Nigreville retires after 30 years of service with State Farm

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 30, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; Ending a 30-year career with State Farm Insurance Companies, Doug Nigreville has stepped down from his agency in Natchez to begin a new chapter in his life.

With his wife, Gail, he has moved to the Jackson area, where children and grandchildren are close enough to see every day.

He will continue his work with the senior tennis association, and he will become involved in United Way work in his new home area. Both tennis and United Way of the Miss-Lou were big parts of his life in Natchez.

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&8220;We found out last year how important United Way is to our community,&8221; he said, referring to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the influx of needy evacuees. &8220;We assumed a leadership role in the commingling of all the agencies to see that people&8217;s needs were met.&8221;

He will always be grateful for the years in Natchez, a perfect ending to his three decades with a company he loves, he said earlier this week.

&8220;In 1992, I chose this place,&8221; he said. &8220;I was a corporate gypsy with State Farm for years, working in corporate management. I was ready to work as an agent again just as my friend Blake Wadsworth was ready to retire. State Farm made it happen.&8221;

Stuart Heflin is the new agent at the agency Nigreville has run since 1992.

&8220;I&8217;ve got some big shoes to fill,&8221; Heflin said. &8220;But we&8217;re excited to be here and ready to settle in and start meeting the local folks.&8221;

Nigreville said he and the company have had the perfect relationship. &8220;I can honestly say that I&8217;ve given my best to this company, and they have given me their best. It&8217;s been a love relationship for 30 years.&8221;

As a Natchez agent, he touched many lives. &8220;That&8217;s the most important thing an agent does, the daily impact on the lives of people he represents,&8221; he said.

The agent sees people at their best and at their worst, he said. &8220;They are devastated personally and financially when they suffer a loss. We&8217;re able to help with both areas of loss because of the training State Farm gives us.&8221;

Becoming an agent at State Farm is not easy. &8220;It&8217;s a long, extremely competitive engagement. Then the marriage occurs. There are very few divorces.&8221;

Nigreville recalls his first few days in Natchez and the hospitality he received. &8220;Blake took me all over this place. I couldn&8217;t believe how the people were, &8216;Oh, I&8217;m so glad to meet you&8217;; and it&8217;s been that way ever since.&8221;

In addition to serving on the board and as president of United Way, Nigreville also has been active in Kiwanis and at Parkway Baptist Church, where he has been a Sunday school teacher and a deacon.

&8220;Kiwanis is a wonderful organization,&8221; he said. He spoke of the scholarships provided by the Natchez club to five high schools in the area and of Key Club and the impact it has had on young lives.

At Parkway, he made some of the best friends he has in Natchez. &8220;You get to know people on an intimate level at church,&8221; he said. &8220;I&8217;ll miss all my friends there.&8221;

He looks forward to traveling with Gail, his wife of 46 years. &8220;And then we&8217;ll just settle down and enjoy each other&8217;s company.&8221;