When Burnett G. Gibson and Frank P. Dunwell established the Gibson & Dunwell Agency in 1885, they could not have known that it would be the beginning of over 130+ years of continuous operation of the insurance agency. Such prominent Mason County names as Rohn, Stray, Hammond, and Stram have been associated with the business, with the Rohn family having the longest tenure from the time Eugene C. Rohn purchased an interest in 1888 to the time his son, Stedman C. Rohn passed away in 1965.
After Stedman Rohn’s death, the agency was purchased by Frank J. Lenz and the agency became the Rohn-Lenz Agency. Over the next several years Lenz merged with other local agencies taking on partners J. R. Scott, Clyde F. Genter and Emile Meny. In 1982 the name of the firm became Lenz & Associates with Lenz retaining ownership as Scott, Genter and Meny retired or moved from the area. In 1994 Frank Lenz’s son Marc Lenz purchased the interest of the company from his father after working in the business for 12 years. In 2006, George Karl purchased an interest in the company and remains with the company today.
In 2002 Brad Balder of Zeeland, MI joined the agency from the Campbell Group in Grand Rapids, with an eye on expanding the market and growing the commercial presence. An office was opened in Zeeland to better serve that market and Balder became a partner in 2011. The agency now goes by the name of Lenz-Balder Insurance Agency, Inc.
Many distinguished names have been associated with this agency during the past 130+ years, and although its name has changed no less than ten times, each successive owner has upheld the values and traditions of its founders.