“We were a three-person agency when we sold and now Mountain West has got 70 some employees throughout the Western Slope. It’s different because now you’re dealing with clients from all over.”
— Craig resident Pete Pleasant about how the insurance industry has changed over the past 50 years
Pete Pleasant decided 50 years in the insurance game is enough.
Mountain West Insurance, 100 E. Victory Way, hosted a retirement party for Pleasant Wednesday night, trying to send the Craig native and longtime insurance man a proper sendoff.
Daryl Camilletti spoke about Pleasant’s contribution to Mountain West and the company’s appreciation for his hard work.
“Pete has always been good to his customers,” Camilletti said. “He cares about the customers, he cares about the people who work here.”
Later Pleasant was presented with gifts from his coworks—a bottle of Crown Royal and a watch. The watch led to Pleasant doing what he is best known for—telling a story.
He talked about the origin of the name Peter-potamus, a joke from when Pleasant’s wife was in labor and Pleasant had to leave to help out a heifer that was having a calf at the same time.
Pleasant’s story in Craig begins before he was born, when his grandfather came to Craig to write insurance in the town.
“He came to town July 4, 1912 in a covered wagon pulled by four horses,” Pleasant said. “The railroad ended in Steamboat and the only way you could get to Craig was in a covered wagon.”
That insurance company was FM Pleasant insurance, a company that remained in Craig until 1999, when it was absorbed into Mountain West.
“We were a three-person agency when we sold and now Mountain West has got 70 some employees throughout the Western Slope,” Pleasant said. “It’s different because now you’re dealing with clients from all over.”
2012 was a big year for Pleasant, being his 50th year in the insurance business and the 100th year since FM Pleasant insurance opened. Pleasant, who is quick to poke fun at himself, said during that time he has picked up plenty of stories, but not so much knowledge.
He also joked during his speech at the party he would be changing his contact information so no one could bother him. In reality, Craig is a place to which he has taken root and loved ever since.
“It’s a great place to raise your kids, a great place for my folks to raise me,” he said. “It was a great place for my grandfather to raise his three sons. We’ve always been really involved in athletics and community service. That’s what you do in a small town to try and make it better.”
Pleasant said he is planning on using his extra time to do some things he’s always wanted, but mainly to get more time in with his extended family.
“I’m like everybody, I’ve got a bucket list,” he said. “I’ll spend more time with my grandkids and my youngest son lives in Omaha, so I’ll get to see him and his daughters and wife. I’ll do some traveling, but there will be a lot of family time. I’ll probably never leave Craig. I used to tell people that I was never smart enough to leave Craig.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.