NORTH CREEK Merriam Insurance Agencys Main Street office has introduced a new Office Manager, and an expanded commitment to its area clients. This week, Gretchen Kirby of Johnsburg, joined Merriams staff to assume a leading role in providing enhanced service to the region. Kirby holds an Associates Degree in Accounting from Adirondack Community College, and was employed by Grand Union as a customer service specialist. Founded in Schenectady in 1895, the agency opened a North Creek office in 2002. Led by current President, Brian Merriam, the agency provides a suite of insurance offerings to a diverse group of clients. I am very pleased that she has joined with us, Merriam says. We have been looking for some time for a local member of the community and are thrilled that someone with Gretchen's experience in customer service has made the commitment to manage the office. Noting Kirbys understanding of local needs tempered with a personal touch, Merriam looks forward to the positive impact this change will have throughout the North Creek community. In response to client feedback, and based on local needs, the office is taking this opportunity to expand its service hours as well. It has always been our desire to offer five days a week service, Merriam explains. And other than her training at our main office in Schenectady, Gretchen will be in attendance in the North Creek office or out visiting with our clients as the service needs warrant. North Creek is an area that used to be served by a prior insurance agency presence, Merriam says. Yet, as is often times the case, it was purchased by a larger insurance company and eventually a bank. This resulted in the agency being seen as not geographically central, and thereby a business decision was made to consolidate to the Glens Falls area. To me this represents an abandonment of the central reason why insurance agencies exist: to service the needs of the community they serve. Merriam also acknowledged the immense support it had received from local government, and businesses. He also confirmed his companys participation in a charter sponsorship program through the Gore Mountain Region Chamber of Commerce. They [the Gore Chamber] have appealed for more corporate sponsorship, Merriam adds. We have put our money where it was requested of us. In the future, we hope to do more as the community relies upon us further. Partnerships are a beautiful thing! 1 Photo Sent: Pic Merriam Cutline: New Merriam Insurance Office Manager, Gretchen Kirby, outside their Main Street location.