By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Dan Texeira has lived his entire life within a six-square block area of Bay Ridge and that’s the way he likes it.
“I love Bay Ridge. I have no intention of leaving,” he said proudly.
Texeira, an independent insurance broker, is an example of someone increasingly rare in New York City, where residents move around and newcomers are always arriving. He is a lifelong resident who lives and works in the neighborhood that has been his home since the day he was born.
He works out of an office at The Flood Company, a real estate firm on 69th Street that is within walking distance of the home he shares with his wife Anne and their three children.
Texeira runs his own insurance company, but works in cooperation with Lincoln Brokerage, a large insurance firm. He has been in the insurance business for 32 years. Being a neighborhood guy is an advantage, he said.
“I get a lot of referrals from people I know. People recommend me to other people,” he said. “The insurance business is the best business in the world. There’s no downside. Everybody needs insurance at some point in their lives. If you have a car, you need insurance. If you buy a house, you need insurance.”
In addition to helping clients with their insurance needs, Texeira, who is Catholic, is also helping his parish, Saint Anselm, grow and prosper. Texeira is the leader of the parish’s Pastoral Planning Council, a group that works in close consultation with the Rev. Msgr. John Maloney, the pastor, on everything from the church’s finances to planning events to be held in the church.
The council has earned a reputation as a group that has worked to expand the parish’s mission. The council includes a workforce ministry that sponsors job fairs and resume-writing seminars for the unemployed. The events are open to parishioners and non-parishioners alike.
“The workforce ministry works a lot with Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow, a really great group,” said Texeira, referring to a Sunset Park-based nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting out-of-work young people. “We’ve also invited business owners to come and speak to people about starting a business. In a tough economy, a lot of people who can’t get jobs are going to have to create their own jobs.”
Maria Ingardia, co-owner of the Green Spa & Wellness Center, an environmentally-friendly spa on Third Avenue, and Robert Long, owner of the Yellow Hook Grille, a bar-restaurant on Third Avenue, recently spoke at a seminar organized by the workforce ministry. Texeira is also a lector at Sunday masses.
St. Anselm Church is a family passion for the Texeiras. Anne Texeira is the president of St. Anselm Youth Activities, an organization that sponsors sports and recreational programs for children. More than 1,000 kids are registered in the organization’s various programs.
The Texeiras met when they were 16 years old.
“She wouldn’t go out with me!” Dan Texeira said with a laugh.
Anne eventually acquiesced and agreed to a date. The couple was married in 1982. They will celebrate their 30th anniversary on Sept. 17.
Texeira said he loves politics. He is currently helping his friend Tom McCarthy, a Republican hopeful running in a primary for a state Assembly seat. McCarthy is running against fellow Republican Lucretia-Regina Potter for the right to run against incumbent Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny, a Democrat, in the 46th Assembly District in Bay Ridge.
His love of politics stretches back to his college days. As a St. John’s University student, Texeira got a job in the administration of then-governor Hugh Carey.
“I drove the press around. Eventually, I worked as an advance man for the governor. When I think back, it’s amazing that I was a young guy traveling around the state with all of this responsibility,” he said.
He majored in political science in college. Following his graduation, he went into the insurance business at the suggestion of a friend. He has worked for large companies and at one time managed an office in Westchester. But he said he prefers being independent.
Texeira is a graduate of P.S. 127, McKinley Junior High School, and Brooklyn Technical High School. One of his favorite classes at Brooklyn Tech was shop, in which students worked with metal to build things with their hands.
“One time, we built a bridge trellis. It’s amazing when you think back on the things we were asked to do. We were teenagers and we were pouring hot liquid metal,” he said.
This article was originally published in the Bay Ridge Eagle.