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Surety Guru John Zefkeles Will Be Missed


The Northwest and Alaska lost one of the insurance industry’s most revered figures on January 4, 2013. John Zefkeles was known both locally and nationally as a guru in Surety, the business of securing bonds (guarantees), which construction firms are required to provide on all public projects.

John was hired by Parker, Smith & Feek as Surety Department Manager in 1968. After 33 years, he retired in 2000, having served as partner, Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chairman of the Board of Directors. At Parker, Smith & Feek, he was a driving force behind the growth of the Surety department, and spearheaded the firm’s expansion to Alaska. He created one of the strongest construction company networks in the insurance business. He stood out as a man of great knowledge and integrity who faced problems head-on. Vic Parker, retired Chief Executive Officer,  describes him as a great communicator and said, “John was driven by an impeccable moral compass.”

John was much more than a rainmaking insurance broker; he was beloved in his community. He was a boisterously proud alumnus of the University of Washington and kept an exuberant eye on Husky sports. He loved traveling with his wife to warm places during the cold Northwest winters, was an avid golfer, and active in his church. He will be remembered for his high-energy approach to life, his considerate nature, and, to those close to him, his hidden talent as a master bird caller, which he often used with hilarious consequences.

John is survived by his wife Carolyn Zefkeles, his two sons, and his five grandchildren. He was 76. A private memorial service was held Friday, January 11th.

The whole Parker, Smith & Feek staff, past and present, extends condolences to the family of this beloved man, who played such a large part in making the firm what it is today.

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