July 21, 2015


Memphis Business Journal / December 11, 2009


First job: I started working at the Wonder Bread Thrift store on Saturdays when I was 16 years old.


Education: I graduated from Overton High School in Memphis and attended Memphis State University.


Residence: Collierville


Business philosophy: Take care of your customers and employees.


Best way to keep competitive edge:  Continue your education and keep learning about your industry.


Guiding principle:  Be honest and treat my customers and employees the way I want to be treated.


Yardstick success:  Excellent service for our customers resulting in referral and repeat business.


Goal yet to be achieved:  Continue to grow Boyle Insurance Agency and retire.


Best business decision:  Accepting the position with Boyle Insurance Agency more than 22 years ago.


Worst business decision:  Hiring someone I did not feel was the best candidate for the job.


Toughest business decision:  Terminating an employee.  It is never an easy task.


Mentor:  In my personal life, my parents, Millie and Chuck Ashworth, who taught me the principles by which I live.  Professionally, my three bosses in the insurance industry.  They taught me so much, especially Pat Steele, my boss at Boyle.  He was such a wonderful and knowledgeable insurance salesman.


Word that best describes you:  Integrity


Like best about job:  Helping our customers with their insurance needs.  I love the challenge of marketing a risk to provide our customers with the best coverage and premium available.


Like least about job:  Personnel issues.  I would love it if everyone just did their job.


Pet peeve:  Deception.  I will work and help anyone, but don’t deceive me.  That will be the end of it.


Most important lesson learned:  Never compromise your values.  Do what is right and you will be blessed.


Person most interested in meeting:  No one in particular.  I enjoy meeting everyone and learning about their views and perceptions.


Most respected competitor:  Mark Forrester:  He is always a professional and the ultimate gentleman.


Three greatest passions:  My faith, my family and my friends.


First choice for a new career:  I originally thought I wanted to be an oceanographer:  I still think that would be fun and interesting.


Favorite quote:  “Every day is a good day, some days are better than others.” – My father:  Chuck Ashworth


Most influential book:  The Bible


Favorite cause:  Any organization helping children and the elderly.


Favorite status symbol:  I don’t really have one.


Favorite movie:  “Gone with the Wind.”  My mother took me to see it when I was a child.  I fell in love with it and love it to this day.


Favorite restaurant:  Never met a menu I didn’t like, although I love Erling Jensen’s. 


Favorite vacation spot:  Florida, with our children and grandchildren.  To me, it is heaven on earth.


What’s on your iPod?:  Nothing.  I’m old fashioned and listen to the radio or CDs.        


Favorite way to spend free time:  Spending time with my family, golfing with my husband, cooking, sewing and gardening.        


Automobile:  A 2001 Volkswagen Passat, 2005 Toyota Sequoia, and a 1993 GMC pick-up, (Everyone needs a pick-up). 


Gresham was born in Columbus, Ohio, and moved to Memphis in 1968 when her father was offered the position of manager of the Wonder Bread/Hostess Cake plant. She began her insurance career in 1973 working part-time at a local insurance agency while in college at MemphisStateUniversity. Gresham quickly advanced from typing up homeowner policies to rating and processing all types of personal insurance and was soon promoted to commercial Insurance. She then worked for eight years at another agency near her Collierville home learning the insurance needs of the construction industry, including all types of bonds. In 1987, Gresham accepted an offer from Boyle Insurance Agency and has been with them for more than 22 years. She was named company president this year, taking over for W. Patton ‘Pat’ Steele, who was president for 11 years before retiring.