"When there's a problem we're always here just as we have been for 65 years...and for a long time to come."
When you say “family business” to Mark Jensen, it has many connotations.
It could refer to the business founded by his grandfather, Victor, in 1944, later run by his dad, Lyle, and now, finally, Mark. Mark’s son Zach represents the business’s 4th generation of Jensens.
It also explains the close-knit nature of the group of people who work for the Jensen Agency today. Says Mark, “We've got a great staff of people that have been here a long time. People who are members of the community, that just do a great job."
The term “family business” could also describe the story of the relationships the Jensen agency has had with the families they have served for so many years. According to Mark, “The relationships that we have with those families; some of them going back two, three, four generations, are really important. There are a lot of times that we are involved with people’s lives during difficult times, whether it’s a serious auto accident, a death in the family, or other serious situations. At those times it’s just good to have that strong relationship that we have with those families.”
Born and raised in Beresford, Mark graduated from Beresford High School in 1971 and went on to obtain a degree in Ag Business from South Dakota State University. He says he had never really planned on returning to Beresford to take part in the family business, but in 1975, after much soul searching, he decided to take up his dad's offer to join the business and has never regretted it. “Beresford has been a great town to live in and raise my family, and the people of Beresford have been very loyal customers for many years. It was a good decision to come back.”
According to Mark, the Jensen Agency has never had specialized departments for different product lines, explaining, “It’s a real challenge to keep up with everything that we do, because we do wear a lot of hats. But, with the people we have we’ve been able to divide duties so that we have a certain amount of specialization. Whether it’s with crop insurance, or with health insurance or business insurance and real estate, we’ve been able to maintain a good comfort level at which we’re able to provide top shelf service and the most updated information in all of those areas.”
Though he works in all aspects of insurance and real estate, Mark has developed a particularly strong and extensive knowledge and background in serving the commercial insurance side of the business. In 1991, he initiated a safety/dividend program to insure counties in South Dakota. That original program drew other public entity customers that now include cities, townships, and schools around the area and throughout the state.
Whatever the line of business, building strong and lasting relationship has been the key to the Jensen Agency’s success. Says Mark, “If you take care of people the way you want to be treated the business will grow. They’ll reward you by doing business with you and they’ll tell their family, friends and neighbors. That’s how our business has grown. It’s just that simple.”
For Mark, providing the Jensen Agency’s unique good service is paramount, saying, “I would like to think that the service that we provide with the people that we have is probably the most important thing. We are staffed with some really, really good people that can handle just about anything. We’re here all the time and whether it be the process of buying insurance or real estate or processing a claim, when there’s a problem, we’re here, as we have been for 65 years and hope to be for a long time in the future.”
Mark and his wife Jonda have been married since 1980. Jonda taught in the Beresford Schools for many years. They have 3 adult children – Zach, Amanda, and Rachel.
Mark is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys hunting and fishing throughout South Dakota and beyond. Mark and Jonda have enjoyed their family lake cabin at Lake Poinsett, near Arlington, South Dakota, for many years.