Michael grew up in Elkader and graduated from Central Community Schools in 2005 and was only away from the community during his four years in college. Michael joined the agency in 2016 as a licensed agent, after working as an accountant for a local manufacturing company for several years. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Loras College in 2009.
In the summer of 2021 Michael was presented with an opportunity from long time agency owner, Tom Gifford, to purchase Gifford Insurance Agency, Inc. Michael now not only serves as an agent but also President (owner) of Gifford Insurance Agency, Inc. Michael is both humbled and honored to serve as the owner of Gifford Insurance Agency as the Gifford Insurance name is stamped into the fabric of Elkader and holds a high standard of family based service and putting our customers first. Michael states, “It is important to me that the Gifford name stays with the agency as previous owners Glenn Gifford, Brian Gifford and Tom Gifford put their life’s work into serving their customers and putting their needs first. That is the same kind of service that we will continue at Gifford Insurance Agency. I am humbled to have personally known Brian Gifford as I grew up in Elkader and also to have been personally trained and led by Tom Gifford throughout my insurance career since 2016. Tom has always done insurance the right way and covered his customers for any risks that were present within their businesses, autos, homes, farms, etc. The wealth of knowledge that Tom had in the insurance industry was something that he shared with me daily when working side by side with him. I will always be grateful to Tom for taking the time to teach and also for being a close friend. I also want to thank long time and current agent Kevin Lau for being instrumental in guiding and teaching me in the insurance aspects of farm, home and auto, crop and health insurance. I couldn’t have asked for two better agents to learn from.”
Michael lives in Elkader with his wife, Jade and two sons, Abram and Ellis. In his spare time Michael enjoys spending time with Jade and their boys, riding bike, taking their disabled son Ellis for walks in his wheelchair (this is his favorite activity), coaching and spending time with close friends. Michael served as the assistant boys basketball at Central Elkader Community Schools for the last 10 years but will now serve as a volunteer coach for the high school boys basketball team when time permits. Michael also heads and plans the youth boys basketball programs for 1st thru 6th grade in Elkader.
Jade spent her childhood near Lamont, Iowa but her family moved to Elkader her freshman year in high school. Jade graduated from Central Community Schools in Elkader in 2008. Jade attended the University of Northern Iowa where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Jade is a licensed personal lines agent and mostly works on personal home and auto insurance along with crop insurance during her office hours. Jade serves as both a part-time agent in the agency along with serving as the Vice President (co-owner) of Gifford Insurance Agency, Inc. Jade has vast experience in the customer service industry as she served as a store manager for a sporting goods store in Cedar Falls, Iowa during her college years and also managed a local coffee shop in Elkader.
A majority of Jade’s time is spent taking care of their two boys, Abram and Ellis. Ellis requires much attention as he was born with many cognitive and physical disabilities (cerebral palsy) that were a result of birth trauma. Ellis is immobile and all normal daily tasks needs to be done for him. Jade is a picture of someone who willingly sacrifices each day for the betterment of her children and the love that she has for them. In her spare time Jade enjoys longbow hunting, riding horses, reading, going on walks with the family and remodeling the home.
Kevin joined the agency in August 2004, following his ten years working as a licensed insurance agent with another company. Kevin holds the Life Underwriting Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) designation and earned a degree from Iowa State University. Kevin handles all lines of insurance, including property, casualty, life, health and crop insurance.
Kevin lives in Elkader with his wife, Kim and has two adult children, Grace and Adam. Kevin enjoys spending time with family, working on his old truck and riding his motorcycle in his free time. He has been a past member of Trees Forever, Central
Community School Board, Elkader Park Board, Elkader Jaycees, Lions Club, Keystone Chorus and the Elkader City Council. Kevin is currently a member of the Elkader Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Knights of Columbus.
Tom joined the agency in 1996 and purchased it from his parents Brian and Florence Gifford in 2009. He holds the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation with an emphasis in commercial lines insurance. He also earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance from the University of Missouri at Columbia. Tom now serves at the agency on a part time basis. Tom sold Gifford Insurance Agency, Inc. to long time employee Michael Beck in the summer of 2021. Tom’s main duties in his part time work include helping with larger commercial renewal meetings and giving any guidance to Michael in agency management if needed. Tom has shown amazing courage over the last 3 years as he has fought cancer and is now feeling well and enjoying life day to day.
In Tom’s semi-retirement he loves spending as much time as possible with his wife Michelle and their three girls. Tom loves to travel with this family, kayak, ride bicycle and go on walks. Tom especially loves traveling to the Black Hills in South Dakota annually to go on several hikes and enjoy the western landscape.
David joined the agency staff in June 2021, after assisting customers in the banking industry for many years. He is active in a number of organizations in the community, including the Opera House Players, Elkader Historical Society, the Clayton County Genealogical Society and the Motor Mill Foundation. In his free time, David enjoys photography, genealogical and historical research, along with his passion for playing the piano.