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Kenton insurance business changes hands

Insurance service continues in the community with Guild Insurance office in Kenton
Blair Fordyce and Craig Whyte at the counter of Kenton Insurance Services.

With a recent sale of Whyte’s Kenton Insurance Services Ltd. to Guild Insurance, Craig Whyte has passed his business of nearly 50 years on to a company that plans to continue to provide insurance in the community.

Whyte took over the business after his father John Whyte passed away suddenly. Ever since then, “we’ve held our own, thanks to community support and good staff,” says Whyte.

Harley McCormick from the Virden Guild office said that taking over the existing clients of the already thriving business in Kenton made good sense.

“Kenton has a thriving auto dealership which works hand in hand with our auto insurance offerings,” said McCormick. “The area has a strong agriculture economy and strong community spirit.”

The changeover takes place on May 1 when Nancy Taylor, who works in Guild’s Virden office as well, will be come manager in the Kenton location.

“She lives in Kenton… and is excited to be directly involved in her community,” said McCormick, adding, “The majority of our ownership and executive are from small towns so we understand the need for business continuity in these places. We love being a part of communities large and small across Westman.

Signage will remain – Kenton Insurance Services. Current long-time employee Blair Fordyce along with Lorna Corney will also continue though the change with Guild.

“We are excited to have Blair and Lorna join our team,” says McCormick.
The business will move to another building in Kenton, probably this summer. With a bit of renovating, Valleyview Co-op will be making room within the hardware portion of the store.

John Whyte began the Kenton brokerage in 1946. It was 1971 when Craig made the decision to get his broker’s license.

Whyte reflects on the recent sale, “We felt it would be a good fit and that there will continue to be a presence here.”

He said Guild insurance business has a good future in the community, “offering more (insurance) options” for clients.

 Building supply continues

Although Whyte’s Insurance will eventually leave the building and re-locate elsewhere in Kenton, Craig Whyte is pleased to announce, that the building supply will remain right where it is. There is another change that the Kenton businessman is happy about. Danny Whyte, son of Craig and Marianne, is going to work full-time in the business.

“He’s standing here smiling,” says Whyte, attesting to Danny’s enthusiasm about his new line of work. Prior to this, Danny spent several years as a cook at two Brandon locations: Albert’s and The Clarion. He felt it was time to try his hand in the family business.

Whyte’s store serves what he calls a narrow swath – up and down Hwy 21, over to Lenore and east to Harding. The resorts at Shoal Lake and Oak Lake also bring business Kenton-way. Building supply has continued strong, even during the COVID-19 crisis. Local contractors are working and Whyte is pleased with the loyalty they show to a local supplier and the knowledgeable service that Whyte’s Lumber provides.