The Bonek Agency was formed in 1934 by Bill and Viola Bonek. It was owned by the Bonek Family until 1977. Currently, Christopher E. Branson, C.I.C. is the owner and agent. Our dedicated Customer Service Representatives serve you, the customer, from our offices in Suttons Bay. Every member of Bonek provides high-quality insurance services in an efficient and relationship-based manner.
Christopher E. Branson, C.I.C.
Chris Branson offers extensive, long-term experience in the insurance industry. He earned his insurance license in 1977 and began his career with a Detroit-based insurance agency. In 1979, Chris moved to Northern Michigan to serve as agent and part owner of the Bonek Agency. He obtained his Certified Insurance Counselor License in 1995. Today, Chris is the owner and agent at the Bonek Agency.
Chris is married with two adult daughters who were raised, lived, worked, and played in the Suttons Bay Area. He believes that customer service, competitive pricing, and solid customer relationships are what set our agency apart from the rest.
Louis A Rodriguez, Jr.: Certified Authority on Workers Compensation
Louis Rodriguez began his insurance career in 2004 (after 18 years in the restaurant business). As a longtime business owner, he brings to the insurance business a high level of customer service minded work ethic. In 2007 he earned the Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow designation and in 2014 became a Certified Authority on Workers Compensation.
Louis and Chris started sailboat racing together in 2009, became partners in a sailboat three years ago and are now building a partnership at Bonek.
Louis is married with two children and has enjoyed living in Northern Michigan since 1998. Just ask any of his clients why they do business with him and you’ll hear words like “honesty”, “hard working” and “expertise”.
Susan Swanson: Office Coordinator
Before joining Bonek, Susan worked in the insurance industry for ten years. She was a licensed marine agent and underwriter for Hagerty Insurance. After a phone call from Chris Branson late last year stating he was losing his office manager of fifty years, he asked Susan if she would have an interest in working at Bonek. Susan jumped at the chance knowing Chris for over thirty years and the reputation he and Bonek have. Susan joined Bonek December, 2015 and oversees interoffice daily needs while also directly serving customer needs.
Susan enjoys spending time with her granddaughter, boating, camping, and gardening. She also has a son and daughter who live and work in the area remaining close with them as well.
Barb DeNoyer: Customer Service Representative, Commercial Lines
Barb was born and raised in the Leelanau area and has never had an inkling to leave this beautiful region. She has loyally worked with the Bonek Agency for 37 years – she enjoys the family-like atmosphere within this independent agency. She says, “We are a small agency and try to give the best customer service.” She also appreciates how well Bonek Agency representative support one another, working hard while also having fun.
Barb’s hobbies include furniture refinishing, gardening, and she loves her Maine Coon cats.
Cheri Durdel: Customer Service Representative, Personal Lines
Cheri has been a devoted Bonek Agency representative for thirty years. She appreciates the fact that Bonek is a small-town agency that truly cares about its customers. Cheri has a cheerful and helpful demeanor for customers as they walk through Bonek’s doors or call over the phone.
She and her husband have been involved in dog conformation, obedience, and field trials since 1991. They have also been breeding Dalmatians since 1995 and are active in breed clubs and rescue transportation.
Danielle Hanson: Customer Service Representative, Personal Lines
Before coming on board with the Bonek Agency in July 2016, Danielle worked with LSI/Dynatect for over seventeen years. Her commitment to her work is apparent as she now serves customers at the Bonek Agency. Danielle has lived in the Leelanau area for over 30 years. She infuses the Bonek Agency with her fresh energy and professional confidence.
Danielle enjoys spending time outdoors with her dog, Louie, and is an avid Tigers fan. She has two grown children who study and work in the Leelanau area.
Chelsea King: Customer Service Representative, Commercial Lines
Chelsea came to Bonek in June, 2017 as a customer service representative in our commercial department. She has 10 years of insurance experience with a Property Casualty license and is a Certified Insurance Representative.
Chelsea was born and raised in Traverse City, having attended Traverse City Central High and Northwestern Michigan College. She is married with step-children and a miniature pinscher named Karma. She loves attending concerts, reading, hiking and exploring the great outdoors!
Stephanie Bigcraft: Customer Service Representative, Commercial Lines
Stephanie found her way into the insurance industry in 2015 and joined our Commercial lines team July, 2017. Having owned and operated a local telecommunications company for 20 years, Stephanie had been searching for an agency that provided the same high quality customer service that her customers had come to expect. She believes that she has found just that in the Bonek Agency. Stephanie graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a B.S in Business Studies, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and holds Real Estate Salesperson and Property and Casualty licenses.
Stephanie currently resides in Traverse City with her husband Roger, sons Nathan and Isaac, and Newfoundland dog, Curtis. It is her hope to put down roots in beautiful Suttons Bay.
Jessica Sommerfield: Customer Service Representative, Commercial Lines
Jessica moved to area in 1995 and has fallen in love with it. She joined Bonek in May 2017 after spending eight years with the Suttons Bay Animal Hospital where she was known for her customer service skills. Since receiving her Property Casualty license she has proven to be a tremendous asset and has been promoted to a Customer Service Representative in the Commercial department.
Jessica has two children that attend Suttons Bay Schools. In her free time you can find her on the soccer field cheering on her kids! She also enjoys gardening, cooking, hiking, camping and yoga.
Barb Sayre: Customer Service Representative, Personal Lines
Barb is one of our newest employees and has been in the customer service field for thirty years. While most of her customer service has been in marketing, her most recent employment was working for a large insurance agency. Barb is licensed in Property and Casualty and thoroughly enjoys working with clients and prefers the small town feel of the Suttons Bay community. “To have the opportunity to work alongside a very talented and giving staff has been phenomenal” states Barb.
Barb has three grown children all in college! She loves animals, especially her two cats and Cocker Spaniel, and is a recent devotee of camping. Kayaking, reading and art projects are some of her other passions.