Joining the family business

Joining the family business

by Eric A Thomas

The dream of business ownership becomes a reality for a very few. When the newest employee is a third-generation member of the family that started it all, something must be going right.

In 1961, Sam Peak of Winchester bought the Fred Redshaw Agency and embarked on a career in insurance. The Sam Peak Insurance Agency was an integral part of the Winchester community and in 1996, Peak sold the business to his daughter and her husband. Stevie and Pat VanDeVelde purchased the business and renamed it Peak Insurance Agency. The VanDeVeldes have built upon the solid foundation that was laid down by Peak, tacking on Pat VanDeVelde’s own 30 years of experience in the insurance industry to expand their offerings and meet the needs of their clientele. Now, the VanDeVelde’s son and Peak’s grandson, Caleb VanDeVelde, has joined the team as their latest insurance advisor.

Born and raised in Winchester, Caleb VanDeVelde is the youngest of three children. He graduated from Winchester High School in 2017 and attended Illinois College, majoring in business, and specializing in business management and marketing. He graduated in May 2021 and went to work in the family business. Insurance is a large field, and he is ready to make his mark in the industry.

Peak Insurance Agency helps its clientele find the coverage they need, no matter what line of coverage that may be. “Our agency is able to provide many different forms of insurance,” comments VanDeVelde. “We provide home, auto, life, health, farm, crop and various other types of insurance. We have a large range of markets that we are able to offer.” The agency works with multiple companies as an independent agent, giving them the ability to shop around to ensure that the insured gets the coverage they need with the best premium as well.

At 22, VanDeVelde realizes the importance of insurance protection. If a person is underinsured, that could cause a problem. “Life always has unforeseen things that are thrown your way that could create a difficult situation. Insurance can be there to help people get back on their feet. Being young myself, I hope to help other young people understand how important insurance can be,” he states.

He shares an example of how people don’t want to allow themselves to be underinsured or not insured at all, commenting how people experience auto accidents all the time. If it is determined that you are at fault and have too little or no insurance, that debt for paying the injury or property damage to others could stick with you for many years and keep you from ever getting established financially.

Peak Insurance Agency has grown with the acquisition of Barber Agency of Pittsfield in 2015. Their offices, respectfully, are located at 16 S. Hill St. in Winchester and 114 S. Madison St. in Pittsfield. Reach their Winchester office by calling 217-742-9595; the Pittsfield office can be reached at 217-285-2111.

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