DRUMRIGHT — Jill Tovar has joined Tedford Insurance’s Drumright staff as an agent under longtime office head Wendell Bookout.
Tovar will oversee day-to-day operations at the 32-year-old office while Bookout, who originally opened that location, scales down his weekly hours.
“I’m Wendell’s protege,” said Tovar, 35, who was born and raised in this northeastern Oklahoma town of 2,800 people. “I’m excited about getting back into the community of Drumright. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with a lot of people there.”
Agency owner and partner Mike Tedford said Tovar will train under Bookout, studying his client relationships and community leadership roles.
“What Jill’s going to bring to the table for us is a new, fresh outlook,” said Tedford.
Tovar also brings more than a decade of hospitality and customer service experience to the agency. She served Mahogany Prime Steak House for 10 years before her July 2015 entry into the financial sector under International Insurance Brokers. During those years she earned a fine arts degree from Oklahoma State University, graduating in 2014.
Tovar expects that diverse background to help her grow Tedford’s Drumright operations.
“I feel very confident that I can provide good customer service, whether I’m dealing with a large account or just one person,” she said. “That’s one thing the restaurant industry taught me. I want to make sure each client feels fully taken care of. That’s essential.”
Tovar intends to maintain the community role that Bookout established through his successful career. As a young person, I feel we need to play a more active role in the community,” she said. “Wendell does that. I’m learning not only about the insurance business from him, but most importantly I’m learning about the work it takes to keep a community together.”
Tovar also appreciates the chance to return to her hometown, where she graduated high school in 1999. Tovar and her husband Philip have been married eight years. Seven months ago they welcomed their first child, Eleanor. “Drumright was really a gift to me,” Tovar said of her childhood. “It was that sense of community, that a small town really gives you, that helped me to develop into the person I am today.”
The Drumright office also holds a special place in Tedford Insurance’s 38-year history. Bookout opened that location in 1985 as the Drumright Insurance Agency, only to soon join with Tedford to take advantage of its administrative resources.
“Basically Drumright was our first satellite office,” said Mike Tedford, whose parents George and Kay Tedford founded the agency in 1978. “That was the beginning of Tedford branching out into multiple offices.
“It’s been a long-standing relationship ever since, one we’ve enjoyed,” said Mike Tedford. “We’ve enjoyed being part of Drumright and their community. We look forward to continuing that relationship in that area. That’s why we’re excited about Jill coming aboard.”
Tedford Insurance (www.tedfordinsurance.com) now employs 62 workers at nine offices across Oklahoma. Two merging offices in McAlester will leave Tedford with eight offices at the end of this year. The independent agency offers auto, home, and business insurance.
“Our specialty is helping our clients embrace the uncertainty they face through risk management,” said Tedford. “Our desire is that they can have peace of mind.”
121 E Main, Jenks, OK 74037 | 918-299-2345 | www.tedfordinsurance.com