By KAROLYN GEPHART
The new year 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Daugird State Farm Insurance agency in Friendswood. A celebration for policy owners and staff has been planned for Jan. 15 to honor a half century of hard work and long-time friendships.
Dick and Horacene Daugird married at 19 and when his son was born he knew it was time to get to work longterm. His dad had been in the Air Force and when he retired from it, he asked his son Dick to join him and work for State Farm Insurance.
His dad soon decided it wasn’t for him. But it was just what son Dick wanted and needed with a young family to support. He soon began to work seven days a week and completed a two year stint as a trainee before getting to take control as an agent.
His first State Farm office was located in Houston by Gulfgate Mall. It moved across the freeway and then moved down south to Friendswood on FM 2351. Friendswood was the right place to raise two sons and a daughter so they moved into their home on Shadow Bend.
“With a dirt road and no way to access Sunset from it, my wife thought I was crazy to pick that spot but look at it today. There’s a McDonald’s just down the street,” Daugird said.
He decided to build on some land he owned on FM 528 and selected a lighthouse shape to form the new office. That lighthouse has become not only a beacon for insurance but also one for assistance and care.
“I’ve always liked lighthouses so I picked that for the building. The Muscular Dystrophy Association approached me to help them with a fundraiser on their Labor Day Telethon. City Council members attended and thought the whole thing was a great idea for Friendswood. Channel 2 did a live remote and we were on the map.”
It was that fundraiser that kept growing.
“We wanted to help others but we couldn’t charge Little League, churches, schools so we became a non-profit organization and volunteers started coming. Over the years we have had such great individuals and families take part in the group we called Lighthouse Charity Team,” Daugird said.
The organization now has two locations, Friendswood and Galveston. It continues to grow.
Daugird, his wife, and a staff member of 27 years, Scott Gordon, were asked to share their vision and their steps into growing a non profit that works so well and helps so many. The three worked with author Lorraine Grubbs and the book “Cooking For a Cause” was created.
Daugird loves people and people return the love to him.
“He has integrity, great character and such a fantastic personality,” Gordon said. “That attracts good people who work hard and stay on to be part of his team.”
The insurance office is a good example. Gordon has been with the agency for 27 years, Larry Holdorff is approaching his 30th year. Daugird’s daughter Darla Winters has reached the 10 year mark.
Winters worked for a State Farm agency in Corpus Christi in her teens while attending college there.
The office staff also includes Mylinda Barrera and Jake Meador, or as he is known at work, “Jake from State Farm.” The office is located at 3502 E. FM 528.
People Helping People and Putting People First are two mottos around which Daugird has lived his life. For 50 years, he has been an asset to Friendswood for both a successful business and a non profit that has impacted many lives.