After a year of delays brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the Geico field office in Lynbrook opened its doors on March 10.
“We were finally able to open our doors and everybody’s all in,” business owner and Geico agent Melissa Matassa said. “We’re pumped every day. It was trial and error with opening our doors, but there’s definitely a very excited feeling in the office. We feel very impactful.”
The Lynbrook office, at 475 Sunrise Highway, is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. One Saturday per month, the Geico gecko can be seen frolicking outside the facility. The business offers home, auto, renters, condominium, boat and motorcycle insurances, and also has policies for identity theft and jewelry. Geico is the largest auto insurer in New York state, and Matassa’s business is licensed to sell exclusive Geico products.
Before owning her store, Matassa worked at Geico for 33 years and had several roles, including being part of the management team and supervising sales and service departments, and she also has experience in human resources. She had to apply to open her own business and went through a rigorous interview process before being approved to bring a Geico office to Lynbrook, which now has 10 employees. Matassa said she started with five associates last June and added more in December, and that she hoped to double or triple that number by 2022.
“I’ve always wanted to own my own business,” she said. “My favorite job at Geico was always selling and managing sales and being part of the sales process.”
Despite a yearlong delay in opening, Matassa said spirits are high among her staff now that the facility is operating. The office is also Covid-compliant, with staff members wearing masks and staying eight to 12 feet apart from one another and customers in order to create a safe environment. The office also offers bilingual services for Spanish-speaking customers and one agent, who is Chinese, speaks Mandarin.
Matassa, who lives in Massapequa Park, said that Lynbrook was the perfect place to open a business because Geico already had its corporate office in Woodbury and a presence in Commack, but she saw a need to create a service on the South Shore. She added that Lynbrook has a strong sense of community. Matassa said becoming a part of the tight-knit community is one of her goals going forward, while helping Geico grow, and noted that she has joined the Lynbrook Chamber of Commerce.
“Although we sell for Geico, we are a small business,” she said. “I just want to keep growing, not only in our policies enforced, but in our people, our associates. I’m excited for Covid to die down so we can get involved in community events. I’ve always been involved, and I think that’s an important piece to keep being involved.”
To learn more, visit on.gei.co/3tBaM2u, or call (516) 881-3210.