HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vern Fonk Insurance regrets to announce the passing of its president, Rob Thielke. Rob passed away on Sunday, August 16, 2015 after a long battle with cancer. Rob was 50 years old. He is survived by his wife, children, mother, sister and brother.
Rob joined Vern Fonk Insurance as an agent in 1989 and was eventually named president in 2013. Shortly before founder Vern Fonk’s retirement in 1995, Rob was charged with creating the company’s well-known TV commercials, most of which feature him in a starring role. He was instrumental in the company’s growth, which today has 23 locations throughout Washington and Oregon. Recognizing the company’s prominence in the region, Confie acquired it in 2010.
Craig Rexroat, Chief Operating Officer at Vern Fonk and long-time friend of Rob’s said: “Rob and I worked together for 25 years at Vern Fonk Insurance. We were lucky enough to work side by side in the early years and as the company grew, our strengths were capitalized upon. In addition to his steadfast leadership, Rob enjoyed dreaming up ideas for TV commercials even before we had hired a production company. Today with the passing of Rob the company will carry on but not without the impact of Robert A. Thielke III and the unforgettable brand that was built.”
Valeria Rico, Chief Executive Officer of Confie, parent company of Vern Fonk Insurance said, “Today is a sad day not only for the Vern Fonk family, but for so many in the Pacific Northwest where Rob was a household name and part of the region’s cultural fabric for the last 20 years. Rob’s contributions to the company were tremendous. His passion and presence will be greatly missed.”
In tribute to Rob’s memory – and in support of his family’s wishes – Vern Fonk Insurance will air TV commercials featuring a montage of Rob’s legendary commercials. The TV spots will run over the next few weeks.
To further honor Rob’s memory, Vern Fonk Insurance invites the public “to honk when you drive by Vern Fonk!”
Established in 2008, Confie is a leading, California-based national insurance distribution company primarily focused on personal lines and small commercial insurance. The experienced Confie management team continues to build Confie's portfolio of regional personal lines brokerages, and today has annual revenue of over $500 million and over 660 retail locations. The company has leading market positions in California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Washington, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Illinois, Alabama, Kansas, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Missouri, Louisiana, and Indiana and expects to continue its expansion in those and other states, including Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina. For more information about Confie, please visit www.confie.com.