O’Donnell, Bouska purchase V&V Insurance Agency, Inc.
Tue, 03/05/2019 - 3:06pm admin
—Business name will remain the same
Sara Stromseth-Troy TPD Staff
CRESCO - V&V Insurance Agency, Inc., is under new ownership: Kelly O’Donnell (president/secretary) and Casey Bouska (vice president/treasurer) purchased the business from longtime owner Dale Vagts at the beginning of this year.
Both O’Donnell and Bouska are dedicated to maintaining and growing connections in the area. Crucial to that goal is their decision to keep the agency name the same.
“We will keep the name V&V Insurance Agency because there is a lot of name recognition that goes with that,” O’Donnell said. “We provide general liability coverage for snowmobile clubs and state associations in 20 different states, so there is national name recognition. The V&V Agency is a member of a larger corporation called Northeast Iowa Risk Management Solutions.”
O’Donnell said they are also keeping previous owner Dale Vagts on as a consultant for the next two years.
“During the transition period, we asked Dale and he agreed to stay on with us for a couple of years. He’s going to focus on the transition in the snowmobile market and work on expanded outreach we’ve done with vintage snowmobiles. Three years ago, V&V started to provide insurance coverage for people who own vintage, classic or antique snowmobiles. He is going to focus on that market as we move forward,” O’Donnell said.
O’Donnell said the V&V Insurance Agency will continue the services for which it is known both locally and nationally.
“We are a full-service independent agency. We have a lot of products we can offer people and we can find the best fit for their own personal needs.”
According to the agency website, V&V offers: Auto, Property/Homeowners, Casualty, Commercial, Life, Health, Crop/Hail and liability for snowmobile clubs and associations & ATV clubs and associations.
Both O’Donnell and Bouska have long-term ties to the area.
“I grew up in Cresco and graduated from here. I began my teaching career here and then moved to New Hampton in 1999, and was there until 2015,” O’Donnell said. “During my first four years in education, I was an elementary teacher and then I transitioned into an administrative role; I was associate high school principal and activities director at New Hampton. In 2015, I joined our family O’Donnell Insurance Agency out of Cresco and Riceville."
He added, “I have the family connection to our agency and it’s always good to come back to the connections we have here. I want to provide a good service for the people of the community where I grew up, to be a patron of them for their insurance needs and help them try to manage their risks with regard to the things they have and that are important to them.”
Bouska said, “I grew up in the rural Ridgeway area and graduated from Crestwood High School in 2003 and then Luther College in 2007. I moved back five years ago with my wife. We have one son and a child on the way. I have been in the education field for 10 years; I currently teach at Decorah Middle School. I am going to continue my current position and also help serve clients at V&V Insurance. We have a family farm, so that connection to family and being able to have your kids grow up in the same environment you did is a big draw.”
O’Donnell and Bouska credit Dale Vagts for giving them a good foundation.
“We feel very good about acquiring the Vagts Agency,” O’Donnell said. “Dale has done a good job over the years of expanding his market at the national level and has done a fantastic job locally. We feel very strongly that we have been able to purchase a reputable company and we are excited about expanding it and seeing it thrive and prosper while still serving our clients who have been here for years.”
Comments from Dale Vagts
V&V Insurance Agency was originally founded as Vagts Insurance Agency in 1962. Dale Vagts purchased a portion of the business from his father in 1982 and changed the name to V&V Insurance Agency.
“I purchased a small part of my father’s business; Don Davis purchased most of it. I started out from scratch then and built it to what it is today. A big part is our farm business, and that was what I had originally purchased. We built it to a good property casualty business. I developed the snowmobile program in 1985 and started growing that. That has been huge. We are the largest writer of snowmobile club liability insurance in the United States,” Vagts said.
He said his time at V&V Insurance Agency provided him the opportunity to travel.
“Due to the snowmobile program, my wife Joyce and I have been able to do a lot of traveling in order to make all of the connections in that program,” he said.
Vagts had considered retirement but wasn’t certain what that might entail:
“I had thought for a while about how I wanted to handle retirement but hadn’t come up with any firm plans,” he said. “Frankly, I’ll probably be in here in some shape or form, showing up for coffee until I die, but I’ll be on hand (as a consultant) for two years.”
Vagts is pleased with the transition.
“The transition is going very well. We opened up our Decorah office five or six years ago. Kelly has a great foundation. I grew the agency more than 10 times from what I started with and he should have the opportunity to keep expanding,” Vagts said.
As he retires, Vagts credits all of his employees throughout the years for aiding in V&V insurance Agency’s success.
“Without the employees I’ve had for the past years, this would not have been possible, especially for Sandi (Reinhart) who has been here 35 years with me. I’ve had great, great employees,” he said.
V&V Insurance Agency’s hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and other times by appointment. Call 563-547-2161 or visit the agency’s website at: www.vandvins.com. V&V Insurance Agency, Inc., is located at: 534 2nd Ave SW, Cresco. The Decorah office is located at: 313 College Dr., Decorah, and the Decorah office phone number is: (563) 382-4720.