History Of Knies Insurance Group
The roots of our agency's history are traced back to sometime in the 1930's when the founder, Mr. George Stradling, began an independent insurance agency in Honey Brook, PA. We believe the initial company contract awarded to Mr. Stradling was with Travelers. To this day, Travelers continues to be a major partner within our agency. It is this type of commitment and longevity that has been instilled in every principal and employee to date.
Some years later Mr. Stradling's son, Albert Stradling became involved with the agency and eventually took over agency operations when his father passed away. Over the years, Albert adopted the core values that his father instilled in him. Values of integrity, fairness and utmost professionalism were what they practiced. These values are what helped the agency grow. The agency grew to a point where Albert acquired a partner to help assist with the agency operations. In the 1950's Mr. Gus Spece came on board and the two reincorporated into Stradling & Spece General Insurance Agency, Inc. The insurance office was relocated to our current location of 4641 Horseshoe Pike, Honey Brook, PA. Through the years the agency kept growing through both organic growth and some agency acquisitions.
Unfortunately, in the late 1970's Mr. Spece became incapacitated by a stroke and could not continue his partnership share with Mr. Stradling. In 1978 Mr. Stradling asked Mr. Robert Knies to partner with him and take over the 50% ownership share of Mr. Spece. Mr. Knies brought with him previous insurance experience. Experience from the company side with Travelers and also on the independent agency side. As with the partnership between Mr. Stradling and Mr. Spece, Mr. Knies was a good fit with the core values.
Throughout the 1980's the agency continued to grow and prosper, despite some insurance industry turbulence, like Act 6 in the late 80's. Times were a changing and another major change came with Mr. Stradling passed away in the early 1990's, shortly after retiring. At that time Mr. Knies purchased the remaining shares of the business and became 100% owner of Stradling & Spece Agency. Mr. Knies continued to run that agency with the same set of core values as his predecessors did. In 1999, Mr. Knies' son, Gregory came to the agency to begin a career in insurance. Gregory brought with him a background in sales and marketing and was looking for an opportunity to grow in the insurance business.
In 2001 another major change happened to the agency when Stradling & Spece joined Keystone Insurers Group. At the time, Keystone was a membership of “like” independent insurance agencies across Pennsylvania. Keystone brought our agency new opportunities and resources to transact insurance business while continuing to maintain our independent agency status. This marriage continues to be extremely valuable and sets us apart from our “smaller” competitors.
The agency operations were going along fine until Robert Knies passed away in 2006. Although agency perpetuation planning was in place, it was put in fast-forward in the young career of Gregory. Gregory and Julia Knies, who had joined the agency a year prior, created Knies Insurance Group, Inc. to continue the operations of writing new business and servicing the existing business of Stradling & Spece Agency. A new generation was born.
Through the course of history of the agency, we are proud to say that the principals and employees all have continued a tradition of the core values. We have never lost sight of our roots and have always remained true to each other and to our customers. For without our core values we are nothing.