On April Fool’s Day 1980 my Dad, Ross Thornburgh, started a scratch agency called “Puget Sound Associates.” Eleven years later, in 1991, the business name became “Thornburgh Insurance, Inc.” and was moved from Winslow Way to the current location at 188 Ericksen Avenue. Little did I understand at the age of nine that my parents’ choices to move from Southern California to Bainbridge Island in 1975 and to open an independent insurance agency five years later would ultimately pave the way for my future career as an insurance agent in our family business.
Looking back at newspaper clippings over the past forty years, there are several quotes that reflect the meaningful connection being a business owner offered my Dad in relation to the community. Although Ross has since passed away, his sentiments remain the foundation of our business and our mission, “Growth through service—with respect and empathy for our clients, credibility with our companies, and pride in our agency.”
1980: “The independent agent can place the coverage in more than one insurance market,” explained Thornburgh, “and is in a position to represent the client with a little more objectivity than the direct writer.”
1982: “Thornburgh says he enjoys dealing with individuals in the community on a one-to-one basis. He says he isn’t selling a particular company, but rather is selling himself as an agent and a friend.” (The Review 7/21/1982)
1991: “This is the first time in my life I have lived and worked and belonged to a community. I can’t conceive of what took me so long…” (The Review 4/10/91 Business Profile)
2005: “If somebody asks a question, I give them honest advice. I like to be the go-to place.” (The Review 4/13/2005)
Forty years have passed but if Ross were here today, his message would be the same and we strive every day to serve our community as he did.