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Michael Starr named Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year

December 06, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. ? When Michael Starr first opened his insurance agency in 1989, his day job was sandwiched between morning and evening occupations.

"When I started on my own, I needed to make sure I could pay the bills, so I kept the cow-milking job," said Starr.

After milking those 400 cows at a neighbor's farm and then running his insurance agency by day, he sold men's clothing at Lyon's & Co.

"My mother said, 'Someday you'll be glad I taught you to work so hard,'" Starr said Thursday after being named the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year.

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Michael A. Starr Insurance Inc. employs 17 people and serves 8,000 customers, including 1,500 businesses, said Pam Anderson, the chairwoman of the chamber's board of directors.

Starr thanked mentor C.Q. Smith, who first met Starr through Boy Scouts and went on to hire him when he had his own agency. When Smith sold his agency, Starr struck out on his own, moving to its present location at 1110 Kennebec Drive in 1993.

Beyond his success in business, Starr was honored for his charitable and community work, said Pam Anderson of Anderson Construction and chairwoman of the Chamber's board of directors.

In addition to sharing his knowledge with others and serving as a mentor to people starting up businesses, he also has been a Sunday school teacher at the Chambersburg Brethren In Christ Church for 23 years, Anderson said. Twice he has been president of the Chambersburg Exchange Club and was on the committee that started the club's biggest fundraiser, the Comedy and Magic Show.

Starr is also on the Charitable Giving Committee at Mercersburg Academy and is president of the board of directors at Montessori Academy.

"I've been very blessed by the community, so it's very easy to give back," Starr said.

Anderson, who is coming to the end of her tenure as chairwoman, told the audience of about 200 business people that the Chamber recently hit a milestone with membership exceeding 1,000. Stephen Caldwell will take over as chairman in 2008.

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