Keith Kemner, left, and Dan Iott, right, flank Bob Powers, from whom the two men bought the Guy Eby Insurance Agency at an open house Sept. 16, of the new offices across from the Law and Courts Building on M-62 West, Cassopolis. (Photos by MARCIA STEFFENS)
Keith Kemner, left, and Dan Iott, right, flank Bob Powers, from whom the two men bought the Guy Eby Insurance Agency at an open house Sept. 16, of the new offices across from the Law and Courts Building on M-62 West, Cassopolis. (Photos by MARCIA STEFFENS)

Archived Story

Firm: Growth of agency good for all

Published 10:46am Thursday, September 24, 2009

By MARCIA STEFFENS
Cassopolis Vigilant

CASSOPOLIS – The employee-owners of  Kemner-Iott  Agency of Cass County believe in using the services of the people in the community.

Cookies from the Farm House Bakery in Vandalia waited on the reception counter to greet guests of the open house Wednesday for the community.

The owner-employees are enjoying the less crowded space and new furniture and surroundings and were excited to show them off to the community.

Later, at the Business After Hours at the agency, area Chamber members and guests  listened to music and enjoyed food catered by Porky’s in Cassopolis.

North Star Landscaping changed the former farmland into an office complex.

With 10 acres, eventually the site might see more offices, possibly for attorneys and even a restaurant.

Kemner-Iott  Agency of Cass County  opened for business in its new home at 60267 Century Drive, on M-62, between Dowagiac and Cassopolis, across from the Law and Courts Building in May.

Formerly they served clients from its location on Spencer Road in the G.W. Jones Bank building.

Bob Powers of Marcellus was among the guests. It was his Guy Eby Insurance Agency which Kemner-Iott purchased in July 1997.

“I never turn my head backwards,” Powers said, looking at the new building, adding “I do miss the people.”

He got to see many of his employees at the open house, as the agency kept the staff with the purchase.

“It is nice to see what I planted grown to fruition,” he said.

There have been many changes, though.

“The agency has changed so dramatically,” Powers said, mainly due to computers. “It’s now more organized.”

Powers himself said he is presently taking a computer course to keep up with the new technology.

He does, though, worry the “personal approach” might be lost with Twitter and texting.
Powers, who has served on the Cass County Road Commission for 29 years, was in the insurance business for 51 years.

He and his wife, Varetta, just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in June.

“This is Bob’s legacy,” said Keith Kemner, who runs the Adrian office.

“It was a win-win for all of us. It worked out well,” added Dan Iott, of the Ann Arbor office.

“I am proud of it,” Iott said of the new office space. “It will attract  better employees. They love it. The clients love it and for the community, it’s great.

“We are committed to the community. I love coming here,” he added.

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