Coyne is moving his offices to 1301 Woodlawn in
Lincoln. Those who have been in the community for a while know that
the building Coyne is moving to was built as a Long John Silver’s
seafood restaurant. After the Long John Silvers closed, the building
was occupied by Liberty Tax Service for a while. For the last year
or so, the building has been empty.
Coyne has had an office in the Heritage Plaza in Lincoln since 2003.
Coyne said that the remodeling that the former tenants did to the
building that will be his next office, made the majority of the work
to accommodate him and his staff mostly cosmetic.
Making the move, Coyne said he will be going into a smaller
building. But, it is going to be more accommodating to the size of
his staff, and it offers high visibility and a parking area for his
customers only. He said in addition, with the drive around the
building, he was able to install a drop box on the west side of the
building for transactions that do not require the customer come
inside, such as payments. He said he thought his customers would
appreciate that convenience, especially in nasty weather because
they won’t have to get out of their cars to take care of business.
Coyne added that in the Heritage Plaza he was paying for un-used
space, but also had an east window all across the front of the
offices that had a negative impact on utility bills. All in all,
with lower utility bills, a better utilization of space, and a
higher visibility, Coyne is confident that the move to the new
building will be a good one.
For those who are unfamiliar with Coyne’ he’s been in the insurance
business since 1985. Coyne hails from Pontiac, which he said shares
a lot of similarities with Lincoln. He graduated from Illinois State
University in 1984. In 1985 he went to work for State Farm, working
in Chicago. In 1989 he was transferred to Bloomington. He went to
work in Springfield in auto claims in 1993. In 1997 he returned to
the corporate offices where he remained until he opened his first
agency office in 2001 in Atlanta.
In June of 2002, he had the opportunity to take on an agency office
in Lincoln. Coyne explained that he started out on Pulaski Street in
downtown Lincoln. In Lincoln at that time there were two primary
State Farm offices in Lincoln, those of Woody Jones and Delmar
Aukamp. The Pulaski Street office was taken over from Aukamp by Jane
Wright. From Wright the office went to Brandi Patterson, then to
Coyne. Coyne then in 2003 moved the agency office to Heritage Plaza
where he has remained for the last 15 years.
Four years ago, Coyne married Tia Taylor and they
became a blended family. Tia has two daughters, Lexi who is a
student at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, and Laini,
who is a freshman this year at Lincoln Community High School. Chris
also has two children, Lindsey, who is also a graduate of SIUE and
currently living and working in the St. Louis area, and son Brant,
who lives and works in in Reno, Nevada.
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Coyne moved to Lincoln in 1993. He has enjoyed being
a part of the community involved with the local Elks, president of
the Atlanta Rotary, and volunteers with Toys for Tots. He works with
the driver’s education programs at Lincoln Community High School and
also at Olympia High School.
For the work at the new building, Coyne said interior work included
new carpeting, paint, and some carpentry, and he is appreciative of
for all the assistance he received beginning with Tia and Lexi, who
did a lot of the interior painting.
In addition, he said that Office Manager Robyn Yarcho and team
member Josh Baker did the cleaning and painting in the back storage
room. Frank Sommers was the primary carpenter with Larry Johnson
also helping out with some light carpentry jobs. Rick Ramlow worked
on the heating and cooling in the building and Dan Langley of
Lincoln Heating and Cooling also worked on the project. Finally, the
outside work including cleaning up the landscape and taking care of
the lawn maintenance was done by Coyne’s brother-in-law Eddie
At the ribbon cut, Coyne said he expects to be joined by some of his
family as well as his office/service team: Yarcho, Baker, Karen
Liesman and Josh Johnson.
Also look for a visit from a special guest – ‘Good Neighbear.’ The
corporate mascot, a large cuddly brown bear, generally arrives on
the scene in his State Farm t-shirt and cap, and offers hugs and
photo opportunities to all.
When the cut is complete all guests will be invited inside to take a
look at the new offices, visit with Coyne and his staff, and of
course enjoy some light refreshments.
Coyne said he is anticipating that the staff will be officially in
the new building starting Tuesday, September 4th. Office hours at
the Lincoln office are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., so
starting on the Tuesday, look for the Heritage Plaza office to be
empty and the new offices on Woodlawn to be open.
Again, the community is invited to stop in on Thursday, September
6th at 9 a.m. for the ribbon cut. Coyne is hopeful that he will see
many customers as well as friends and family, all there to help him
and his staff celebrate a new location and a new chapter in the
history of Chris Coyne State Farm Insurance.