After 16 years as a State Farm Insurance agent in Washington, Matt Tobben has accepted a position with the company in California.
His last day serving the local area was Sunday, July 1.
Tobben was promoted to an agency field executive and will be based in Walnut Creek, Calif.
His responsibilities will include leading a group of 56 agents. He will mentor the agents on how to run their businesses.
Tobben said that it is with mixed emotions that he leaves the Washington community.
“I’m excited. I’m looking forward to the challenge,” he said. “I have amazing memories of the past 16 years of being an agent here in this town and the memories are because of the awesome clients I have and the friendships I’ve built over the years.”
Tobben credits his employees for much of the success of the business.
“I’ve had an amazing, awesome team over the years,” he said. “They’ll continue to stay there and help run the agency until the new agents get in place.”
There is no agent to take his place yet, Tobben said, adding that State Farm would take its time to find the perfect fit for the community.
State Farm will send out a representative for the interim, he said.
Tobben grew up in Washington, and graduated from St. Francis Borgia Regional High School in 1984.
After college, he spent several years in St. Louis. Then, in December 1994, he returned to Washington. He opened his State Farm office March 1, 1996.
In 2003, Tobben’s office was named the No. 2 agency in State Farm. There are more than 17,000 agencies nationwide.
Over the years, Tobben’s office has been named a “Top 50” agency 23 times in various categories.
Tobben also has been a part of The Million Dollar Round Table, a national organization, nine times.
He is a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisers.
Tobben also is active in the community. He has served as the president of the St. Gertrude Athletic Association and is involved with the Washington Rotary Club and the St. Francis Borgia Athletic Association.
Tobben, who accepted his new position June 26, said he’s most excited about the leadership role he will have with State Farm. He noted that he started reading “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” when the opportunity was presented.
“No. 20 is the law of explosive growth and that really resonated with me,” he said. “It says to multiply growth you need to lead leaders. I thought of that law and how I could help the company multiply growth by leading 56 agents.”
Tobben said he has been offered other positions in the past, including in other states, but this time it “felt right” for him and his family.
In California, Tobben believes he will have the largest group of agents to lead. Most agency field executives work with about 30 agents.
“It showed me that the company valued me and felt like I could do the job,” he said.
Leaving in Good Hands
Tobben said he feels like he’s leaving Washington better than when he began.
“For the community, I would like to say thank you to all who believed in me and trusted my team and me,” he said. “Without their support I wouldn’t be where I am now.”
Tobben and his wife, Lisa, have three children: Morgan, 19, Madison, 17, and Raleigh, 13.