Name: Douglas Phelps

Family: My wife Sara and I have been married for 16 years, and she is an optometrist at Seaside Ophthalmology. We have two sons, Walker and Griffin, who are students at Glynn Middle School and Oglethorpe Point Elementary. We also have a five-year-old German Shepard named Ranger. Ranger is our office mascot and loves it when our clients stop by the office to give him a scratch.

Years in the Golden Isles: 16 years. I’m originally from Madison, and Sara grew up here on St. Simons Island.

School: Sara and I met and both graduated from the University of Georgia. We still make it back to Athens for a few Saturdays each fall for Georgia football games.

Occupation: State Farm agent

A local you admire: Jordan Sasser with the Glynn County Recreation Department. I’ve coached multiple little league sports and it’s always a pleasure working with Jordan and the staff at the St. Simons office. Jordan’s top priority is making sure the kids have fun. He treats everyone fairly and with respect, which goes a long way when dealing with the occasional unruly coach or parent. This community is lucky to have him.

Favorite landmark in the Golden Isles: The St. Simons Lighthouse. I have a very fond memory of my wife nearly having a panic attack the first time we went to the very top with our small children in tow!

How would you describe your perfect Saturday in the Golden Isles? On Saturdays in the fall, I like to head out in our boat for a morning of fishing with my family. This followed by an evening of cheering on the Georgia Bulldawgs and enjoying the morning’s catch for supper.

Tell us about how you started your career as an agent at State Farm Insurance: I began my career with State Farm 18 years ago as a financial services representative in Birmingham, Ala. I was able to transfer to the Golden Isles in 2005 and work in Don Mason’s State Farm Agency. My goal was always to be an agent and I earned the opportunity to open my State Farm Agency in 2012. I opened a new office with no existing clients and the first few years were challenging as my team and I grew the business. But, we kept working hard and now it’s very satisfying to see how far we have come.

What advice would you give an insurance agent just starting their career? It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Find a good mentor. I was very fortunate to work with Don Mason when I moved here in 2005 and he has had a major impact on my career. Don and I still speak on the phone several times per week and are always bouncing ideas off one another. Also welcome change. Like most fields, insurance has changed dramatically over the past 18 years and with the continued rapid advances in technology, this won’t slow down. I’ve noticed that the agents who have resisted change have not fared as well as the ones who have embraced it. If you work hard and treat people well, you can have a very rewarding career in this industry.

What are some aspects you and your family enjoy about living on St. Simons Island? St. Simons is a wonderful place to raise a family. With the water, golf and all of the great restaurants there is always something fun to do. Pair that with the great people and natural beauty, there is nowhere else I would rather live.