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FIFS Founder, John Frankenfield Retires

December 28, 2016

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After 22 years at FIFS and 37 years in the insurance industry, John Frankenfield will be retiring at the end of 2016.  As the face of FIFS for more than 2 decades, John has seen the agency grow from a one room office to a modern business with more than 20 employees.  Denise Kiser, John’s first hire and employee of almost 35 years remembers the early days.  She says “After obtaining my insurance license at age 18, I took on more agency responsibilities and gained much knowledge over the years.  John has been both a great boss and a valued advisor to me personally, something that I will deeply miss”.

Prior to starting the agency, John managed the Franconia Mennonite Aid Plan from 1979 to 1996.  In 1986 Franconia Mennonite Mutual Services (FMMS) was founded to represent the Franconia Mennonite Aid Plan (FMAP) for property insurance, the Sharing Programs Auto Plan (SPAP) for auto insurance, and Mennonite Mutual Aid (MMA) for life and health insurance.  John managed FMMS from 1986 to 1993 when the organization dissolved its assets and donated its retained earnings to the Franconia Mennonite Conference (FMC).

In 1994, John founded Franconia Insurance & Financial Services (FIFS) in order to meet the ongoing insurance needs of the Mennonite community and beyond.  Soon thereafter he purchased the Stan Jones Agency, an agent for Goodville Mutual.  Today FIFS remains one of Goodville’s largest agencies.

In 1999, FIFS purchased Clemens Hall Associates from Peter Clemens.  This agency was the first to be appointed to write business with Harleysville Insurance and was a great fit for FIFS who wanted to expand their footprint into the community.  

In 2003, FIFS joined the Keystone Insurers Group (KIG), one of the largest privately held franchises of insurance agents in the United States.  The relationship with Keystone has afforded FIFS the opportunity to access insurance products and resources beyond what a typical agency can provide. 

In 2014, John sold his remaining interest of FIFS to current owners Kyle Zehr, Chad Yoder, and Sid Ruth, all long-term employees of FIFS.  He remained employed at the agency while he planned for his transition into retirement.

FIFS has become a household name in the community and many clients have relied on the trusted advisors that have worked with John over the years.  The breadth of services provided by FIFS and the quality of the staff are a testament to John’s leadership.  On December 13th, the staff gathered for a luncheon and took time to reminisce and honor John before he leaves.

Knowing that the agency is in good hands, John now shifts his thoughts to retirement and spending time doing other things.  Some of his hobbies include gardening, cooking, singing, and traveling.  John says “I’d like to start fishing again”, something that he hasn’t had much time to do during his working years.  He also enjoys spending time with family, and recently helped to chaperone a field trip to Washington DC with his granddaughter. 

John is still active in the community and spends much time and energy working with various organizations such as Peter Becker Community, Lower Salford Township, Mennonite Historians of Eastern Pennsylvania, and Goodville Mutual Casualty Company to name a few.  He looks forward to continuing these relationships and will always give generously of his time and talents when possible.

The FIFS family gives our best wishes to John as he enters a new stage in life.  We thank him for the opportunities that he has provided each of us here at Franconia Insurance & Financial Services and we hope that he enjoys his well-deserved retirement.

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