Once again, Jim Sullivan is voted Best Insurance Agent

Best of Renton 2024 highlights.

It’s safe to say that, when it comes to the category of Renton’s Best Insurance Agent, Jim Sullivan of State Farm Insurance reigns supreme.

Sullivan has been working for State Farm for over half a century — since June 1, 1970 to be exact — and his office has once again beat out the competition for another Best of Renton award.

“We try very hard to provide our customers with whatever they need, and make sure that they get it, and we try to give them practical advice,” Sullivan said of his agency’s recognition.

Originally from Moncks Corner, South Carolina, Sullivan had joined the U.S. Army after being in Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) during college, which allowed him to go into the military as a lieutenant and not a private.

“That was during the Vietnam War of course, and I figured that I would probably be drafted into the army anyway,” Sullivan said.

He was an artillery officer while in the army, and when he returned home in 1970, he had planned on becoming a teacher. But fate would set him on a different path when he got a job with State Farm in Salem, Oregon.

“I was hired to supervise a unit of file clerks,” Sullivan said. “That was long before today’s technology existed, of course. Everything was done on paper.”

Two years later, when the opportunity arose to grow a local agency group, Sullivan applied to be an agent.

“It did pretty well and so then they offered me an opportunity in 1979 to come up here to Washington as a district manager,” he said.

Five years later, Sullivan decided to become an agent again and take over downtown Renton before eventually landing in the growing Renton Highlands, where his office remains today.

“There was more opportunity for growth up here,” he said.

Since making Renton his home, Sullivan said that his work with the Renton Rotary has been a large part of his life.

“One of the activities that I have enjoyed is 16 years as a member of the Renton Rotary Club,” he said. “We started a free charitable medical clinic in Renton called RotaCare. We have provided volunteer doctors and nurses, plus we provided free prescription drugs to people.”

Though Sullivan is in his late 70s, he still works hard to learn new ways to accommodate his clients, and for the last year, he has been learning a new language.

“One of my regrets in life is that I seem to have a knack for language and I didn’t really take advantage of it,” said Sullivan, who studied German in college. “I’m in the process of learning Spanish right now because we have a lot of Spanish-speaking customers and that has helped my business here.”

Jim Sullivan State Farm is located at 1520 Duvall Avenue Northeast in Renton and can be contacted at 425-226-3322.