Mission Matters – John Koetz

In the world of insurance, where trust and reliability are paramount, few have embodied these values as authentically as John Koetz. With a career that spans decades, John has not only excelled as an insurance professional but has also dedicated considerable time to community engagement and industry leadership, generously sharing his expertise and insight with OIA in service to Ohio’s independent agents.

For over five decades, W.E. Davis Insurance Agency has stood as a beacon of family-oriented values, commitment to the community, and exceptional service. W.E. Davis was founded in 1938 by Bill Davis. John’s father, Ed Koetz, was an adjuster for the Ohio Casualty Insurance Company and handled claims for Bill. When Bill decided to hang up his hat in 1962, Ed bought the agency from him. After completing his college education at Ohio University, John joined the agency in 1977. He eventually took the helm and his son, Nick, and nephew, Mark, have joined him, making W.E. Davis Insurance Agency a true family affair.

While John took pride in his insurance career every step of the way, it was the innovative period in the 1990s that particularly stands out. During this time, the association (then PIA) embraced the challenge of thinking “outside the box.” This resulted in the introduction of innovative insurance products like Workers Comp Group Rating, PEO services, banking services, and ultimately starting an aggregator, MarketSource (now Indium). These additions were not just about profit, but about helping independent agents succeed in new and meaningful ways.

At the core of John’s agency are values that put people at the center. This commitment to service is more than just a tagline; it’s a way of life. John and his team believe that insurance is not just about growth and profit, but about genuinely serving the clients they have. This is evident in his team’s interactions with their clients, where each conversation ends with a heartfelt expression of gratitude for the opportunity to serve.

These values extend beyond client interactions and into the community. Located in the heart of Columbus in German Village, the agency’s dedication to non-profit organizations showcases his desire to support causes that matter. The staff actively participates in local non-profits where they provide insurance, truly embodying the principle of giving back.

W.E. Davis has a focus on niches like non-profits and contractors and they have a specialty market for Tower Contractors. Outside the world of insurance, John is deeply involved with the Rotary Youth Exchange, a multi-district organization that arranges year-long exchanges for high school students. John understands the value of fostering global perspectives in the next generation of leaders.

His father served as his mentor, and they shared breakfast meetings every other day for 15 years, instilling in John the deep knowledge and insights of the insurance industry. “His way of mentoring me was taking me out to breakfast and we would just talk about the business.” Ed did not have a formal business plan or budget, but he felt that if the business grew by 10% each year, there’d be nothing to worry about. John says this was a keen insight the agency has met most years.

Even though Ed never graduated from college, he wanted his children to earn a degree. “He did have a little issue with me being a music major in college. He would ask ‘Can’t you take a business class or two?’ I never did.” John met his wife, Libby, in a folk group while attending Ohio University.

The familial connection runs deep within W.E. Davis Insurance Agency. Libby has been a cornerstone of the agency’s operations, playing a pivotal role in the agency’s operations as bookkeeper and contributing in countless ways before her recent retirement. She is a makeup artist and generously gives her time to non-profit organizations close to her heart. Outside of their professional endeavors, John and Libby cherish their love for travel and quality time spent with their two sons, Nick, a proud third-generation at W.E. Davis, and Josh, who has pursued a path outside the agency. Celebrating 36 years of marriage, John and Libby’s partnership is a testament to their dedication to both family and business.

Nick has been working at the agency since high school, becoming a licensed insurance agent in 2012. Adding to the family ties, John’s nephew, Mark Willis, serves as the Treasurer and a principal of the agency, making this generational legacy even more vibrant. The tradition of learning about the industry over shared meals continues with the next generation, as John, Nick and Mark regularly exchange insights over lunch.

With a career rich in experience, John offers advice to the next generation of independent agents:  insurance is a lifelong master class where knowledge is a key to success. His commitment to education is evident in his advocacy for continuous learning within the agency. Following in his father’s footsteps, he organizes weekly meetings that incorporate training, fostering a culture of growth and expertise. In particular, the commercial lines team benefits from in-depth training sessions that involve a meticulous analysis of policies, encouraging innovative thinking and problem-solving.

John’s impact on the insurance industry is undeniable and his service to OIA invaluable. He was named Agent of the Year in 1990 and took the reins as President of the Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) Association the following year. Among his many volunteer roles, he has chaired the Legislative Committee, served on the Advocacy Committee, and beginning in 2007, John has played an integral role on the Service Corporation Board, demonstrating his commitment to the growth and advancement of the Independent Agency system.

As John reflects on his journey, he finds his proudest moments in the camaraderie of his fellow agents. This tight-knit community, bound by shared values and dedication to service, has become a circle of friends who freely share insights for success.

For John, the message to clients – current and potential – is clear: the agency works tirelessly for them, valuing direct access, transparency, and accountability. The legacy of W.E. Davis Insurance Agency goes beyond financial transactions – it’s about relationships, service, and community. This legacy lives on through a commitment to education, a dedication to family values, and a focus on serving clients and the community with integrity and passion.

Success Starts Here

Sign up for our newsletter today!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.