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Louis Dodd

Insurance executive Louis Price Dodd was born on February 15, 1944, in Winona, Mississippi, to Willie and Corene Dodd. Dodd graduated valedictorian from Chicago’s Dunbar Vocational High School in 1959. He received his B.A. degree in education from Chicago State University in 1963 and has also taken advanced courses at Northeastern Illinois University.

Dodd worked as a Language Arts teacher for the Chicago Board of Education from 1966 to 1971 and was the Director of General Education for Chicago Youth Centers from 1969 to 1971. During this same time period, he was also the Co-Owner and Vice President of Marketing for Bailey’s Stamp Works. Since 1971, Dodd has been in the insurance business as an independent agency affiliate of Allstate Insurance. Throughout this time, he has been president and CEO of Dodd’s Insurance Agency. Dodd has received numerous awards for his work in the insurance industry and has been Allstate’s leading sales agent for the Chicago Metro Region for over fifteen years. From 1977 through 2003, Dodd was the director of Highland Community Bank in Chicago. Building on his success in the insurance industry, Dodd entered the hotel business and is co-owner of three Chicago hotels, The Amber Inn, The Dew Central Motel, and the South Parkway Inn. He is also a partner in two other enterprises, the Rolls Royce Car Wash and Kermit Coleman Medical Center.

Dodd is married to fellow insurance agent Alma Dodd. They have three children: Robert Dodd, Kimberly Yelverton, and Courtney Dodd.

Accession Number

A2008.140

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/21/2008

Last Name

Dodd

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Price

Occupation
Schools

Dunbar Vocational Career Academy High School

Chicago State University

Edmund Burke Elementary School

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Winona High School

First Name

Louis

Birth City, State, Country

Winona

HM ID

DOD03

Favorite Season

Birthday

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Miami, Florida

Favorite Quote

It Is Not Easy.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

2/15/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Sole

Short Description

Insurance executive Louis Dodd (1944 - ) was president and CEO of Dodd’s Insurance Agency since 1971. A former teacher, Dodd was also co-owner in three Chicago hotels, and was the director of Highland Community Bank in Chicago from 1977 through 2003.

Employment

Allstate Corporation

Louis Dodd Insurance Agency

Bailey's Stamp Works

Forrestville Upper Grade Center

Montgomery Ward

Esquire Lounge

Rolls Royce Car Wash

The Amber Inn

Dew Central Motel

Chicago South Loop Hotel

Kermit Coleman Medical Center

Dodd's Insurance Agency

Highland Community Bank

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Louis Dodd's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Louis Dodd lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Louis Dodd describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Louis Dodd talks about his maternal grandparents, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Louis Dodd talks about his maternal grandparents, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Louis Dodd describes his siblings and maternal aunt and uncle

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Louis Dodd describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Louis Dodd remembers his father's car

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Louis Dodd describes his childhood home in Winona, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Louis Dodd talks about his maternal grandfather's role as a pastor

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Louis Dodd recalls his family's move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Louis Dodd remembers his first impressions of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Louis Dodd describes his mother's career

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Louis Dodd describes his father's occupation in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Louis Dodd talks about his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Louis Dodd remembers the death of his father

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Louis Dodd recalls his return to Winona, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Louis Dodd remembers Winona High School in Winona, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Louis Dodd describes Edmund Burke Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Louis Dodd remembers Dunbar Vocational High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Louis Dodd describes his mother's education

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Louis Dodd describes his activities in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Louis Dodd remembers his neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Louis Dodd recalls his guidance counselor at Dunbar Vocational High School

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Louis Dodd describes his activities at Dunbar Vocational High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Louis Dodd recalls his interest in athletics

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Louis Dodd remembers his scholarship to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Louis Dodd remembers the Chicago Teachers College in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Louis Dodd describes the founding of Bailey's Stamp Works

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Louis Dodd talks about the Chicago Board of Education examinations

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Louis Dodd remembers the Forrestville Upper Grade Center in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Louis Dodd describes his students at the Forrestville Upper Grade Center

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Louis Dodd recalls the uprisings on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Louis Dodd talks about his rubber stamp business

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Louis Dodd remembers his introduction to the insurance industry

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Louis Dodd describes his position at the Allstate Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Louis Dodd recalls his experiences of discrimination at the Allstate Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Louis Dodd describes his work at the Allstate Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Louis Dodd remembers moving to Matteson, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Louis Dodd describes the changes in the insurance industry

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Louis Dodd talks about his role at the Highland Community Bank

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Louis Dodd talks about the practice of redlining

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Louis Dodd talks about the role of African American banks

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Louis Dodd describes his Rolls Royce Car Wash business

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Louis Dodd describes his business partners

