If Shalyn and Al Clark shared a middle name, it would be “Service.” Their professional and personal philosophies are intricately wrapped around the concept of being a good neighbor through community service and involvement. That’s pretty appropriate for two entrepreneurs who both are senior agents for State Farm Insurance, with offices in Hurst and Arlington.
Based in Hurst, Shalyn’s community involvement includes prominent roles in a variety of public service and nonprofit organizations, including a long-standing relationship with TCC Northeast and a prominent role in the TCC Foundation. In addition to supporting their alma maters (Baylor University for her, University of Minnesota for him), they also support an elementary school in Arlington, the University of Texas at Arlington, Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, a scholarship for TCC students through the TCC Foundation and social service organizations in both communities.
“We are big believers in investing in education and the future generation,” said Al. “We feel that it is important to be part of our community. It makes us a good neighbor. We are both interested in making a difference in people’s lives. So that’s part of what we do.”
For Shalyn, public service also is very personal. She became involved with TCC Northeast after a local city councilman recruited her for the Campus’ Business Advisory Committee. That led to an introduction to the TCC Foundation and, ultimately, to a three-year stint on the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
To celebrate her 25th year of business in 2007, Shalyn created a scholarship, the Shalyn and Al Clark Insurance and Financial Services Endowed Scholarship, to support a student in each of the fall and spring semesters to pursue an associate degree or certificate of completion in business or insurance-related studies, such as accounting, business, management, marketing, office administration or small business management.
“I just felt like that would be kind of a lasting way to help out the community and help out the College. And, it would be something more significant that I could do to celebrate my 25th work anniversary,” said Shalyn. “So I started taking advantage of some matching funds (from State Farm Insurance) every year until I got to the point where I could endow my scholarship.”
Shalyn also has made her partnership with TCC an intricate part of her work life. Her 15-person office, which is located near TCC Northeast, has employed a steady stream of TCC graduates and student interns in sales and service/support roles. Some former TCC students even have made careers of the opportunity by working there for more than 17 years.
“We talk about making an investment when you hire someone,” said Al. “To have a successful business, you need people who have the skills and the intelligence to be prepared to be a successful employee."
Having more educated and better trained individuals in our community makes a huge difference in what companies come here. And I think the community college makes a huge difference in making sure we have a skilled and educated workforce in place.
TCC Foundation Donor
That’s the spirit of service that serves everybody well.
The Clarks also have planned for future TCC students by including the TCC Foundation in their estate plans. As a result, Al and Shalyn are members of the Trailblazer Society, which recognizes those who include the TCC Foundation in their will or estate planning.
For more information about the TCC Foundation or Trailblazer Society, please call 817-515-5277.