All in the family.
The Ciccone Agency of Allstate Insurance celebrated the grand opening of the agency’s brand new office location in South Slope, 684 Fifth Avenue, led by A.J. Ciccone, who is taking over the family business that has spanned over three generations.
The celebratory event, held on Wednesday, September 21, brought elected officials, family, friends and employees to celebrate a new era.
“We’re very excited to be in the neighborhood,” A.J. said. The move happened this past June; previously, the firm had primarily been in Bay Ridge for 30 years. “We feel very comfortable. The area is great. Everyone on the block is amazing. We’ve been able to meet a lot of new people and business owners. We’re just excited to be here for a long time and providing the neighborhood with its insurance needs.”
A.J.’s father Tony, who has been in the insurance business for 42 years and has been an Allstate agent for 36 years, is thrilled to be able to hand the business over to his son. “It feels phenomenal,” he said.
“I know my dad is very excited and proud. I’m excited that I can continue the legacy,” A.J. said. “It means a lot to take over a business from my father and to be in a new neighborhood and office. Hopefully, it brings us lots of good luck and success.”
Although it may be a tall order, A.J. feels that he learned from the best. “I’ve been working with him for over five years,” he said. “It’s been a good transition and a good move, and I’m excited to hopefully bring some of my ideas to our agency.”
State Senator Marty Golden was in attendance to present a certificate to the Ciccone family. “You guys offer a great market in insurance in cars, homes, right across the board,” he said. “This is a generational operation here. I go back a long time with Tony and A.J. and obviously the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. You can tell by the depth of this office, and talent in this office, that’s going to work in this area.”
Tony’s father-in-law John D’Amico, who died around five years ago, spent 30 years as an Allstate agent and got him into the business.
“With all those groups he belonged to like Ben Bay Kiwanis, he made a difference,” Golden recalled. “He helped to grow the community. It wasn’t just take and take. He was giving. That’s what made his business and (Tony’s) business as good as it was and as it’s going to be in future with A.J. taking the helm.”
“I was humbled and honored they came,” Tony said. “The best gift anybody can give you is giving you their respect. It’s beautiful.”