Story by Vanessa Dominguez
Photos by Rebekah Elliott
May Martinez Hendershot was raised in Kersey. Her career with State Farm Insurance began in 1966 when she was hired as a file clerk. Hendershot was promoted to Senior File Clerk, Master File Clerk, and then to the claims department. In 1993, while she was working in Colorado Springs, her father was diagnosed with cancer and her mother had a stroke. Because she worked for a company that puts employees and their families at the top of the list, Hendershot was able to transfer back to Greeley to be near both of her parents. After returning to Greeley, Hendershot dipped her foot in the pool of public affairs.
The concept of public affairs for large companies was brand new at that time and Hendershot was a pioneer. She worked tirelessly to help State Farm get involved in community projects and start to make a positive impact on the community by giving back. By 2000, Hendershot helped open the first ever off-site Public Affairs Office for State Farm. Hendershot believes that in order have effective relationships with a community, you must know what is going on in that community and your company offices. Consequently, Hendershot has spent a lot of time on the road travelling to the four states in her region.
Most recently Hendershot has served as Colorado Legislative Liaison, Media Coordinator for six states, Chair of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, and Chair of Latina Women of Weld County.
All of this while being a wife of 35 years with three children and nine grand-children. Luckily they all reside in Greeley.
After a fulfilling career at State Farm, Hendershot has decided to retire August 1st. Hendershot says she would like to spend more time with her 86 year-old mother and the rest of her family. She would also like to travel with her husband, who is also retired.
When the people of Greeley hear the name May and State Farm simultaneously, they think dedication, hard work, and someone who truly is interested in making the community a better place.Hendershot has done so much for the company that State Farm may have to hire at least two people to fill her shoes.
Hendershot’s advice is to “treasure the relationships you have,” and “you gotta go with the flow.” Flexibility is key in any situation, she stressed. “It’s been a great ride,” Hendershot said with her usual friendly grin. We can’t wait to see the adventures you go on in the future.