Merle B. Grindle Agency under new ownership

BLUE HILL — The Merle B. Grindle Agency will be under new ownership Jan. 1.

President Peter Dodge is selling the insurance and real estate agency to Rob Clapp, who had been a minority owner.

“Seventy two years of age, I thought it was time,” Dodge said of his departure. “I, frankly, still enjoy it. It’s a lot of fun. We have a good time here while doing a professional job, but it’s time to give somebody else an opportunity to lead the firm.”

“I’m thrilled with Rob and the employees,” Dodge said. “Everyone’s long term. They’re wonderful. I have complete, utter confidence. I’ll miss the events that go on around the insurance agency. Everything from life to death goes on here.”

Dodge has been at the Grindle agency for 43 years and a lot has changed in the insurance business since he started.

“It’s become more technical and it’s become much less user-friendly, more challenging to do your job,” Dodge said. “Things 43 years ago were done on a handshake and today it’s hard adherence to contracts.”

Customers should not expect any changes.

“I’ve been here for almost 37 years and worked with Peter the entire time,” Clapp said. “We’ll continue business as usual, providing the same level of service.”

Clapp said he is looking forward to taking over but plans to continue the good work Dodge has done.

Dodge will remain affiliated with the agency as an advisor.

“I’ll miss the business,” Dodge said. “But I’ll still be involved.”

The Grindle Agency has absorbed other area insurance businesses as their owners have retired. The list includes the Walker Pickering Agency (1978), the Shepard Agency (1984), the Robert L. Gray Agency (1988), the John R. Crooker Agency (2000), the Douglas Endicott Agency (2006) and the Robert Hoffmann Agency (2015).

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.
Jennifer Osborn

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