Arthur J. Glatfelter, founder of Glatfelter Insurance Group, died on Feb. 14 at age 88.Glatfelter, who built from scratch one of the largest privately owned insurance brokers in the U.S., was a generous philanthropist and a benefactor to countless endeavors, according to the York Daily Record, a York, Penn.-based newspaper.
“Art built a strong company and continued to work tirelessly to serve the needs of the insurance industry up until his retirement last year. He was proud of the dedicated work of his associates to help build the company and distinguish Glatfelter Insurance from the competition,” Glatfelter Insurance Group President and CEO Tony Campisi said. “In my heart, I know that Art is looking down from above with great pride and joy to see his legacy continue.”
Founded in 1951, York, Penn.-based Glatfelter Insurance Group employs more than 500 associates serving more than 30,000 clients.
The firm says that during his first two decades in business, Glatfelter successfully built one of the largest all-lines, full service retail agencies in South Central Pennsylvania. He had then begun to realize that future growth would depend largely on looking beyond traditional markets into areas underserved by the insurance industry. In 1968, Glatfelter discovered that underserved market through a new client – a local volunteer fire department.
The firm says that since emergency service organizations were largely overlooked by the insurance industry, he interviewed every fire chief he could in order to gain a solid understanding of their needs. His findings became the foundation of the VFIS division, a leading provider of insurance, education, training and consulting products and services for emergency service organizations.
Glatfelter was “one of the most generous individuals I ever met,” the United Way of York County executive director was quoted as saying for the York Daily Record.
The York Daily Record reports Glatfelter donated half a million dollars per year to charitable causes, according to associates’ estimate at one time. Glatfelter helped found the United Way’s Tocqueville Society, which grants membership to those who contribute at least $10,000 annually. He also supported other organizations including the American Red Cross, the York County Heritage Trust, the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, the York Symphony and the York County Farm and Natural Lands Trust. The newspaper said he was particularly devoted to charities that helped children, establishing mentoring and assistance programs for at-risk city school students.
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