For Judy Holder, protecting others through insurance has become a true calling in life. From age 15, Judy’s summers and school vacations were spent working in her mother’s insurance agency. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Judy continued working in insurance, and after years of perfecting her skills, she was able to open Judy Holder Insurance in Apache Junction, Arizona – Southeast of the Phoenix Metro.
Judy Holder Insurance has been a thriving business in Apache Junction since 2002, providing jobs for five local employees. A few years ago, Judy faced the challenge of remodeling her business’s outdated reception area. Luckily, a local banker referred her to Accion, and fueled by her loan capital, Judy was able to update her reception area to create a warm and inviting atmosphere for her clients.
The challenges her business faces today revolve around internal growth. “Nobody can be sedentary and just do business as usual. It is integral to be competitive in the world of insurance and to do that you must have advanced technology,” she remarks. Managing all of this change and growth can be difficult, and as an Accion client, Judy also gets a community of support, both locally and nationally. One of Accion’s national partners is the Tory Burch Foundation, and since 2016, the Foundation’s rebate program has been committed to supporting Accion women clients who have the courage and determination to start or grow a small business. The Foundation is passionate about supporting women entrepreneurs because women see their businesses not purely as income generators, but as community members with a responsibility to address key social and environmental issues. Through Accion’s partnership with Bank of America and the Tory Burch Foundation, Accion’s women entrepreneurs who make 12 consecutive on-time payments receive up to a 2 percent interest rebate on their loan. Through the support of this fantastic program, Accion has issued a total of $50,275 to women small business owners to date.
Judy was pleasantly surprised to learn she was a beneficiary of the Tory Burch program. “What a happy surprise to open the mail and find the check for the 2 percent interest rate reward! We are very strong in the opinion that small business is the backbone of America. Furthermore, women in business should be encouraged and mentored by all of us in the working world! It is such a pleasure working with Accion,” she says. With the Tory Burch rebate, Judy was able to buy two new computers, fulfilling the need to update her business’s technology.
Judy prides herself on establishing her agency on founding principles such as honesty, integrity and hard work. For women entrepreneurs who want to start a business Judy advises, “You have to be empowered to do your best and you truly have to believe in yourself.”