For more than 75 years, the Viti Company has been a trusted local source for all things insurance. Since it was founded by Guy Viti in 1938, the company has grown to include commercial and personal insurance, financial services, pension plans, mutual funds, and more. Now, with two distinct branches—Guy Viti Insurance and Viti Financial Services—the Viti Companies are equipped to handle any insurance or financial need.
For the Vitis, insurance was not always the family business. Guy Viti came to Highwood from Italy in 1915, finished school, and began working for a bank. At the age of 21, Guy took over his father’s sewer and water business in Highwood. Eventually, he sold the business and started a career in real estate. A year later, in 1938, a fire broke out in Highwood. At the time, the Hartford Insurance representative who came after the fire told Guy that he should get insurance. So in the fall of that year, Guy started the Viti Insurance Company, and the rest is history.
When Guy’s son, Gabriel, began working for his father in 1962, he knew he was joining a well-regarded company. “Everybody knew my father—he was a very nice guy and had a good reputation,” Gabriel says. During his first year at the company, they doubled their business, and they tripled it the following year. Gabriel eventually bought the company, and his brother Blase took over the real estate end of the business. By this time, the company was a booming family business. Two of Gabriel’s daughters, Anna Maria and Ester, started their careers at Viti by filing paperwork. “I don’t know if they liked it or not, but they did it anyways,” Gabriel says with a laugh. “They never complained.”
Because the business was expanding quite rapidly, Gabriel decided to split the responsibilities of the company in 1989. Anna Maria took over the insurance part of the business, and Gabriel hired Walter Parenti to head Viti Financial. Now, both sides of the company operate all over the country, though they remain loyally based in Highwood. Three of Gabriel’s daughters also remain active in the company; Anna Maria as President of Guy Viti Insurance, Ester as Vice President of Viti Financial, and Jeannine as an agent.
With 75 years of business behind them, it’s evident that the company’s success is not based on chance. From the beginning, hard work and dedication won the clients’ respect and trust. “When I was in high school, my father told me, ‘Your reputation will follow you. And do you know what people think of? All the bad things,’” Gabriel says. “That always stayed in my brain.” Building a trustworthy reputation was only one piece of the puzzle, however; the company has also utilized new technology as the years have passed. “We were one of the first agents in the whole area that had a computer,” Gabriel says. “We only had one, at first, so everyone had to work on that one.”
But perhaps the most important aspect of the company that Gabriel was able to learn from his father was how to keep family time for the family and business time for the business. “When we came into the office, it wasn’t family, it was business,” he says. Like his father before him, Gabriel has maintained the professional atmosphere of the company, while still being an encouraging father. “My dad is a great mentor and we have a great relationship,” Anna Maria says. “He was always there for me and believed in me; I think that’s why the company has been so successful.”
The Viti Companies are located at 445 Sheridan Road in Highwood. For more information, call 847-432-1000, or visit viticompanies.com.