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Dennis Kuhnke Named West Bend’s 2017 Distinguished Agent of the Year

WASHINGTON — Dennis Kuhnke, national and state leader of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA), was recently honored as the 2017 recipient of the W.E. “Mike” Koehler Distinguished Agent of the Year Award, presented by West Bend Mutual Insurance Company. The award recognizes Dennis' professional excellence and years of service to the industry and his community...
October 4, 2017

WASHINGTON —  Dennis Kuhnke, national and state leader of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA), was recently honored as the 2017 recipient of the W.E. “Mike” Koehler Distinguished Agent of the Year Award, presented by West Bend Mutual Insurance Company. The award recognizes Dennis' professional excellence and years of service to the industry and his community.

In addition to serving as the Wisconsin representative to the PIA National Board of Directors, Kuhnke is an officer serving as vice president/treasurer and member of the Executive Committee.

Kuhnke is vice president of Robertson Ryan & Associates in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Dennis has worked in insurance for more than 40 years. He spent 36 years with the Jack Loyda Agency, also in Milwaukee, before joining Robertson Ryan in 2015. He’s earned the CIC and CPIA designations.

Throughout this career, Dennis has been an ardent member of PIA, serving in many leadership positions on both state and national levels. On the state level, he served on the board of directors and as vice president and president. He led the formation of the PIA of Wisconsin Legislative Conduit Program that contributes to state legislators on behalf of PIAW. He was honored with the 2012 Stony Steinbach Achievement Award for outstanding service to the PIA of Wisconsin, and was the 2013 Wisconsin Agent of the Year.

On the national level, Dennis is in line to be elevated to PIA National president beginning in 2019.

“Dennis’ commitment to our industry isvery impressive,” said Kevin Steiner, West Bend president and CEO.  “He’s  done  more  than  his share,  yet  is still willing to  continue to  give his time and talent  to advance  the  Independent  Agency  System. He’s a perfect recipient of the W.E.  ‘Mike’ Koehler Distinguished Agent Award."

The state and national PIA aren’t the only beneficiaries of Dennis’ time and talent. He also serves his community in a variety of ways. He’s currently a member of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee­Northshore where he served on the board and as president. He’s been named the Rotarian of the Year several times and received a number of Service Above Self Awards, a testament to his commitment to and efforts on behalf of that organization.

“We’re excited Dennis Kuhnke is the newest recipient of the W.E. ‘Mike’ Koehler Distinguished Agent Award,” said Kelly Tighe, West Bend vice president Sales. “We’re fortunate Dennis represents West Bend and we congratulate him on all the success he’s earned through the years.”

In recognition of the award, West Bend donated $5,000to the MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer) in Dennis’ name.

The W.E. “Mike” Koehler Award honors Mike Koehler, an independent insurance agent and former president of PIA of Wisconsin who, throughout his life, tirelessly served the insurance industry and his community of Cedarburg, Wisconsin.

Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses. PIA members are Local Agents Serving Main Street America SM. PIA’s web address is www.pianet.com.

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