’s been getting in contact with inherited clients and announcing his arrival. One client has been with State Farm for 70 years, Cashman said.

The key to the agency is not forcing sales on clients, he said. Cashman stresses he wants sales to stem from conversations.

With so many options for insurance, thanks to the Internet, Cashman puts an emphasis on person-to-person relationships. He said he wants to help clients get what they need.

“We have a needs-based sales approach,” he said. “So, if you don’t need it, we’re not going to recommend.”

Cashman has hired a team at the agency. He has Colby Robinson and Justin Kano-Mannaz on board, and there are still some positions to fill.

Now that he’s in the community, Cashman said he wants to give back. He’s reached out to both Peninsula and Gig Harbor high schools, and he’s also joined the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce.

Cashman can be reached at his office, at 253-851-5116 or by email at kent@kentcashman.com.

Karen Miller: 253-358-4155 karen.miller @gateline.com Twitter: @gateway_karen

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