Making Insurance Fun
By Lorna Oppedisano | Photography by Mary Grace Johnson
Joe Convertino Jr., president of CH Insurance, will be the first to admit insurance isn’t always the most thrilling product to sell. But he’s on a mission to change that.
“We want to make insurance fun,” he said. “When it’s fun and [people] see you everywhere — whether it’s at an event, a billboard, social media, fundraiser, Little League ball game — that stress of the consumer comes down. And when that happens is when the magic begins in our world.”
Joe, a Camillus native, began his career at ADP after earning a degree from Nazareth College in Rochester. At ADP, he cut his teeth with sales marketing and management, gleaning principles that are still with him at CH Insurance today.
After his time with ADP, Joe joined his father, Joe Convertino Sr., in the insurance business. Then, in 1997, his father and business partner at the time created their own company, CH Insurance, as a spinoff from a larger company. When CH Insurance was founded, they employed 12 people.
In 2002, Joe become co-owner of the business. Since then, the fatherson duo has worked to grow the company to 32 employees, including the third generation of their family in the business, Joe’s daughter.
“It’s a proud accomplishment,” Joe said. “My dad started it and now we’re growing it together.”
Working with his father has never been a struggle, Joe said, adding he’s always been close with his parents.
Joe and his father have great synergy. Joe’s father is more of the technician and a better listener, while Joe focuses more on the sales piece of the operation and relationship building, Joe said.
“When you put those mixes together with the same drive, out comes success,” he said.
The only potential drawback to the family business is since the two are equally driven, it’s hard to keep business from coming up during family events, he explained.
“It’s in our DNA to talk about it,” he said.
About six years ago, Joe realized he wanted to make some transformations in the company. He began to ask himself, “What do we do to become better?”
He found one of the answers to that question to be branding. He worked with corporate coach Angela Moonan to bring more likability to insurance, focusing on social media and storytelling.
“I can honestly tell you, we are everywhere,” Joe said.
In 2017, the company also made the move from AXA Tower I to the Atrium, located in the heart of downtown Syracuse.
Being visible in the community means being active in the community for Joe and his team, too.
Along with partnering with organizations like Believe in Syracuse and CenterState CEO, Joe and CH Insurance are advocates for local nonprofits such as David’s Refuge, In My Father’s Kitchen, the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign and Joseph’s House for Women.
After meeting one of the Joseph’s House founders at the Cavalry Club, the organization’s mission of providing a safe environment for young mothers and their children hit home for Joe, a proud father of three young women.
Since then, Joe and his company have been active in fundraising for the nonprofit organization. Joe’s helped organize an annual golf fundraiser in Skaneateles, raising more than $100,000 since its inception four years ago.
Because of their dedication to giving back, CH Insurance employees have formed community committees to seek out organizations and nonprofits to partner with in the future. “If you look at our mission, vision and values, one of our statements is give back and volunteer to the communities we live and work in,” Joe said. “That’s No. 1.” SWM
CH Insurance is located at 100 S. Salina St. #370 in downtown Syracuse. For more information, visit chinsurance.cc.