Meyer and Associates’ 50th Anniversary
A Message From Our Founder
We’re celebrating our 50th year in business!
We were officially founded in the same month that the last U.S. troops left Vietnam. Nixon was president, and the Watergate Hearings were in full swing. The stock market was bombing for the second consecutive year. It was two years after FedEx was founded and two years before Microsoft, though, I confess, both have more employees than we do!
Many businesses were started in the founder’s garage. Not ours. We started in our basement, and there we were for more than four years. It was crowded with my wife, Barbara Meyer, and me in the same space for most of that time. Our first big treat was an IBM Selectric typewriter—we still have it, on a high shelf—and then an incredibly expensive answering machine that allowed us to take a breather away from home with our toddler daughter.
Then we squeezed in a part-time assistant, who also drove to the Chatham Library to make “photocopies.” After that, we had two part-timers who equaled one full-timer. In 1977, one of them directed the move from our basement to 19 Washington Avenue, the former house directly across from our current location, while we were away. She was the first of our really terrific employees. There we sequentially added two salesmen, plus another two of our terrific employees.
Until 1979, we were strictly a sales organization, though we had a lot to say about the plan design of products we were selling. That year, we moved the vast majority of our alumni life insurance business to New York Life, and that also required us to become administrators. Barbara, with a college major in government, “invented” our administration rules and systems from scratch, inarguably one of our greatest in-house accomplishments.
In 1981, we bought the small house on a big lot across the street at 18 Washington for expansion, thereby having two “home offices.” In 1986 we expanded 18 to its present size and reconsolidated there. Get this: our first mortgage rate was 21%. CDs were paying ~16%. Today’s inflation is relative child’s play.
We became a two-generation business when our once-toddler daughter, Ann Meyer Abdi, joined M&A as a business professional, in prior years having worked at various part-time tasks. She in turn was responsible for the addition of more terrific staff members. She is celebrating her 20th anniversary and is our COO.
We’ve grown. We still deal only with collegiate alumni groups. And our business has become incredibly more complex due to government and insurer requirements, privacy concerns, and the potential horrors brought upon the world by, for want of a better word, computers. We’ve added other insurers to our offerings, including MetLife, Prudential, and Liberty Mutual. As a group, the insurance plans we offer have become increasingly imaginative.
As we’ve said for many years, our employees are our greatest asset. All of us work to provide “old fashioned service” in its best sense. So, for example, if you call us, you will not encounter layers of recorded options, and you will almost always encounter Zero wait time. Our customer service representatives are friendly and well-informed, and the person who answers the phone is usually the person who can help you. We try very hard to meet your expectations.
As we celebrate our 50th year, we remain committed to our major objectives:
- Offering unique life insurance plans that are unavailable to the general public, as well as other excellent products that are otherwise not easily accessible to alumni/ae.
- Providing world-class service that includes talking to a real live human being, in an age when service” is a vanishing concept.
Founder and President