The Sainteus Agency-Farmers Insurance
New York, N.Y.
At just 35, George Sainteus owns an insurance agency — The Sainteus Agency, a branch of Farmers Insurance. He attributes his spirit of entrepreneurship to his immigrant background and the example of his mother, a native of Haiti. “My mom is an entrepreneur so I aspired to be like her. She came from nothing and had a successful retail business in Haiti’s capital,” he explains. “The sense of entrepreneurship is very strong in the immigrant community. I deal with a lot of immigrants because they own small businesses and you see their insistence on taking advantage of the opportunities that America has.”
Sainteus has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the State University of New York at Binghamton and an MBA from King Graduate School at Monroe College. He is the current vice president of administration for the New York metro chapter of the National Black MBA Association and served as president and executive director of Strong Movement, a nonprofit dedicated to diabetes management and prevention. “I’m a product of mentors and that contributed to my strong sense of giving back,” he says. His father found one of those mentors after reaching out to the mentorship program at the family church. “The late Bill Anderson was a retired Prudential executive who decided to give back by mentoring and he mentored me from middle school through high school… Even my father’s decision to put me in Catholic school for high school, was influenced by Anderson,” Sainteus says, recalling that the same Catholic school gave him more diverse experiences than he would have had otherwise.
“Bill worked at an insurance company,” he muses. “That’s the irony of my taking a leap of faith and opening up my own insurance agency. I’m sure he’s looking down now to see this is what I’m doing. It’s funny how life works out.”
First job: Camp counselor
Sport you play best: Basketball
Favorite book: 48 Laws of Power by Robert Green