By Rob Wheary

COAL TOWNSHIP - Wednesday marked the first day of operation for the Darla Fausey Agency, located at The Plaza at Coal Township.

During an open house to mark the occasion, Fausey, a 1997 graduate of Mount Carmel Area High School, welcomed customers and friends.

"I took over the agency Tuesday and I'm ready to help our area neighbors with their needs," Fausey said.

After graduating college, Fausey started out in the public relations/marketing field, but didn't take to it. When she starting working with State Farm, she knew she had found her calling.

"There is such a family atmosphere here with State Farm that, when I started, I just wanted to help in any way I can," she said. "Now I'm an agent and I've been with the company for 10 years."

Fausey and her staff, business acquisition specialist Andrea Whyne, business retention specialist Clarissa Narvaez and business assistant Kayleisha Miller, are ready to explain and help customers with the more than 90 products State Farm offers, from insurance to retirement planning to banking services.

Fausey hopes to offer her services to the community, too.

"I've been in contact with several local school districts about coming in and teaching the students about such things as the do's and don't's of credit cards and how to open a checking account," Fausey said.

She also plans to participate in community events.

On the first day at her agency, Fausey gave a piece of advice to her staff.

"I told them that we are here to be able to change people's lives, give them peace of mind," she said.

Hours are Monday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon. Call 648-0809.