Robert W. Verhille

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Robert W. Verhille

Laureate 2009

Bob Verhille is a pioneer in the insurance industry. With a reputation among his clients and peers of always being honest and ethical, Bob has excelled in all areas of his business and philanthropic ventures. Growing up in Ottumwa, Iowa as a first generation American, Bob learned of the insurance industry early on from his father, who began the Walter W. Verhille Agency in 1948 in Ottumwa. In 1961, Bob moved the agency to Cedar Rapids and renamed it Verhille and Associates. It was then that he began his career in insurance, serving as a General Agent for Kansas City life. During his three decades with Kansas City Life, Bob received multiple honors and accolades including the “Kansas City Life General Agent Achievement Award” in 1993, when he retired from the agency. In 1994, Bob received the prestigious John Newtown-Russell Award from the National Association of Life Underwriters, the industry’s highest honor. Additionally, in 2007, he was inducted into the Iowa Insurance Hall of Fame.

Building on his strong entrepreneurial spirit, Bob has been an integral part in developing the city of Marion through his founding of the Hunter’s Ridge golf course and housing development. He has been a catalyst in bringing hundreds of jobs to the area through his work with the Chambers of Commerce and Priority One.

With a passion for politics, Bob has been involved in multiple political campaigns. He also believes strongly in the value of education and served on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement in the 1960s and more recently serving on the Board of Directors and in numerous committee roles with the University of Iowa Foundation, acting as the Vice Chairman since 1991. His passion for community does not stop with education and politics; he has served as a Mercy Medical Center Trustee since 1987, additionally serving on their audit, finance, and marketing committees. In 2007, the Eastern Iowa Chapter of Fundraising Professionals awarded Bob with their “Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser” award for his countless efforts in raising money for local non-profits.

Even through all of his successes, awards, and recognition, Bob says that his greatest joy is being able to work with his son, who now continues the family name in the insurance industry.

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