By ED SALVAS
When Ruston “Rus” Sitren opens the Dirus, Inc. Insurance Agency on June 1, it will mark the start of the 41st year in business for Sitren and his wife Diane. The agency they started in 1978 continues to operate at the same location, 1142 Corlies Ave, Rte. 33 in Neptune.
Rus Sitren had been working for another agency when he had an opportunity to buy his own business and took it. His wife was working for a chemical company and they needed the steady paycheck, so she didn’t join the family business until four years later. It truly is a family business as their sons, Marshall, 35, and Christopher, 32, have both joined mom and dad in the business. They selected the name Dirus as a combination of Dane and Rus and also to get them a better position in the telephone Yellow Pages, an important advertising vehicle at the time.
“The first year was very slow,” said Rus Sitren, but they managed to get through it and began building a business that has seen numerous changes over 40 years. But Sitren says there has been one constant during that time, their emphasis on personal service. He said about 90 percent of the business comes from client referrals. Keeping up with changes in the insurance industry is another challenge.
“When I started, there was one test for everything, now there’s a test for each type of coverage,” Sitren said. “But there’s also less paperwork today as handling documents is a matter of uploading and downloading.”
At Dirus they handle multiple lines of overage including home, auto, motorcycles and even boats. Their clients include small contractors and the owners of restaurants, apartments and rooming houses. Marshall Sitren now handles the life and health insurance side of the business. They have had a larger staff in the past but having both of their sons working with them keeps it all in the family.
It’s not all insurance at Dirus. Rus Sitren has also been doing tax preparation for clients for over 30 years.
A glance around the wood paneled office of Dirus Insurance, a visitor sees many reminders of a 40-year business – photos and signs with old sayings and some that Rus Sitren has kept as reminders of his service in the U. S. Navy in Vietnam. One says “America – Home of the Free Because of the Brave.” His sons were both Boy Scouts and Christopher Sitren rose to the rank of Eagle Scout.
When it’s time to retire, Diane and Rus Sitren say they plan to continue traveling around the United States. Rus said he wants to buy a motor home and drive to Alaska to see the ice fog and Northern Lights. Find more information on Dirus at www.Dirusinc.com.