Longevity should be rewarded, in the opinion of Clintonville Area Chamber of Commerce board chairman Steve Devlin.

That's why when chamber awards season rolled around, he didn't hesitate to nominate the J.R. Scott Insurance Agency.

"That place has been there forever," Devlin said.

Well, not quite that long, but more than 50 years, according to the website of the independent home- and auto-insurance agency with offices at 3620 N. High St.

The agency has been owned for the vast majority of that time by Jeff Bell, who said being named the chamber's Business of the Year is gratifying.

"It really does feel great," he said. "I've got 40 years in the insurance business -- 40 years of trying to help people."

Sharing in the award with Bell is Julie Schatz, who said she arrived at J.R. Scott in 2011 knowing absolutely nothing about the insurance industry.

Now, she is well on her way to the various accreditations her more-senior associate already boasts.

"We want to have a level of professionalism," Bell said.

"I'm lucky to be working with somebody who's not just a boss, but a friend and a mentor," Schatz said.

Bell said he brought the agency into the computer era during his tenure, and now Schatz has moved the business into the realm of social media.

She also ensures J.R. Scott is active in the chamber, Bell said, while he maintains involvement in the community through Charity Newsies, sponsorship of a youth softball team and volunteer work at North Broadway United Methodist Church.

"I honestly try to get a lot of my friends and the businesses around here to join the chamber, because I know what we've gotten out of it," Schatz said.

"For me, that was pretty much the main one that came to mind," Devlin said. "I think they've been nominated in the past, but they didn't win. I just thought it was time.

"They really understand the mission of the chamber and really understand that to get a lot out of a group like the chamber, you have to be active."

"We like Clintonville and we know it's a special place," Bell said.

J.R. Scott Insurance Agency will be honored, along with the chamber's Businessperson of the Year and ThisWeek Booster  Volunteer of the Year, during its 18th annual Celebrate Clintonville awards, set Feb. 22 at the Clintonville Woman's Club, 3951 N. High St. Recent Business of the Year winners include the woman's club, Lineage Brewing, Lavash Cafe, Northstar Cafe and Donatos Pizza.

kparks@thisweeknews.com

@KevinParksTW1