We recently met with Steve Marikos to learn about his experience partnering with Causewave:

Can you talk a little bit about what you do?

When you boil it down, I’m a small business owner. I’m an insurance agent, though I like to say I’m in the protection business. We protect personal property, and offer life insurance, retirement assets, and voluntary workplace benefits.

In November, I celebrated my 40th anniversary with Allstate. I’ve worked since I was 9 years old and I’ve only had 2 employers: my dad’s restaurant and Allstate.  

How did you first get involved with Causewave?  

A few years ago, when the Allstate Foundation first considered sponsoring the local Distracted Driving Initiative, they asked me if I wanted to get involved with the steering committee. Since then, I’ve remained involved with the committee and secured funding through the Allstate Foundation each year. 

You support our work in a lot of ways – as a Potter Society member, corporate supporter, and even as a Summer Smash bartender. Is there a project that has been most rewarding? 

I like the Distracted Driving committee's effort to raise awareness and change behaviors with high schoolers. Getting schools to require distracted driving education before they can get a parking pass is great. I hope this can eventually become universal. 

What causes are you most passionate about?

Recently, the causes I’m focused on are domestic violence (physical and financial), distracted driving, and veterans. Before I bought the insurance business, I volunteered regularly at the art gallery at Otto’s House, a part of the Veteran’s Outreach Center. I’m not a veteran, but I appreciate everything they’ve done. I’m really looking forward to getting more involved when I retire. 

Do you have any thoughts or advice for other people who volunteer or support our work?  

Rochester has a lot of challenges. The best thing to get engaged in is a cause you have a real passion for. If you’ve got a passion for it, it won’t feel like a burden, it will actually fuel you. Rather than spread yourself thin across a lot of causes, I’d say find a few and stick with them until you make a difference.

How do you take your coffee? 

I’ll drink just about any kind of coffee (or beer). I’m not high maintenance when it comes to that.