Puffenbarger Insurance named Large Business of the Year

By Posted on Dec 13 2018 | By

Chamber spotlights well-known local insurer

On November 3, the Fauquier Chamber of Commerce awarded Puffenbarger Insurance & Financial Services Inc. its coveted Large Business of the Year prize.

Established in 1989 by Keith Puffenbarger, the firm is emblematic of a successful company that has thrived though flush times and thin to contribute to the well-being of 10,000 customers and over 700 businesses.

As it approaches its third decade of success, the family-owned firm is poised to continue its prosperous run well into the future.

Insurance companies play a pivotal yet often unsung role in the heart of the Nation’s economy. National columnist and television host Suze Orman once noted, “If a child, a spouse, a life partner or a parent depends on you and your income, you need life insurance.”

The leadership team at Puffenbarger knows full well its role and focuses on delivering security and financial performance to its legion of current and future customers.

When you buy insurance, you’re buying a promise. It’s a promise that if things go awry your insurer is there to make your personal or business life whole again. It’s the tick inside the clock.

“My dad started the business in 1989. He started in Gainesville and we now have offices in Warrenton, Manassas and Culpeper and employ 22 people,” said Jennifer Puffenbarger, director of marketing and partnership relations.

Puffenbarger is a member of the firm’s leadership team that includes her father Keith, brother Scott, Vicki Elmore, Wilton Elmore and Jack Mallam. The six-person lineup oversees all of the company’s portfolio.

In addition to serving local customers the company is licensed in six states and D.C.

The industry is closely tied to the success of the economy. As an example, Puffenbarger notes that if new housing starts decline so does the insurance revenue stream from that industry.

She also makes a counterintuitive observation. “Job security can slow down entrepreneurs. People do not feel the need to strike out and create a business if they are gainfully employed.

“A lot of people today are working in northern Virginia for big corporations. They are not worried about losing their job and they’re getting regular pay raises. They don’t see a need to go out and start their own business. That impacts the growth of the commercial insurance business.”

It also highlights one of the reasons for the company’s success. It knows it must work hard to seek new clients and marketing helps achieve that goal.

Marketing and Partnerships
There are always insurance needs emerging within the individual and business community. Puffenbarger, 35, has honed her skills—and continues to do so—to identify those needs. She is often the one to guide the firm toward future success.

One of the vehicles in making that happen is the chamber of commerce. “When I was first getting out in the community and making business connections, I had no idea was I was doing.

“The chamber was very welcoming and very supportive. I wouldn’t have achieved what I have without the chamber mentorship.”

Impressed with its value to her, Puffenbarger was instrumental in reestablishing the Young Professionals group within the chamber.

Joe Martin, the chamber president & CEO, underscores the importance of the group saying, “We have a very vibrant Young Professionals Council. The way the millennials communicate with each other can be very different than the way the rest of us communicate.”

Recognizing the impact of digital communications in today’s business world, Puffenbarger is currently studying for her MBA in Digital Entreneurship. “I can use those skills to help grow the businesses we are working with. I can be a resource in moving them to the next generation of marketing.”

“I serve on various committees in the county and get our word out by focusing heavily on Facebook, Twitter and other digital platforms. I publish a monthly newsletter and produce videos on a variety of subjects.”

Beyond providing security for local families, farms and businesses, the management team also contributes time and sponsorships to several nonprofit organizations including the Allegro Community School of the Arts, Rotary, Young Life and others. “We want to give back to the community,” said Puffenbarger.

How does her father Keith feel about his children and partners leading the way to future success?

“In the not to distant future dad will be able to enjoy his retirement. We try to get him out of the office as much a possible. Mom’s job is making sure dad’s personal life is very well taken care of,” said a smiling Puffenbarger.

It’s obvious dad must also be smiling with pride with what he has created and the team that will take his original one-man shop forward during his golden years.

For a full description of the personal, business and financial plans offered by Puffenbarger Insurance visit:


Published in the December 12, 2018 edition of the Fauquier Times.  

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