Gary Fisher, President of Fisher Insurance Agency, Ltd., said he is pleased that by joining forces with AW Welt Ambrisco Insurance, Inc. of Iowa City, the Kalona based independent agency is now better positioned to serve the continued growth in Kalona and surrounding communities.  

“With this affiliation,” Fisher said, “we now have the opportunity to access additional carriers, resources, support staff and services.”

Plans are underway to expand the office space at 514 B Avenue, Kalona in order to accommodate this expansion.

Fisher said he has known and respected the principal owners of AW Welt Ambrisco for many years. “Like Fisher Insurance Agency,” he noted, “their business model is to be very involved and invested in the communities they serve – Iowa City, Muscatine, Iowa Falls, and now Kalona. Like Gary Fisher, they too are members of and actively involved in the Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa (IIAI) now recognized as Trusted Choice agents.


Christian Swartzentruber, Kalona, recently joined Fisher Insurance Agency as a risk advisor.  He is a graduate of Mid-Prairie High School and the University of Iowa with degrees in finance and business management. He previously worked for the Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha, NE and Hills Bank & Trust Co. His parents are Jeff and Bev Swartzentruber. Jeff is the Mid-Prairie business manager and Bev is a substitute teacher for the district.

Judy Showalter will continue handling personal lines of insurance policies and serving as the office manager. She has worked in the insurance business for 43 years, 33 years with the Kalona agency.  Incidentally, Judy’s initial insurance experience was with AW Welt in Iowa City prior to joining the Kalona agency in 1986.

Gary Fisher will continue servicing the commercial business, life and health clients.  After 44 years in the insurance business, Fisher said he is looking forward to having the additional support and assistance as well as expanded carriers and services. 

“I’m excited about our business plan moving forward and the positioning of Fisher Insurance Agency for continued growth in our community.  We welcome the additional support of the AW Welt Ambrisco organization and look forward to working with them”.

Agency History

Ferd Skola started the agency in 1925 as part of Farmers Savings Bank. Gary Fisher became a partner in Fisher Skola Insurance Agency 1980, when located at Farmers Savings Bank – now CBI.  Fisher has since moved the agency to the present office at 514 B Avenue sharing space with the Kalona Chamber of Commerce in KCTC’s building.

New Referral Program

Fisher said the agency is introducing a new referral program. Each time someone refers a person or business to us for an insurance quotation, we will give the person making the referral a $10 gift card to a local business.  Additionally, we will donate $10 to a local nonprofit. For the first six months Mid-Prairie Athletic Boosters will be the nonprofit recipient. The nonprofit receipt will change every six months.

Fisher Insurance Agency, operating as a division of A W Welt Ambrisco, will continue with the same focus as it has since it’s beginning in 1925.  “Our intention is to be fully invested in our community,” Fisher added. “When individuals, local businesses and our community prosper … we all prosper.”

With the additional help, Fisher said, “I’m looking forward to having more time to sharpen my golf game. Plus Karen and I will have more time to take long weekends and vacations to visit with our three children and six grandchildren.”

Son Jake and his wife Emily, with their two children, and daughter Jessie and her husband CJ Clark, with their two children, all live in Chicago, IL. Son Seth and his wife Kristen, with their two children, live in Coral Gables, FL.

Chamber Contributing Author: Ron Slechta