Congratulations to The Rutherfoord Companies Roanoke, Virginia: 2004 Marketing Agency of the Year
The Rutherfoord Companies, which grew from $7.3 million in revenues in 1994 to $31.3 million in 2003, is the 2004 Rough Notes Agency of the Year. Rutherfoord has 225 employees and operates two offices in Virginia, two in North Carolina and one each in Atlanta and Philadelphia. Agents representing Rough Notes Agencies of the Month from the years prior to 2004 selected Rutherfoord from among last year's featured cover agencies.
The groundwork for Rutherfoord's growth was set during the 1980s when a series of setbacks forced the agency's management to rethink its business strategy. Railroad-related business, which had served as its foundation for some 60 years, disappeared when the railroads formed their own captive. At the same time the agency's construction contractor business was hurt by high interest rates.
Rutherfoord responded with a new focus on risk control-an initiative which today has grown into a subsidiary company with 17 claims professionals and 8 risk control specialists, and the management of a Bermuda-based captive. The agency also invested heavily in all its employees-establishing an ESOP. Since the ESOP was formed in 1994, its share price has grown from $355.60 to $1,426.08 in 2003. Management also responds to all employee suggestions, and pays for trips to reward support personnel.
Among the agency's creative projects are insuring companies operating in Iraq, and providing voluntary benefits for the United Nations in a joint venture with a French insurance agency.
The Rutherfoord Companies will be honored at the Agency of the Year award dinner in March, and will be featured in another Rough Notes article.