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Time to say good-bye, and hello to a new owner

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By Kirsten Laskey

After 37 years of running Farmer’s Insurance Group agency, Melvin O’Shea decided it was time to call it quits – and time for Kathy Steck to become the new owner. Before taking the reins, Steck worked in the customer service department at the company for about five years. Previously, she worked at the Cerro Grande Fire Assistance doing customer service and claims review. Additionally, Steck worked at the Los Alamos National Bank for 12 years. She officially became the new owner Feb. 1. “I felt after that long, she was well-qualified to take over ... (and) to work with the wonderful people of Los Alamos” O’Shea said. He added it has been pleasure dealing with Los Alamos and he is grateful for the community’s loyalty. Farmer’s Insurance got started in 1929. O’Shea said it started out just offering automobile insurance but its services expanded to include commercial, home and life insurance. Steck said she plans to add financial services in the future.She said she has enjoyed being a part of the insurance company. “They’re very good,” Steck said. “They support their staff (and there are) lots and lots of avenues.” The local staff is also a plus. Steck said O’Shea has helped her a lot in her new position. “I think he will always be a help to us,” she said. Additionally, Gina Keddy, who works in the quality control department, brings more than 10 years of experience to her job. Steck said she is “people-oriented” while Keddy is more detail-oriented.  “I just about read her mind and she just about reads mine,” Keddy said. “So we get along very well. It’s a very happy office.” In addition to have strong ties in the office, Steck has strong ties in the community. She has lived in Los Alamos since 1979. “I love this community,” Steck said. “I raised my children here, put them through school here.” For more information, visit the office, located at 1362 Trinity Drive or call Steck at 662-2545.