Written by Adam Drapcho, as Published by the Laconia Daily Sun, July 28, 2018.
The first day that Tim Gerry set eyes on Laconia was the first day that he came to work for The Insurance Outlet. In fact, that day was the first time he had ever driven further north than Concord.
That was eight years ago. Gerry is now married, lives in Meredith and is the father of an eight-month-old. Still, he finds himself adjusting to life in “The Great North Woods,” as people from his hometown see the Lakes Region.
Gerry grew up in Wakefield, Massachusetts, and went to the University of New Hampshire, where he studied business management. At UNH he also met Chris McCarty, who would later open The Insurance Outlet in Laconia.
After graduating from UNH, Gerry lived in Dover and got a job for the insurance and finance giant John Hancock. He worked there for a few years, but it didn’t feel like the right place for him.
“I decided I didn’t want to do that anymore, I wanted something smaller,” he said. Around the same time that he came to that conclusion, he got a call from his old college buddy, McCarthy, who had started The Insurance Outlet and was ready to take on his first employee.
It turned out to be a good move for Gerry, though he admits to some “culture shock” for someone who grew up in the greater Boston area.
Some of the adjustments are small reminders that he’s not in the city anymore.
“I can’t get a pizza delivered to my house in the winter. I don’t have public trash pickup. Small conveniences you have to sacrifice to live up here,” he said.
Then, when he and Tabitha were getting ready to welcome their first baby, they encountered a big inconvenience – Concord Hospital is an hour away.
“What makes it worth it? I love my wife, I love my job, it’s quiet, it’s a smaller community feel.” They live in downtown Meredith, and enjoy family walks through the village, stopping to look at the entries of the Meredith Sculpture Walk, and going out for pizza at Giuseppe’s.
And, “I know that all that other stuff that I gave up is not that far away,” he said. He still makes regular appearances for Boston Bruins games, for example.
When he meets up with old friends and family from the Boston-area, though, they don’t understand why he moved.
“They really think I’ve moved to vacation land,” he said. But, looking at how his life might have been different, had he moved back to the big city, he’s glad he took the country path, which has proven to be a good financial decision.
“If I stayed down there, I wouldn't have been able to buy my house until I was in my 30's. I don’t think I would have been stable enough to make the decision to have a child.” And he has come to appreciate a different way of doing business.
“The small-town business attitude pays dividends here. People care that you care about them”, says Gerry.