A Decade a Day: The ’80s

The ‘80s:

The 1980’s brings us to our fourth and current location in downtown Montgomery, Alabama: 210 Commerce St. 

The building, previously known as the Old Implement Store dates back to 1895 and boasts some of Montgomery’s most extravagant Victorian brickwork. When the agency first moved into the building it shared the ground floor with two other businesses and the basement even housed a beauty shop. The whole ground floor and basement now belong to Starke Agency, Inc.  Jackson Thornton, PC, is our partner in the building, occupying the 2ndfloor.

Cindy Howton and Bolling P. “Trey” Starke, III, CPCU,CIC—still with the agency today—were both hired in 1986 just six weeks apart. They have experienced first-hand more than a third of the agency’s history.

Trey had graduated from the University of Alabama with an insurance major in 1984. Upon graduation, Trey worked for one of the largest brokerage firms in the world in Atlanta for a short two years before coming to the agency. 

Bo Bo still owned the majority of the agency (over 60%) with Trey owning the rest.  Bo Bo and Trey decided to go through a third-party industrial psychologist to guide them both through the transition into the third generation of ownership. Third-generation family-owned businesses have the highest failure rate of any family-owned business.

The two reincorporated and renamed the agency The Starke Agency, Inc. for tax purposes. 

By this time the revenue per employee was up to 35-40k. That revenue would soon double again.