Larkin takes center stage in Pennsylvania

Harry Larkin lives for an adrenaline rush. From pumping iron to cranking up his beloved Black Sabbath, he feels most at home when he’s immersing himself in things that challenge him.

And now, as Grinnell Mutual’s newest sales manager, Larkin is facing his biggest challenge yet: Grinnell Mutual’s Pennsylvania expansion.

The first quarter of 2017 will see Pennsylvania go live, and Larkin — who will be working from his own home in Pittsburgh — has been busy prospecting for new agency appointments in order to hit the ground running in January.

“I’ve been working remotely for several years,” said Larkin. “I don’t foresee any roadblocks. It’s all about organization and commitment.”

Home-based for a homerun

Born in Rome, N.Y., Larkin has lived in Pennsylvania most of his life and his familiarity with the  state lends itself well to his current position with Grinnell Mutual.

Shortly after getting his B.S. in business administration from Penn State in 1983, Larkin took a job swinging a sledgehammer in a mill to pay for his MBA program at Robert Morris University, and then took a salesman position with MetLife. Larkin was quickly introduced to a 65-hour work week. Although the effort was demanding, it shaped the work ethic he’s proud of today.

 “I think it’s important to know what to avoid and what to pursue,” said Larkin. “Having worked for two major competitors doesn’t hurt, and it helps tremendously that I’ve met and worked with a variety of agents all over the state.”

As committed as Larkin is to his job, it’s not all work and no play. He’s been athletically inclined since his youth and was once involved in everything from bowling to karate. Larkin has since traded in his martial arts moves for weight training, a past-time he says has gone a long way in establishing confidence.

“I love the adrenaline rush,” Larkin said. “It feels great to achieve a goal physically, not to mention the stress relief it offers.”

Larkin not only gets his endorphins from physical activities, but also through creativity. He’s a self-professed comedy nut and once considered taking to the stage himself, but several years ago, Larkin was sidelined with Bell’s Palsy, a nerve disorder that can cause weakness or paralysis of the facial muscles. Although he’s mostly healed today, he says the affliction keeps his desire for the spotlight to a minimum, and today he’s content with watching his favorite comedians from home. He’s also a huge music lover.

 “At heart I’m a rock-n-roller. I love the old stuff all the way to heavy metal, and I also like every genre of country and blues,” Larkin said. “My favorite groups are Black Sabbath and the Platters.”

Larkin lives in Pittsburgh with Tricia, his wife of 22 years, and his 17-year-old twins, Jimmy and Natalie.