HARLINGEN — “Good afternoon, ambassador,” says the commanding voice.
“Commissioner, to what do I owe the pleasure?” answers Daniel Martinez.
“New initiatives to help small businesses in downtown Harlingen.”
Support of small businesses is one of the reasons Martinez, 29, an agent for Farmers Insurance, was just named an ambassador at the Harlingen Chamber of Commerce.
He’s one of the youngest business people to receive that title.
That’s why he’s considered one of Harlingen’s young up and coming leaders.
Chamber ambassadors proactively involve fellow members in committees and activities.
They are highly visible in their support of the Chamber’s work in the business community.
This kind of participation seems to come naturally to Martinez. As soon as he joined the Chamber in 2015, he hit the floor running.
“I tried to get involved, help out small businesses,” he said. “I attended ribbon cuttings for grand openings. I supported small businesses. By doing so I met a lot of people.”
Martinez has always known he wanted to own a business – or two, or three.
The graduate of the Harlingen High School South Class of 2005 already has his own insurance agency at 2709 W. Expressway 83.
“I am the owner and the agent,” he said. “I’ve been with Farmer’s Insurance for two years.”
And … wait a minute. Didn’t he just say he was 29? And he already owns an insurance company.
“I’d like to own a plaza, maybe go into real estate, own an apartment complex,” he surmised.
He seems definitely to have been on the fast track for quite some time.
He graduated in 2010 from the University of Texas Pan-American in Edinburg with a bachelor’s degree in business management.
Out of college he worked in retail and saw opportunities in the insurance field. He met with an insurance agent and went to work for State Farm Insurance for a couple of years.
State Farm, however, had more of a corporate feel about it, where Farmers is more of an “independently owned” type of operation.
Nevertheless, he was able to come into Farmers Insurance with a couple of years experience.
“You begin based on your experience,” he said. “You go in as an agent in training. You have to prove yourself, prove you can carry what you’re taking on.”
He’s apparently proven very well he can take on the responsibility, and enjoy it.
“I love the fact that I can help and educate a lot of clients with their insurance,” Martinez said.
“I can educate them in coverage they’ve never been faced with. I like to talk to them and explain what they are purchasing.”
His work as an insurance agent helps small businesses stay afloat in times of crisis by providing coverage.
He’s not the only one.
“I think the City of Harlingen helps a lot of small businesses,” he said.
He plans to carry the torch for small businesses for many decades to come.
Sponsors community events such as Blues on the Hill and Freedom Fest
What advice would you give someone who hopes to attain the success you have?
“Always be seeking opportunities to meet with other business owners and soak up the knowledge they have, ask many questions, always be receptive to advice/criticism, and most importantly never forget the people who helped you attain the level of success you have reached.
“Success is earned not given, stay focused, stay driven, and never lose the fire and the passion that will continue to push you to climbing the ladder of success!
“Lastly, always treat your customers well and with respect, they are the most valuable asset to your success, and without them we would not continue our growth as small business owners!”