December 7, 2017

Allstate’s Ray Lynch Award winner thrives on community service

New York City agency owner Abraham Kevin Spann lives by the motto 'Inspire and be inspired'

Allstate Agency owner Abraham Kevin Spann, left, is a business and community leader in his Queens neighborhood. Video image courtesy of Abraham Kevin Spann. Watch the full video here.

A. Kevin Spann & Son’s Allstate Agency sits on the corner of a quaint section in the Middle Village neighborhood of Queens, where local businesses and mom and pops anchor the tree-lined street. It’s the kind of place where neighbors still say hello to one another by name, even though it’s in the center of New York City’s second largest borough.

It’s here where Abraham Kevin Spann conducts his business as an Allstate agency owner; it’s also here where he is making an impact as a community leader.

His son, Kevin Spann II said his dad’s commitment to community service has been prevalent his whole life: “He always had a passion for helping people.”

This year, Allstate named Spann the 2017 Ray Lynch Award winner, its top national honor that recognizes an agency owner or financial specialist for giving back and improving the lives of those in his or her community. The award is named in the memory of agency owner Ray Lynch, who demonstrated a three-decade commitment to service. In recognition of Spann’s volunteer service, The Allstate Foundation made a $5,000 grant to his favorite charity, American Cancer Society.

We spoke to the 54-year-old New York resident about his work and the inspiration that keeps him going. He said his family—wife Denise, and three sons, Kevin II, Dominique, and Trey, and granddaughter Jade—supports him along the way.

This questionnaire has been edited for length and clarity.

What inspired you to get involved in your community?

I started getting involved in community work when I was in college. And I live by the motto, “Inspire and be inspired.”

What ways are you helping to make your community thrive?

We create jobs for people that live in the community and we help the community thrive by supporting and promoting local businesses.

Our agency gets heavily involved with many issues that impact this first- and second-generation immigrants. This includes charity work involving local schools and New York’s first responders, and American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

I am From Wyandanch, New York, and currently reside in the nearby town of Babylon. My involvement with the community in the town I live include Wyandanch Family Day, giving back to the Wyandanch school district, coaching youth basketball, and getting involved in local events.

Describe some of the community projects you’re working on how:

We are currently working on our Annual Toys For Tots Drive. The forward-thinking Marines at Toys for Tots believe that with each toy comes a kind message of hope that will assist children in becoming responsible, productive, and patriotic citizens. In addition to being tax-deductible, nearly all of money raised goes straight to the program, meaning that millions of underprivileged children have the opportunity to feel the excitement that comes from being given a bright, shiny new toy and knowing they weren’t forgotten. Best of all, all toys collected stay right in the community, helping less fortunate kids right here at home to have a happier Christmas.

Spann with the first responders of Engine 286/Ladder 135 in Glendale, Queens.

And we recently catered lunch for Engine 286/Ladder 135 in Glendale, Queens, to thank them for all that they do for the community. The Fire Department of the City of New York is known as the world’s busiest and most highly skilled emergency response agency. With local offices throughout the five boroughs, we chose to focus on our local chapter in honor of all that they do.

What do you love about your community?

I love the diversity and the sense of community. Queens County is one the most diverse counties in the country, where nearly half its residents were born outside of the United States.

What’s one thing you want outsiders to know about your community?

At the core most people in this community are really good and they really care.

What leader or leaders inspire you?

Vince Fusco, Allstate Field Senior Vice President; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; and Joel Osteen.

The Renewal Project is made possible by Allstate.

The Renewal Project

The Renewal Project is an effort by Allstate to highlight, support, and celebrate ordinary people creating extraordinary community renewal.