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Louis Dodd describes his mentorship at the Allstate Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Louis Dodd describes his advice to aspiring insurance agents

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Louis Dodd recalls his first venture in the hospitality industry

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Louis Dodd remembers the Kermit Coleman Medical Center

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Louis Dodd talks about the Michigan Plaza Hotel investment group, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Louis Dodd recalls his first investment in the hotel industry

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Louis Dodd talks about the Michigan Plaza Hotel investment group, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Louis Dodd describes his land acquisitions

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Louis Dodd talks about the Amber Inn in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Louis Dodd talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Louis Dodd describes his activities in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Louis Dodd remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Louis Dodd talks about St. Ailbe Catholic Church in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Louis Dodd describes the South Loop Hotel in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Louis Dodd reflects upon his business philosophy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Louis Dodd reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Louis Dodd describes his plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Louis Dodd describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Louis Dodd describes his decision to share his story

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

8$8

DATitle
Louis Dodd recalls the uprisings on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois
Louis Dodd talks about the practice of redlining
Transcript
Now, this is a pretty exciting period, or a changing period in Chicago's [Chicago, Illinois] history during that time. You had--$$The riots.$$--the riots.$$Sure.$$Tell me what, what are your remembrances of that and (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well--$$--if you had any involvement?$$The riots in '68 [1968] I remember vividly, I had just left the teaching situation, I had gone to Wards [Montgomery Ward] to work. And they made that announcement of what was taking place and the streets were, particularly downtown were shut down. The areas particularly on the immediate West Side were just being looted like you wouldn't believe and smoke and fire was everywhere and people were frightened and almost like panic throughout. And, and that had really certainly been fueled a lot by the frustrations of the inequities at the time and a, a numb realization of society of what was brewing as far as people being held back and the issues of what was impending in their minds and in their bodies.$$Now, when you say the inequities can you elaborate a little on that?$$Well, keep in mind even at that time in Chicago there was still areas that you could not live in, Bridgeport [Chicago, Illinois] was one and you knew not to go over there and that was where the mayor [Richard J. Daley] lived. There were other areas too by which you know you would not welcomed. Keep in mind too that during the time that I graduated from high school [Dunbar Vocational High School; Dunbar Vocational Career Academy High School, Chicago, Illinois], it was only a few years before that that you could not have a prom in the Loop [Chicago, Illinois]. So those things were such that the disparities, the inequities, the prejudicial situations were such, were still perpetuated.$$Where was your prom?$$The prom that we had was on the North Side in a hotel that I, I, I can't recall but right on the lake [Lake Michigan].$$But it wasn't down, it was (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) It was not downtown.$$--it was in an acceptable area?$$Yeah, right, on the Near North Side, right, uh-huh.$$So I'm sorry go ahead.$$No. But again, the riots were certainly a intimidating time and a time by which, you know, you recognized what was going on and you somewhat stayed close to home but the issue of the time though, I guess no one would ever condone that type of thing and certainly I wouldn't, but immediately afterwards there was change and you could see it. Not that it was a, a thing by which one could say tremendous progress was made but change was in the process of being made. In other words opportunities by Corporate America, you could see differences in terms of how they viewed the situation as far as opportunities were concerned and they were taking on minorities as a project to integrate the system.$Tell me about, if you don't mind, the situation with Highland Bank [Highland Community Bank, Chicago, Illinois] and Allstate [Allstate Corporation] with the redlining? Wasn't there a problem--$$Well--$$At--$$--insurance companies have been accused of redlining for a lot, a long number of years. And what that really means is that the companies have what has been described as unfair rules that not allows certain segments of the community to be insured. And that historically has been a problem. And the reconcilement of the problem today has been that they don't have these rules that you quote unquote, are out there, but they price you out. In other words, rather than to say there is a rule that will not allow a community to be insured, they will raise the price in that zip code by which you cannot afford or you will not pay, so indirectly they force you to make a decision as to whether you want to pay that price and stay with them or to get a, a better price and go to another suitor.$$And during this period though when there was a issue with Englewood [Chicago, Illinois], with the Englewood communities specifically, you were with Allstate as well as with the bank, so how did you, how did that, tell us a little bit about that?$$Well, with the bank that's the easy part in the sense that Highland is a black bank from the standpoint of ownership from the posture of Allstate, you don't make the rules, you interpret the rules and you work within the rules. So consequently one had to market the product that they put out there. The companies don't ask your opinion as to what you think about any situation. They explicitly describe what they have and under what circumstance they want to market this product. So, you know, you have two different hats. And when I'm in the banking industry have one hat, I'm in the insurance industry have on a different hat, so it, you, you separate the two and you move forward. And the issue is that you look for progress and accomplishments depending on what hat you have on.