It’s where Klontz’s parents met and fell in love in the 1930s, and it’s where Klontz fell in love with his own high school sweetheart, Susan, who he’s been married to for over three decades. Klontz didn’t meet his business partner Bill Cowart at Auburn High (they were already close friends by then, having met on the soccer field in the 5th Grade) but their friendship solidified after many a teenage adventure.
“We have a lot in common — we have a similar work ethic and both enjoy the outdoors. We had our share of fun and mischief as kids, and that made for a strong bond. Sometimes we fight like brothers, but it’s one of those friendships we’ll never let go,” Bob says.
Best friends in business
When Bob’s dad graduated high school in 1938, he helped his dad run a grocery business. When Bob finished school a few decades later his dad had switched from groceries to a motorcycle, boat and sporting goods store, and Bob stepped in to help operate the business.
There was a small insurance agency inside the store, there to help customers when they purchased a boat or motorcycle, and that was the start of Bob’s interest, and education, in insurance.
“We sold my parents’ business in the early 80s, and a few years later I reached out to Bill to start an insurance and mortgage business. We have a lifelong friendship and wanted to work together. It was an opportunity for both of us to grow,” Bob says.
The business has gone through a few name changes and adjustments since then, but you know it now as Leavitt Group Northwest.
“We work with clients across the western U.S., but local customers are at the heart of what we do. It’s insurance for Main Street America,” he says. “Our business is built on referrals, and we’re never too busy for your referrals!”
Service above self
Alongside his work as an entrepreneur, Bob has devoted decades to the Rotary Club of Auburn, the Auburn Food Bank and a variety of other charities. He’s shared his love of fishing with local children with disabilities in the rivers and lakes around Auburn, and with Leavitt clients and friends at a remote fly-in fishing lodge in Alaska.
On the horizon, a few years down the road, Bob and Bill plan to retire and leave the business in the capable hands of their sons Marshall Klontz and Derek Cowart, who already work at Leavitt.
“We continue to prosper with the community and meet its insurance needs. The future looks bright.”
Learn more about Leavitt Group Northwest at leavitt.com/northwest.