40 Under 40 The Class of 2017

David Griffin Jr.

Vice President, The Dowd Insurance Agencies; Age 33

David Griffin Jr.

David Griffin Jr.

David Griffin wears plenty of hats as vice president of the Dowd Insurance Agencies, from account executive for commercial sales on the property and casualty side to a sort of IT director.

“I drew the short straw on that,” he laughed, recalling that the firm’s leadership, which includes his father, David Griffin Sr., took his Millennial tech savvy for granted. “They needed to get the agency caught up with technology, and they looked at each other and said, ‘you know more about this stuff than we do.’”

But Griffin likes the variety of tasks at Dowd, where he’s worked for eight years.

“I was always interested in the insurance field,” he said, noting that he majored in finance at Bentley University and interned at Dowd the summer after his junior year. “I saw what they had to offer, saw what my dad did on a daily basis, and decided to go into this full bore.”

No day is the same, he went on. “I spend the day talking to different people from different industries, getting a feel for what it takes to have a successful business, how the markets impact what they do, and the trials, tribulations, and strengths of their business. The thing we always preach internally is that we want to be a trusted advisor for businesses that choose us as their agent.”

Griffin said he enjoys being part of a multi-generational family business — not just the Dowds, who are on their fifth generation at the 119-year-old firm, but also working with his father. “Culturally, it’s a great fit.”

Griffin — whose own immediate family includes his wife, Corrinne, and son, David — also manages to fit plenty of community service into his schedule, serving on the foundation board of the Sisters of Providence Health System, the Wistariahurst Museum board, and the United Way Resource Development Council. He also serves on the board of the Holyoke Rotary, where he supports programs that promote reading and boost literacy.

“It’s something that, growing up, was preached to us by our parents,” he said of his volunteer work. “In the Rotary, the dollars we raise not only stay in Holyoke, but go to their projects worldwide, so you’re helping people across the globe. To see first-hand how that works is very rewarding.”

—Joseph Bednar