Generations – What Matters Most
Michaud Insurance Succeeds the Old-Fashioned Way
According to Tricia Sabulis, vice president of marketing at Michaud Insurance, her grandfather Armand Michaud earned his place in “The Greatest Generation.” Having returned from World War II, he hopped right to work selling insurance door-to-door. He worked hard, all the while valuing the kind of customer service Tricia praises as “old-fashioned” in the best sense of the term.
Armand actually knew his clients, and his approach still characterizes the agency he founded. It’s the sort of place where, in the pre-COVID era, you might see people happily hugging each other like old familiar friends. “We’ve had people with us since the beginning,” says Tricia. “We’ve met their children and grandchildren, and some people will come in and give us giant hugs. We know what they’ve gone through.”
Armand decided early on that Trudy, Tricia’s mother and second youngest of eight children, should learn the ropes. Trudy started working for him while still in high school. She was the only sibling at that just-right age, but it also happened that her inclinations were well-suited to the field of insurance — Tricia notes her mother has a strong affinity for numbers and mathematics.
When Armand retired in 1985, Trudy took the helm and is still president today. As successful as business has been, she made a point not to pressure Tricia or her sister Kate on the matter of their futures. “She was always telling us go out and find what you really want to do,” Tricia notes. Her mother would say things like, “You don’t have to work at the business. It’s here for you if you want to, but if it’s not, it’s OK.” Despite this, after pursuing outside endeavors, both women returned to the field.
Tricia speaks of her decision to return to Michaud Insurance with enthusiasm. “I always wanted to come back,” she notes, “I love insurance but also that I could come into the business, put my mark on it and see what I was able to do.” Much of Tricia’s passion for the work (she calls herself an insurance nerd) comes from her recognition of each client’s unique situation. No business or family is going to have the same circumstances, and doing the job well involves working closely with people to learn what matters most to them. As Tricia looks ahead to her future, she is determined not to lose any of the personal touch that characterized her grandfather’s way of conducting himself.
From the beginning, Tricia has also made a point not to take her job for granted. She started at the front desk and moved through all the roles, learning fine details and building rapport with the staff. She is committed to nurturing the “work family” that has sprouted up within the family business, in large part through Trudy’s intuition. When Trudy says of potential employees, “They’re going to be a great fit, I just know it,” Tricia has learned through experience they will be.
Tricia says that during the pandemic, “We haven’t been hit like so many other small community businesses. We make sure we’re giving as much as we can, within our ability.” They frequently are involved in supply drives benefiting families and kids in the Merrimack Valley.
Tricia is committed to maintaining this focus on the community. She’s learned, as her mother learned before, and as her grandfather learned before her, that the best way to serve your clients is to know them.