Age 36: Owner, F.W. Farrell Insurance
Tim Farrell, owner of F.W. Farrell Insurance in Greenfield, had no intention of coming back to Franklin County after college, and didn’t plan on working in insurance, either.
In fact, he was a Sports Management major at Salem State when, at 21, he returned home 13 credits shy to take over the family business after his father’s passing. But Farrell says he has no regrets. “The worst thing that’s happened to me was my dad dying, but the best was coming back to Greenfield,” he said. “If I hadn’t, I don’t think I would have been involved in so many things.”
‘Involved’ is an understatement. Indeed, Farrell was a long-time member of Greenfield’s Board of Selectmen before the community became the Commonwealth’s newest city and adopted a mayoral system in 2003. He joined the board at the age of 27, and while in office focused much of his energies on economic development, not just in Greenfield, but across the county.
“Greenfield is not an island,” he said. “Working on a county level, all towns together, can help us grow in a positive way. It can get us more noticed.”
One of the projects he started as a selectman was aimed at just that type of region-wide improvement. It involved rehabilitation of several mill buildings in Greenfield with considerable environmental and infrastructure issues to remedy. Farrell remained involved with the project throughout the transition of the city’s government, and last year was able to see the result of his work, a new assisted-living facility (The Arbors), open its doors.
“When I ran for selectman, my goal was to get the property clean and back on the tax rolls,” he said. “It took some time and millions of dollars, but now it’s back. I’m really proud of that.”
Now that the Board of Selectmen is history, Farrell said he’s mulled other political positions, and currently sits on the Board of Trustees for Greenfield Community College.
He said this position calls for a measure of hometown pride, and he’s developed just that as a business owner and civic leader in Greenfield.
“Had I not taken over the business when I did, it would have faced some tough issues,” he said. “My number-one priority is growing the business, but I’m always thinking about Franklin County and how everyone can work together. I’m going to keep doing what I can.”