Van Wyck ends 40-year State Farm career, Concord mayor now running Clayton office

Van Wyck ends 40-year State Farm career, Concord mayor now running Clayton office

Van Wyck ends 40-year State Farm career, Concord mayor now running Clayton office
Doug Van Wyck (right) opened a State Farm office in Clayton in 1980 and was located downtown until his retirement last fall. This month, Tim McGallian took over the insurance agency’s Clayton business in the Village Oaks building on Center St. and knows he has Van Wyck’s knowlege to call on. (Tamara Steiner photo)

CLAYTON, CA—The State Farm insurance office in Clayton was operated for 40 years by Doug and Hildy Van Wyck until their retirement last fall. This month, Tim McGallian, who is in his second year as mayor of Concord, took over the business in the same location adjacent to Ed’s Mudville Grill on Center St.

Doug Van Wyck began his business in 1980 in an era with no computers. The UC Berkeley grad used handwritten paper applications and 3×5 index cards for client information. Today, McGallian has outfitted his downtown Clayton office with a large video screen and camera so that he can conduct his business meetings remotely—during and after the pandemic.

Van Wyck began making cold calls on his phone and thought things were really gearing up when he got a pager and could be reached seven days a week. Then, he and State Farm started computerizing things; well, that was real technological progress.

New team

Tim McGallian
Tim McGallian

McGallian and his team utilize smartphones, text, email, fax, internet and video capabilities to go along with their combined half century of insurance company experience. Nicole Interiano, Melissa Zimmerman and his mom Marcia McGallian each have over a dozen years in the business to serve the large client base Van Wyck developed over four decades.

Both McGallian and Van Wyck recognize the importance of getting involved in their community. Van Wyck is still active with the Boy Scouts while McGallian coaches the throwing events for the Clayton Valley Charter High School track and field team. His oldest child Andy is a senior on the squad and will be heading off to the University of Chicago in the fall.

He met his wife Michelle when both were students at Sacrament State. He was on the track team and she was a trainer for the team. Their daughters Alyssa and Audrey attend CVCHS and St. Agnes School, respectively.

He began his insurance career with Northwestern Mutual before joining State Farm, where he has spent most of his career in corporate business lines serving commercial clients.

City Council

McGallian was selected by the Concord City Council to fill the vacant seat that was created when Tim Grayson was elected to the State Assembly in the November 2016 election. He had previously served as City Treasurer from July 2015 to January 2017 and was on the Concord Planning Commission from 2010-15.

He is a past president of the Todos Santos Business Association Arts Foundation through which he founded the Concord July 4th Festival and Fireworks after The Singing Flag ceased in 2014.

He was reelected in 2018 in the first district elections in Contra Costa’s largest city. McGallian is the second member of that council to work in Clayton. His colleague Laura Hoffmeister has worked in the Clayton city manager’s office since 1998.

The best day and worst days

Van Wyck started his agency in the original Clayton City Hall building and then moved next door to where Canesa’s Brooklyn Heros now resides. In 1992 he took the business to its space in the Village Oaks building which had previously housed a veterinary practice.

Van Wyck says his “enthusiasm for the business” drove his success while McGallian adds that insurance companies are there “to help people in the best of days and the worst of days.”

Because it is considered an essential business, the State Farm office is open every weekday while their adjoining neighboring barber shop, nail and hair salon, and restaurant businesses have been open and closed due to the pandemic over the past 11 months.

McGallian says, “People like to have an agent they can talk to; someone in the neighborhood.” He jokes that in Clayton he can “just be a member of the community and a small business owner.” He’ll leave concerns about potholes on Clayton streets to someone else.

State Farm Insurance in Clayton located is at 6200 Center St Ste A, Clayton, CA 94517, phone: 925-672-2300.