Dakotaland Federal Credit Union recently acquired Vic Gross Insurance of Huron, South Dakota. While the insurance business will undergo a name change, Vic and Twila Gross, the founders of Vic Gross Insurance, will continue to actively manage their homegrown business and maintain their current office location on the second floor of the Dakotaland Federal Credit Union's Main Branch at 1371 Dakota Avenue South. Dakotaland Community Insurance, LLC will be a separate entity of Dakotaland Federal Credit Union and will service all existing insurance customers while extending its products to the general public as the Gross Family has done for the past three decades. "Bringing the long time success of Vic Gross Insurance together with the extensive line of services offered by Dakotaland is proving to be a perfect match," says Credit Union President Dan Cumbee.
Vic started out in the insurance business in 1983 and worked out of his home office on their farm near Hitchcock until 1994. Mr. Gross eventually moved his office to the Centre Plaza in Huron. "I remember worrying about signing a lease for my first office space. I was afraid the business might not make it," reminisced Vic. In 1995, Gross was joined by his wife Twila following her 17 years in the teaching profession. Mrs. Gross recalls, "We began working together in one room with our two desks about 36 inches apart. We used on property/casualty company and one health insurance company. Now we have nearly 25 regular providers with access to many more". As the business grew, so did the need for additional staff. Julie Granstrom joined Vic and Twila in 1997 as secretary. Julie became an agent and is now the office manager/agent for the agency. In 2012, Jenna Diede came on board also as an agent.
Vic and Twila's decision to sell the business came with much apprehension. "It's scary to think about letting go of something you have put so much of your life into, but Twila and I are focusing on our future goals. We are confident we are putting the business in the most capable hands possible," explained Gross.
Dakotaland Federal Credit Union took possession of Vic Gross Insurance Agency as of October1st and are pleased to have the existing employees remain on staff. "It is important to Dakotaland that our insurance customers continue to receive the outstanding service they have come to expect from their experiences with the Vic Gross Insurance Team," commented Cumbee. Dakotaland Community Insurance will maintain the same products and services currently being offered and are in hopes the transition is seamless to its customers.
On January 1, 2013 Dakotaland Community Insurance LLC assumed Helms Insurance of De Smet. Dakotaland Community Insurance is an independent entity of Dakotaland Federal Credit Union, with whom Helms Insurance has been sharing quarters since November of 2011. Dennis Helms has been in the insurance business since 1969 beginning his career as a claims adjuster and then moved on to an insurance company marketing position. In August of 1988, Helms hung his own shingle and Helms Insurance was born. Helm's services are a compliment to the substantiated business lines brought on board by Dakotaland Community Insurance's purchase of Vic Gross Insurance of Huron in October of 2012. Along with the book of business, Dakotaland purchased the Helms Insurance Building where the credit union and insurance agency continued to house their DeSmet operations for another 18 months. In 2014 , Dakotaland broke ground on the northeast corner property at the intersection of SD Highways 14 and 25 in DeSmet and a 2,500 sq. ft. facility was constructed which now provides ample office space for both businesses. On December 30, 2016, Dennis Helms officially retired after 47 years in the insurance business.
On May 30, 2014 Vic and Twila Gross officially retired, handing of the reigns to Julie Granstrom and Blake Jensen, Huron and De Smet's respective Branch Managers.