The story of Townley Kenton goes back to 1903 when Alvin M. Townley Sr. was born in the small Alabama town of Oneonta. Tragically, at the age of three, Alvin became an orphan when both of his parents passed away from a reaction to medication. This event would help shape the course of Alvin’s life as he spent the next fifteen years working on dirt farms and bouncing around from one family to another. It was the hardships he faced through these challenging early years that helped forge the values our company still operates with today.
Alvin Sr. was orphaned at the Age of three
Started working on a farm plowing the field at age 12.
When he was 17, Alvin Sr. began high school at John H Snead Seminary. Since he had no money, he paid for his tuition and boarding by working for the Dean as a chauffeur, digging the foundation for a new school building and shoveling coal to heat the girls dormitory.
After graduating from Snead, he took a $162 loan which paid for train fare to Chicago. Once in Chicago, he delivered furniture before taking a job at a factory where he quickly became foreman due to his speed and work ethic. He attended Crane Business College at night while working at the factory during the day.
Alvin Sr. eventually worked his way to Northwestern University where he graduated with a degree in Commerce in 1931. Worked for the America for Loyalty as a bookkeeper. This company would eventually become Continental Insurance Company for whom Alvin Sr. would again work with as an agent years later. Alvin Sr. answered a blind ad for a position seeking a self-starting, highly motivated employee…the ad turned out to be a job with Liberty Mutual, one of the largest insurance companies in the country. He quickly became the top salesperson for the region although he would later make the joke, “if you think selling is hard, you should try selling auto insurance in Chicago during the depression”
Promoted to the southeastern sales manager where he managed 10 states for Liberty Mutual Insurance and moved to Atlanta, Georgia. After ten years in the Southeast, Liberty Mutual wanted him to return to Chicago to spearhead the development of placing insurance offices within large department stores to compete with the successful Allstate model. However, by this time Alvin Sr. had other plans…
Alvin Sr. started the Alvin M. Townley Insurance Agency and opened at the corner of Luckie and Forsyth Streets in Downtown Atlanta.
The agency operated out of the Healey Building in downtown Atlanta where Alvin Sr. and his assistant Mrs. Grimes began to build a reputation for honesty and enthusiasm and leadership in the community.
Alvin M. Townley Jr. joined the company after getting his undergrad in Risk Management and MBA at the University of Georgia.
Alvin Jr. would continue to expand the company and take a leadership role when the agency moved from downtown Atlanta to Decatur in 1983.
Under the leadership of Alvin Jr., the Alvin M. Townley Insurance Agency would add Alan Kenton and other advisors to become Townley Kenton, Inc. in 2003.
The third generation joined the agency in 2005 and initiated efforts to adapt new technologies and strengthen the level of service exemplified by Alvin Sr. and Alvin Jr. over the first six decades.
2013 – Present
After receiving his Master’s Degree in Risk Management and Insurance from Florida State University, Rob Townley assumed leadership of the company his grandfather founded over 70 years ago.