New Rockford Transcript - Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

Chamber's Employee of the Month hails from Farmers Union Insurance


December 30, 2019

Patty Dennis has worked at Farmers Union Insurance for 16 years.

New Rockford native Patty Dennis has spent the last 16 years of her career at the front desk of Farmers Union Insurance, aiding agent Donn Frahm in assisting customers.

Patty calls herself a "jack of all trades," as she serves as the receptionist, customer service representative and bookkeeper. She also prepares purchase orders and even does a little maintenance around the office.

Her customer service is what earned her the Employee of the Month award from the New Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce in December. Rachel Anderson nominated her for the award. She says, " Patty is an outstanding employee at Farmers Union Insurance. She is very knowledgeable and will always go the extra mile to find the answer for me."

Patty has worked for the agency since 2003. Throughout her 40-plus-year career, she has seen many sides of the insurance business though.

Her first job was part-time flagging for Archie Campbell Construction in her teens and early 20s.

Then, she was hired to work in the business office at the New Rockford City Hospital. Patty spent 11 years there, including the entire decade of the 1980s, preparing insurance claims, billing for service and completing admission paperwork. It was there that she saw the provider side of insurance.

Then, after a short two-year stint managing the Rockford Cafe for her mother, Patty and her husband moved to Minnesota. She worked for the State of Minnesota for five years, processing medical insurance for all providers across the state.

When they moved back to New Rockford, Patty took the job at Farmers Union Insurance. Here, she helps answer customer questions about insurance policies and protections. Although she doesn't get involved with the intricacies of underwriting and claims processing, she helps individuals and businesses submit claims for payment.

"We've always lived by the quote 'service is what sets us apart from our competition,' and Patty certainly lives up to that," Agent Donn Frahm said.

Her greatest strength is "providing prompt and courteous service," he added.

Donn Frahm has been the local Farmers Union Insurance agent in New Rockford since 1982, more than 37 years. There has been an agency in the community since the 1950s. Clinton Payne was the first agent, followed by Dale Garrett, who served the community for 16 years.

As a mutual company, Farmers Union Mutual Insurance is owned and governed by its policyholders, similar to the way a cooperative is managed by members. Headquartered in Jamestown, N.D., Farmers Union Mutual Insurance delivers a wide variety of products to farmers, ranchers, homeowners and businesses across North Dakota.

According to the agency's website,, North Dakota Farmers Union began selling National Union Security Insurance in the 1930s when the Farmers Union Service Association was established. In 1944, North Dakota Farmers Union members attending a county officer's conference were inspired to raise $15,000 among themselves to enter the property insurance business after learning that farmers were finding it difficult to secure coverage. Farmers Union Mutual Insurance was incorporated in March 1944 and was awarded a license from the state on April 3, 1944.

Patty said she is "very appreciative of the customers" and likes the "family feel" that the company provides its employees. "Customer service is #1," she said, which is exactly why she is deserving of this honor.

Have you experienced great customer service from an employee of a local business? If so, please consider nominating that person for this award. Nomination cards and forms are available in the table tents and on bulletin boards at local businesses. Forms can also be printed from the organization's webpage, Nominations are also accepted via email to [email protected] One person receives the award each month


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