Since its founding in 1989, The Dana Company has evolved from a one-man operation to one of the largest locally owned independent agencies in central Iowa. Agency President and CEO Cory Holland attributes the agency’s success to an unwavering commitment to putting people first.
“Sometimes when agencies get big, they forget about why they are here—the customer,” Cory says. “It sounds cliché, but we never forget why we get up and go to work every day, and that’s to do right by our customers. If we do that, we’re also doing what’s right for the agency. Our people believe that and provide all our customers—large or small—with the personal touch they deserve.”
Headquartered at 12345 University Avenue in Des Moines, The Dana Company writes a mix of personal and commercial business across Iowa. “We are a mainstreet agency and also have strong books of contracting and trucking business, which has definitely helped us build a great relationship with Acuity,” Cory says.
As the agency grew, it also began to catch the attention of other firms looking for an acquisition target. However, The Dana Company has remained committed to being locally owned. Cory became an owner in 2010, and Vice President and COO Geoff Matlock joined him as co-owner in 2021. Founder Dana Ramundt remains active in the business as Chairman.
“We’re committed to being here long-term for both our customers and our own people, and we have truly great people on our team,” Cory says. “We’ve had very little turnover over the years, and some have been with us since the beginning. We believe we treat people well and it shows.”
The agency’s focus on delivering superior customer service has resulted in a strong flow of referral business. “We get a lot of call-ins from businesses who have been recommended to us by existing customers, and we’ve come to insure generations of families as well. Every time the phone rings, it’s an opportunity, large or small—we want to write that account,” Cory says.
“At the same time, we have a sales mentality, driven by motivated producers who are out in the community making that phone ring,” he says, adding that the agency expands its service capability through partnerships. “It’s our goal to help customers with every insurance need they have, even if we don’t write it ourselves. So, if people need health insurance, annuities, or other products, we can help them get that done.”
Setting a Course
The Dana Company looks to build on strong sales momentum in the years ahead.
“We worked hard to get to where we are now, but we know we can’t rest on our laurels. The challenge is how do we work smarter? How can we do things better for our customers and our people and set this agency up for future generations? That’s what we plan to tackle in the coming years,” he adds
And no matter how big The Dana Agency becomes, it will stay focused on the people-first philosophy that has propelled its success for more than 30 years.
“Our values haven’t changed, and the model of doing what is right for the customer is what we will carry forward,” Cory says. “We sell the same product as other agencies; we will just continue to focus on doing it better.”