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household goods and everything in between. It is that diversity that keeps it interesting.” Born in Fort Worth but raised in


Dallas with his sister Nancy and brother Dan, Mondics describes his childhood in his middle class neighborhood as a typical, post-war baby boomer existence. His father, Pete, had served in the war, the kids all had chores and were urged to excel in school. Mondics got into insurance after


graduating from The University of Texas- Arlington. He worked for a couple of com- panies before a dispute over a promised bonus led him to part ways with an employer in 1976. With a company car and expense


account no longer available, Mondics called his fiancee Lee, who he had met as she worked in the marketing department of an insurance company that did business with Mondics’ employer. “We were going to be married later


that year,” Mondics said. “I had to call her and say ‘Hey, will you come pick me up; I have to find a job and get a car?’” By then Mondics, who was planning


to join another organization, had already built a loyal group of clients, which, if he didn’t already know, he realized when two of his larger clients — a dry van motor car- rier and a regional van line — called him to promise continued business. “Two trucking accounts called and


found out I had left and called me at home,” said Mondics, who was urged by both to open his own shop. “There were no cell phones at this time. They said they were going to follow me and give me their business. Unbeknownst to me, one of them requested cancellation of their insurance in 30 days and the other one notified the agency they would not renew when their policies renewed in about 60 days.” Though he hadn’t been planning to


go into business for himself, the urgency of his clients’ needs led Mondics, just 25 years old at the time, to put other plans in motion. Quickly. “I literally was forced to open a shop


or figure out where I would take their busi- ness in a very short time,” Mondics said. With Lee at the wheel Mondics, “after


Mondics and wife Lee at home


giving it too little thought,” literally put himself on the road to being self employed. “I decided to open my own agency


and Lee and I drove to Austin in her 1968 Mustang to take what then was the record- ing agents license exam of 50 essay ques- tions,” Mondics said. “Very old school.” Mondics completed the licensing


application in the car on the way to Austin, and during the trip he and Lee also dis- cussed their uncertain future.


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bellandcompany.net / 501.753.9700 PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN DAVID PITTMAN 36 Summer 2015


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