Dan Buchman State Farm Owner Boasts More Than 50 Years of Serving Others
Photographer / Lana King
State Farm Insurance’s popular slogan, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there,” isn’t a catchy platitude. For Dan Buchman of Dan Buchman State Farm in Syracuse, that slogan has rung true time and time again over his 54 years in the insurance business.
Buchman has been involved in State Farm since he was 17 years old. Growing up in Newark, Ohio, he was looking for a summer job shortly after graduating high school in 1966. He knew he would be attending The Ohio State University’s branch in Newark come the fall, so he was looking to start working before then. The State Farm in his hometown was specifically looking to hire recent high school graduates who would be attending the local branch, so Buchman applied.
“When I started with State Farm, originally in 1966, and then when I graduated from The Ohio State University in 1970, I was an auto insurance underwriter. I worked for the company but not in sales,” Buchman says.
An underwriter essentially analyzes insurance applications and decides whether or not someone should be accepted and, if so, under what terms. Buchman not only learned the necessary skills to do his job, but he learned more about the corporate structure of State Farm, and he fell in love. When he graduated from The Ohio State University in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science in Administrative Services with a major in Risk Management and Insurance, he continued working at State Farm.
Over several years with the company, he held various positions and moved to different places. He worked for a while in Newark as an Auto Underwriter, an Auto Service Supervisor and a Fire Service Supervisor. He then moved to Indiana, where he worked in West Lafayette as a Fire Service Superintendent. He later served there as the Director of Management Planning. In 1984, Buchman got the opportunity to move up to a sales position.
“I had another opportunity to broaden my horizons, but then I gave up in 1984 a mid-level management position to kind of start all over as a trainee sales agent, and so it was a challenge,” he says.
The challenge did not defeat him, though. He moved to Indianapolis, where he learned and grew quickly as a State Farm agent, and he got promoted again in 1987, moving into sales management with the company. After that, he once more was promoted to an Agency Field Consultant, and he moved to Elkhart. He and his family remained in Elkhart until 2008, when another great opportunity arose.
Buchman moved to Syracuse and took over the State Farm branch from a retiring agent. He got to move back into the agent role, and he has loved it since then.
“I’ve died and gone to heaven,” Buchman says, laughing. “But also when you are a sales agent, you are in business for yourself, so you can be as happy and as successful as you want to be. Of all the positions I’ve had with State Farm over the years, the position of the State Farm agent is the best job in the company.”
Buchman’s growth throughout the company reflects one of his bigger values — education. You never stop learning, he explains. He is always up for a challenge, ready to learn something new. That is why he gave up a management position to become an agent. That is why he earned his Masters of Science in Financial Services from The American College in Malvern, Pennsylvania, and that is why he has been certified as a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter, a Chartered Life Underwriter and a Chartered Financial Consultant.
Today, Dan Buchman State Farm proudly offers options for policyholders like auto insurance, home insurance, life insurance and recreational vehicle insurance, which works well for boats, motorcycles, camping equipment and more.
Running the agency smoothly is no small feat, though. Part of what makes his business great is the support from his team members, Heather German and Cathy Workman. Both women have worked with Buchman for years.
“They’re there every day,” he says. “They help me take care of our State Farm policyholders.”
Buchman also credits his family with helping his success. He and his wife recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with their two daughters and five grandchildren.
With all the support he receives from others, Buchman also focuses on giving back to the community. He lives out his mission statement to “Help People Manage the Risks of Everyday Life, Recover from the Unexpected and Realize Their Dreams.” When he first moved to Syracuse, he quickly joined the local Kiwanis organization to work and give back to children. He also helps out on the Flotilla Committee, which organizes an annual boat parade every Fourth of July weekend on Lake Wawasee. Additionally, he plays the trumpet in the Lake Area Community Band and a number of smaller other local groups.
“My name is Dan, not Jake [from State Farm],” Buchman says. “But I often do wear khakis!”
If you would like to learn more about Buchman or are interested in becoming a policyholder, give Buchman and his team a call at 547-457-4807 or visit them online at dan4insurance.com. They are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5 pm. You can make an appointment for evenings or on Saturdays, too. Dan Buchman State Farm is located at 1101 S Huntington Street, Suite 2, in Syracuse.