Over the years, the agency had a few different names, and it wasn't until 1985, when Roger Lindstrom joined the business, that it became Nixon & Lindstrom. The 1980s is also when Luke and his brother, Mark, joined the business. The two were salesmen, and to Luke, their addition to the staff directory was a turning point. “I think when my brother and I joined the company as salespeople in the ’80s, that was a big change in the whole dynamic because up until that time, it had just been my father,” Luke says. A few years later, Luke and Mark’s sister, Clare, joined too. For Luke, these might be considered the good ol’ days. He and his brother “were suited” for sales and both enjoyed it. Now as adults, the two were also raising their own families. Luke and his wife, Cynthia, have four children of their own, and four from a previous marriage. Mark and his wife, Jane, also had a daughter.
In the 1990s, things began to change. Jerry died in 1995, and Luke says he was pushed into a managerial role. He and his brother, the second generation, took over the family business, but things changed again in 1999 when Mark died. Shortly after, Clare moved out of state, and Luke took on an even bigger role at the agency, now managing the firm as president.
The Next Generation
Though the 1990s were a transitional period, Luke wasted no time making improvements. He developed an internal sales training program and trained nearly all of the salespeople. He focused on reinvesting in the company by rolling profits into infrastructure, training and education. The company did a ton of hiring and ballooned from 12 employees to 47. In 25 years, sales grew from $8 million to $78 million. “[We were] really trying to make one plus one equal four,” Luke says.