Couch's career began as an agent for State Farm Insurance in 1964 and ends as president of Gallagher Bomford Couch.
MIAMI — Jim Couch will wrap up a 53-year-plus career in the insurance business in Miami on March 31.
His career began as an agent for State Farm Insurance and ends as president of Gallagher Bomford Couch.
“I will certainly miss being at the office, the office atmosphere, and the office staff, but after the length of time I have been doing this, it’s time to hang it up,” Couch said.
A reception in his honor will be held Thursday, March 29 from noon to 2 p.m. at the agency, located at 12 East Central in Miami.
He has a cumulative total of 53 years, seven months in the insurance business.
He became a State Farm agent in 1964 and joined the then-Bomford-Sapp & Associates in 1969.
Bomford, Couch & Wilson was established in July 1973 when Couch became a principal in the firm following the death of R.O. Gibson in 1967 and the retirement of Vernon Sapp — whom Couch calls his mentor — in 1971.
The firm took on its current name following a 2016 merger with Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Gallagher Bomford Couch is one of Miami’s oldest businesses, dating back to 1904 — three years before Oklahoma was granted statehood.
George E. Bomford and Ed D. Ballard founded it as Oklahoma Real Estate Company.
The digital age has resulted in the biggest change in the insurance industry, Couch said.
“Everything is handled more electronically,” he said. “Years and years ago, it was more hands-on: applications, typing, communication. Now everything is the speed of light what with cell phones and computers. It’s a lot different now.”
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. dates back to 1927 when Arthur James Gallagher started a brokerage firm in Chicago, Illinois.
The merger gave Gallagher a footprint in northeastern Oklahoma as well as southeast Kansas, southwest Missouri, and northwest Arkansas.
Its closest offices previously were in Tulsa and Springfield, Missouri.
Gallagher has about 26,000 employees in 58 countries and has more than 650 sales and service offices.
What’s Couch got planned for retirement?
“I do not have an answer,” he joked. “Probably do some work with the Shrine Club, play more golf or do some work around the house.”
In a farewell letter to clients, Couch said, “Our area survived the departure of B.F. Goodrich, ice storms and floods. Among other milestones, Bomford Couch & Wilson was acquired by Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in 2016, and we moved into a new chapter here in Miami. Through it all, I have been blessed to be a part of a group of people whose goal has been to serve our clients and provide not only protection for their assets, but also peace of mind.”