One need not journey far to find a treasure. Just walk through the doors of Cristina Ortiz’s State Farm Agency on West Butler Road on any Wednesday or Thursday and ask to see Hattie Colvin!
A Simpsonville native, Hattie has been a part of State Farm for more than 25 years, serving in three different agencies–Clyde Brooks, Allison McDaniel, and most recently, Cristina Ortiz. Prior to that, she worked for another insurance company and briefly operated an antique business in Greer.
Hattie retired a few years ago, but Cristina asked her to come back 2 days a week at her agency because she is such a unique and caring individual.
From day one, Hattie started calling people to help build up the Cristina’s new agency.
Hattie’s coworkers remember many occasions where they personally experienced her wonderful and caring spirit. With her vast knowledge of the insurance field, Hattie has mentored and trained many team members over the years, but she contributes so much more, especially a listening ear and a caring heart. Cristina says that she always has the right words and finds the time to comfort during difficult times. Carolina Velásquez recalls Hattie’s volunteering to make the flowers for her wedding. Cristina says that Hattie helped her during her mother’s extended illness, visiting her in the hospital and even sitting with her. It was Hattie who actively encouraged Cristina to become an agent. Then, there are those exquisite chocolate brownies topped with chocolate frosting, cakes for staff meetings, cookies for customers, and homemade gigantic birthday cards! According to her coworkers, Hattie decorates everything, cooks, cleans, and readily shares her expertise. She is more than a coworker; she is a true friend and encourager.
Hattie is committed to serving the community as well. A regular Shriner Hospital volunteer, Hattie has participated in Alzheimer’s walks, and enthusiastically helped the agency conduct a yard sale for the Home of Children resulting in a $1000 check presented to the orphanage. In fact, her energy and enthusiasm seem boundless—she even marched in the Simpsonville Christmas parade on December 1, 2019. Her 71 years have not slowed her down.
Yet, the place where Hattie shines is helping people one by one in her own quiet way. She has been known to come in on her days off and clear the sidewalk of snow so that customers can get into the building safely and easily. When a film crew was scheduled to come to the office, there was Hattie, arriving on the Sunday before and making flower arrangements so the office would shine. She purchased little toys to keep in her office for entertaining the children of customers. She visits customers in the hospital, takes casseroles to them at home when they are feeling unwell or have experienced loss, transports neighbors to the hospital. Cristina says that Hattie possesses this generous spirit, is not attached to material things, and always finds ways to comfort and encourage others.
Carolina Velásquez sums it up by simply declaring, “She is an angel!”
Cristina says that Hattie is always the best she can be in any relationship. Her husband, Robert or Bobby, served as the Assistant Chief of the Simpsonville Fire Department for 4 years and has a long history with the Carolina State Firemen’s Association. Hattie especially loves her son and four grandchildren as well as tending her flowers and her garden in her spare time.
Cristina says her agency is recognizing Hattie Colvin during this month of December and encourages those of you who know her to write a note or drop by for a visit with her on Wednesday or Thursday any week.
On December 13th, her agency plans a special party to celebrate Hattie and her many contributions to their lives.
As Christmas season draws near, consider Hattie Colvin’s mission to make this world a kinder place by doing what she can. A giving and caring heart is always in season. Let’s take a cue from this precious lady as we move on into the year 2020!♦
Great article, Hattie. And most deserving. Thank you for all the years that we worked together and all the care that you showed our customers.