1994 Members

David Dykhouse

Richard H. Headlee

Fritz Lewis

Charles A. McAlear

Ralph Moulton

A.J. Pasant

Charles M. Trubac

Nile Vermillion

Thomas L. Wenck

Roy Westran


1995 Members

Thomas G. Bowman

Howard "Corky" Gaylor

Vern Valentine

(V.V.) Moulton

Maxine V. Niemeye

William E. Robb


1996 Members

Harvey E. Kern

Irwin "Burt" Meisel


1997 Members

Robert A. Bailey

C. Eugene Chang

Wardell C. Croft


1998 Members

Donald A. Aschom

Margaret L. Torok


1999 Members

E.L. Cox

Douglas L. Federau


2000 Members

Robert W. Elliot Jr.

Thomas H. Ritter

Richard E. Whitmer


2001 Members

John C. Prost

Robert E.J. Wiseman


2002 Members

Donald Ray Haas

Patrick W. Stainsby

2003 Members

Douglas G. Heeter

Harry G. Iwasko Jr.

H. Max Tanner

2004 Members

Morrall M. Claramunt

Ralph J. Ladd


2005 Members

Wayne McBride

Daniel Sobczynski


2006 Members

Nicholas J. Simone

Larry W. Thomas


2008 Members

Janet K. Holstine

Thomas C. Jones

Norman J.E. Roe


2009 Members

Herman J. Arends

James M. Crosby


2010 Members

Mark Odland

Merton J. Segal

James E. Wilds


2011 Members

Donald E. Eve

Robert B. Hughes

D. Joseph Olson


2012 Member

Lawrence Kish


2013 Members

Frank Dick

Michael Larges

David Smithkey

2014 Members
Arthur Judson
Bob Pierce

Clair Stevens


2015 Members
John Rowe
Robert Smith


2016 Members
Michael R. Hubbel
Robert W. Umstead

David M. Walker

2017 Members
Leroy Bostic
Mike Maurer

Roger Sitkins

2018 Members
Carol Breed
Jim Robinson

2019 Members

Jeffrey Harrold

Christine VanAbel

2020 Members

Mary LaPorte

Wendy Loveless

Roger Stoor



2020 Hall of Fame Inductees

The Michigan Insurance Hall of Fame honored two outstanding insurance industry leaders, legends, and innovators at the next annual induction ceremony on held August, 2019 in Lansing.


Jeffrey Harrold –  Jeff joined Auto-Owners in 1977 upon graduation from Ferris State University where he majored in Insurance and Management. He began his career at Auto-Owners as a Personal Lines Underwriter. He spent 21 years on the property & casualty side of the business before assuming responsibility for Life Company operations in 1998. In 2002, 


Jeff also became responsible for all property & casualty branch underwriting operations. He was named Executive Vice President in 2004. In 2005, Jeff assumed additional responsibility for home office property & casualty underwriting and also our marketing division including sales, marketing, regional sales operations, and agency automation systems support. He has held numerous management positions including Executive Vice President, Senior Vice President - Life and Property & Casualty Branch Operations, Vice President - Michigan Operations, Regional Vice President - Florida, and Assistant Vice President - Corporate Marketing, along with 14 years in the underwriting division. In July 2008, Jeff was named President, Auto-Owners Insurance Group, and in August 2010 he was named CEO. Effective August 1, 2011, Jeff was named Chairman of the Board & CEO and retired after 40+ years of service as of December 31, 2017.


Jeff has earned the CPCU, CLU, and ChFC designations and continues to be involved in industry related continuing education. He has served as Chairman for the Insurance Education Institute, and has been involved with Junior Achievement of Mid-Michigan and earned the NAMIC Merit Award for his commitment to the industry. He has also served on the NAMIC Property Casualty Conference Board and the American Institute for CPCU. Jeff is currently serving on the Ferris State University College of Business Leadership Advisory Board, and in May 2016 was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Business and Industry from Ferris State University. Up until his retirement, Jeff was involved with a CEO Network Board of area businesses and on the Board of Ele’s Place, a healing center for grieving children who have lost someone special in their lives. Jeff was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 from the Griffith Insurance Education Foundation and NAMIC.


Christine VanAbel -  Christine (Chris) VanAbel began her insurance career on June 1, 1969.  She was offered a part time summer position as a file clerk which quickly turned into a year round job while attending high school. Upon graduation, Chris was offered a full time position at the insurance agency and as they say, the rest is history.


This year marks fifty years that Chris has not only been in the insurance industry but working with the same agency. Chris has held a variety of positions at VAST since her career began in 1969, and has served as COO/CFO since 1997. Along with her agency partners, Chris helped cultivate the growth agency that VAST is today. In 2006, VAST (then Hetrick & Associates) was named Marketing Agency of the Year by Rough Notes Magazine. The agency has also earned the honor of a Best Practices Agency for 11 straight years from the Independent Insurance Agents National Council for Best Practices. Chris currently sits as the chair of the Independent IIABA. In 2018, VAST was named a Top Insurance Workplace by Insurance Business America. In 2019, Chris was awarded the Hildebrand Award from the Michigan Association of Independent Agents and was recognized as part of Insurance Business America’s list of Elite Women in the insurance industry.  


Chris is responsible for overseeing 40+ employees. She has been strategic and forward thinking in evolving the workplace to meet the needs of young mothers in her agency from creating job-sharing positions, remote worksites, and flexible scheduling.


She has also been a strong advocate for internships, at both the high school and college level; and has had both on her team for the last 15+ years. This has led to many interns becoming full time employees of the agency and insurance industry.


Chris was also instrumental in working with MAIA to bring CISR classes to the Upper Peninsula, which has allowed many insurance professionals to obtain the CISR designation without have to leave home.


Outside of insurance, Chris is dedicated to giving back to her community through numerous charitable organizations including United Way and the YMCA. Chris was named Community Citizen of the Year in 2018 by the Rotary Club of Marquette.