About Bonek Agency, Inc.
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.
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 2014 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.
Jennifer Dillon: Licensed Account Executive, Personal Lines
Jennifer came to Bonek in December, 2017 with over 20 years in the insurance industry. She obtained her property and casualty license and after a few years also received her license for Life and Health. During that time she was recruited to run the insurance division of a restoration company, who saw a need in the industry to work directly with insurance carriers to provide excellent customer service for ice and water damage along with fire claimants. In just under 3 years the company went from $0 to $7.3 million in sales. She has worked with State Farm and AAA but found the independent agency is where she is happiest. She truly enjoys the challenge of reviewing a client’s coverage to ensure they are properly covered with the best price.
She has 2 beautiful daughters and in her spare time she enjoys spending time with her 3 grandchildren, playing cards, music, cooking and reading.
Cheri Durdel: Licensed Account Executive, 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: Licensed Account Executive, 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.
Brayton Farr: Licensed Agent, Personal Lines, Commercial Lines, & Life Insurance
Brayton has been in the insurance industry for over six years. He is licensed in Property, Casualty, Life, Accident, and Health and has been since the beginning of his insurance career. He started in the insurance industry soon after graduating from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelors in Finance and Marketing. He has worked with captive insurance companies such as, State Farm, Allstate, and Farm Bureau as well as an independent insurance agency before joining Bonek in June 2019. He thrives on taking the time to explain your insurance as well as getting you the best coverage!
Brayton is from Northport and enjoys spending time exploring Michigan with his girlfriend and their three dogs.
Jessica Sommerfield: Licensed Account Executive, 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.
Karen Schaub: Licensed Account Executive, Commercial Lines
Prior to joining Bonek in November, 2018, Karen’s career was in the legal field for over 30 years; both in the courts as an administrative assistant for the Circuit Court judges and private sector as a paralegal.
She is a lifelong resident of Leelanau County and married to her best friend with two grown sons. She and her husband own a vacation rental in the county that keeps them both busy. Karen enjoys walking, being outdoors, gardening, traveling, camping, and hanging out on the pontoon.
Lori Vanderburg: Account Executive, Commercial Lines
Lori was born and raised in Suttons Bay. She comes from a long line of relatives that are also native to Suttons Bay. After graduating high school, she moved away for 13 years. In 2001 she returned to Leelanau County to raise her children. She worked in the banking industry for 18 years before joining the Bonek Agency.
Lori has two grown children, Justin and Jessica. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, and reading.
Avery Weisling: Licensed Agent, Commercial Lines
Avery is a 25 year insurance veteran with experience in Sales, Marketing, and Management. I understand the challenge of finding the right Risk Solutions for Commercial Business and have positioned myself to be able to deliver quality Commercial Insurance products from National and Regional Carriers for all types of business. My intent is to be an asset to your current Risk Program and help you find the right carrier and coverage for your Business! Avery has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Western Michigan University. He is also the Charter / Founding Member of Alpha Epsilon Pi - WMU
Avery is an avid golfer, car enthusiast, biker, skier, and moviegoer.