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Western Agency opens insurance office here

Kenmare is now one of 12 locations in North Dakota for Western Agency, an independent insurance agency operating since 1976.

8/25/10 (Wed)


Kenmare is now one of 12 locations in North Dakota for Western Agency, an independent insurance agency operating since 1976.


The doors to the local office actually opened in April, in the former State Farm Insurance office owned by the late Jim Talley. However, Cherisse Pullen, a personal lines specialist for Western Agency and a Kenmare High School graduate, said customers could be forgiven for not knowing about her presence in town.


“We just got the sign up,” she said, laughing. “People are definitely welcome to come in.”


Western Agency specializes in farm, crop, commercial and contract bond insurances, and offers personal lines for home and auto coverage. “Our main focus is farm and commercial insurance,” said Pullen, “but we can basically do anything except health insurance.”


She noted the agency is also doing more work with oil companies in the western part of the state.


“Kenmare is a nice area for us,” said Ryon Boen, CEO of Western Agency, which is headquartered in Minot. “We have a lot of farm and business [accounts] up there already and it fits in with the mid- to small-town strategy we have.”


The Western Agency building has been remodeled and repainted. Several changes were made to the apartment, now rented out, in the back portion of the building. The front office area has space for two work stations, and Boen would like to add staff.


“We’ve been advertising for office personnel,” he said. “Our goal is to have one or two people working full-time in the office.”


Boen likes the way Western Agency meets the needs of its Kenmare customers in a local setting. “We want to provide ‘big city’ service in the small towns,” he said. “We want to go into a small town and help grow it so people can stay local.”


Western Agency has been a longtime sponsor of Kenmare GooseFest, and Boen would like to see the agency become involved in other community projects. “We give scholarships to the schools and contribute to local events,” he said. “We try to give back to the community.”


Pullen has been working on the Western Agency staff for nearly three years, starting during her college days as a finance and marketing major. She discovered she enjoys the contact she has with customers, as well as the continuous education and training she receives from the insurance industry. “Things are always changing,” she said, “and we have to stay on top of it.”


She works from the Kenmare office each Wednesday, with hours from 9 am until 4 pm. “There will be times when I’m not in the offices on Wednesdays, but I’m probably out on a call,” she said. “If Wednesdays don’t work for people, I can come up other days, too.”


More information about Western Agency can be found online at Questions can also be directed to Pullen at 701-385-4083 or 800-735-4955.


“Anybody can stop in and see me, and visit about anything they need,” she said. “It's good to see friendly faces around!”