On occasion, one may meet someone with their same birthday or who shares the same anniversary. It is extremely rare, however, that one meets someone with both, in addition to their dogs sharing the same name.
Angie Guthrie-Ponton and LeAnn Croy discovered these common denominators when their employment at the local Farm Bureau office brought them together in 2011. It started a special lifelong friendship.
Though born and raised in Catawba, Croy said that she has deep roots in Craig County. “My mom, Connie Shelor, and her mother, Bettie Bennett, were both born and raised in Craig,” she said.
Croy and her husband Bryan still live in Catawba. Together, they have two sons, Brian Daugherty, 24 and Aaron Daugherty, 21.
Croy got her start in the insurance business when she was a teenager. “I started filling in for my mom who worked at the Roanoke County Farm Bureau office,” she said. “After staying at home with my children until they were in school, I started working part-time in that office, which then turned into full-time employment.”
In 2011, Croy moved from the Roanoke Farm Bureau office to the Craig County office. Angie Guthrie-Ponton had been in the insurance business since 2004. “I met LeAnn when she moved to this office to replace Rita Caldwell who retired,” Ponton said.
“We instantly hit it off, finding out that we share the same birthdays, same anniversaries and even had dogs with the same name,” Croy stated with a smile. “Also, our work ethic and values are identical.”
Ponton and Croy worked together for three years before Guthrie changed jobs from Farm Bureau. Croy stayed with Farm Bureau for another year, and in 2016, joined Ponton’s new business, Guthrie Insurance Agency in June 2017. “I knew once I started up my own business I wanted her to work for me,” Ponton said.
Ponton said when she started the business in 2015, creating a fun atmosphere was a top priority. “It was important for me to have a place I could take care of my customers the way I thought was right and moral without having to deal with management,” she said. “I would not be where I am at now without God’s blessing first and foremost and my parent’s wonderful help in the first couple of years of starting the business. Now I have LeAnn to help me grow and take care of things.”
Croy added that, “We pride ourselves in treating people the way we would want to be treated and look out for their best interests. That is one of the many reasons we work well together.”
LeAnn Croy has now been in the insurance business for 20 years, and is a Certified Insurance Service Representative and a licensed agent in Property and Casualty and Life and Health Insurance.
LeAnn has now been at Guthrie Insurance for over a year. “It is great having the team back together again,” Ponton shared. “We both have the same personalities and really care for the people that we insure. It is truly is like having a large extended family.”
Business hours for Guthrie Insurance Agency are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. They are closed from noon to 1 pm for lunch. Auto, Home, Farm and Business insurance as well as Life, Health, Annuities and Antique and Recreational Vehicles insurance are all offered. Guthrie insurance is not only licensed in Virginia, but also in West Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee. They can be reached at (540) 864-6688.
Even Guthrie Insurance’s window displays her positive feelings with old-fashioned window flower planters hanging on the outside. On the inside is a stuffed doll holding the American flag and in the other is a little man sitting and fishing.
“It is great getting up each day knowing you love what you are doing, and being able to do that in your own hometown,” Ponton said. “It makes life so much grander, especially when you enjoy working with someone like LeAnn.”