The Williams family has been watching out for wellbeing of Tri-Citians for 45 years.
In 1971, John R. “Jack” Williams founded Insurance and Financial Consultants, Inc., selling life insurance, annuities, investment products, health insurance and employee benefit packages.
He’d already been an insurance agent for several years, working for State Farm Insurance.
“But their focus is auto insurance and dad never wanted to sell car insurance,” said Kevin Williams, his son and now owner of the agency.
So Jack Williams left State Farm and was a partner with Ed Hendler for a time. Their offices were at the corner of Bonneville Street and 20th Avenue in Pasco.
Later his father struck out on his own, and opened Insurance and Financial Consultants, Inc. in part of the Griggs building on Lewis Street, said Williams.
“That’s when dad was at the peak of his business. He was an agency builder and in 1982, when I joined the company, he had 15 to 20 agents working under his name,” Williams said.
Williams said when he started working for his father at IFC, it was in an administrative capacity. His first assignment was doing an in-depth inventory for the company, counting every thing from desks and chairs to staplers. He did inventory
“Dad was already looking at getting his own building and needed to know what he had,” Williams said.
Within a year or so, Jack Williams bought the former liquor store at 1515 Clark St., Pasco, which was just a 5,000-sq.-ft shell, and turned it into the company’s offices.
In 1986, Kevin Williams switched from the administrative to the sales side of the business.
“I love sales, helping my clients, but never wanted to take over the management of the office and the sales force,” he said.
IFC was at the Clark Street location for about two decades until, because of attrition, the only ones left in the office were the father and son and an office manager.
“That office was way too big for us, but it still took me seven years to convince my dad to move,” Williams said.
In 2001, the company moved to its current location at 1103 N. 20th Ave., Pasco. Jack Williams never did hire another sales person. Instead he and his son worked there together, with just an office manager, until Jack Williams’ untimely death in 2008.
“It was unexpected. He golfed on Wednesday and died on Monday,” Williams said. “It was so quiet in here I played KONA radio for three months before renting part of the building to Darin Oman. It’s good to hear other voices, footsteps in the building.”
Williams is the only sales representative at IFC, although he does have a salesman in Wenatchee who sells for the agency.
IFC has some 700-800 clients, many of whom date from the 1980s.
“I’ve never met most of them,” said Williams. “My contact is mainly their heirs, helping with the paper work for their estates.”
His active client list — those he talks to face-to-face, on the phone or via the internet — runs about 250.
IFC is an independent agency operating under the umbrella of Foresters Equity Services of San Diego.
“They have about 500 companies like me, mainly on the West Coast,” he said.
IFC clients can be any age, although as Williams pointed out, most 18-year-olds usually don’t have money to invest. However, he said, you don’t need a lot of money to begin building an investment portfolio.
“You can begin with as little as $50 if that’s what you have. It’ll grow over time,” said Williams.
Williams said a lot of his time is spent educating his clients.
“I do a lot of explaining about what mutual funds are,” he said. “I enjoy it and Dad liked that part of the business, too. I can still picture him standing up, talking, waving his arms around, telling people, there is no such thing as a free lunch. You have to pay for investment plans. But, he’s say, there’s no reason to pay more than you need to.”
Both Kevin and Jack Williams were active in the Pasco community. Each became president of the Pasco Chamber of Commerce at age 43. Kevin Williams, is a Pasco native, graduating from Pasco High School in 1977. When his children were in school, he helped support the music and band programs in the district and the Booster Club.
“I did a lot of traveling with the band. I was chaperone and helped bandage their cuts. I spent a lot of hours with those kids,” said Williams.
Williams joined the Pasco Kiwanis Club in 1987 and sits on the board of directors of Lourdes Foundation.
“If there’s someone that needs a volunteer, my phone is ringing,” Williams said.
IFC is at 1103 N. 20th Ave., Pasco. The business is open 8:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., Monday through Friday. Weekend and evening appointments can also be requested. The phone number is 509-547-5551 and the email address is email@example.com. Find them online at ifc-insurance.com.
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