Jeff Eckburg has been an insurance agent since 1989. A native of Pecatonica, Jeff graduated from Eastern Illinois University where he studied journalism and communications. He joined the Agency upon graduation from college, and is the current President and owner.
Jeff is an active parishioner of Holy Family Catholic Church where he sings in the choir and serves as a cantor.
Tyler Pickering was raised in Rockford and attended Guilford High School. He spent four years at the University of Illinois, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science before returning to the Rockford region. Tyler joined the Eckburg team in 2014 servicing commercial accounts, and has become an agent in the time since. Tyler is involved in several local organizations including the Literacy Council, the Irish Marching Society, Rockford Cosmopolitan, Element Rockford, and Rockford Promise.
One of Tyler’s greatest accomplishments as an agent was working with a local non-profit to offer coverage that minimized overhead. The client was grateful to be able to use more of its funds for its cause rather than unnecessary bills.
Carla Towns was born in Charleston, South Carolina, but has been a Rockford resident since the age of eight. She attended Auburn High School and was a member of the CAPA (Creative and Performing Arts) and Academy Programs, and attended Rock Valley College after graduating high school. Carla obtained her associate’s degree from Rock Valley College after graduating from Auburn. Carla came to Eckburg in 2014 as a personal lines service agent and moved into the agent role in 2018. When she is not at the office or meeting with clients, Carla gives her time to the Rockford Park District’s Therapeutic Recreation Department.
A client once thanked Carla for helping in the submission of a claim that was not for a policy Eckburg had on file. She is always willing to go the extra mile for the customers of the agency.
Nick Verstraete is a lifelong resident of Rockford and attended Boylan Catholic High School. Nick began working at Eckburg in 2015 while he was still attending Rock Valley College, and has remained with the agency since obtaining his associate’s degree. He began in personal lines as the quotation specialist, but also assisted in the commercial department before moving into the sales agent role. Aside from work, Nick gives his time to the Rockton Lions Club at their annual event, Old Settlers Days. He tries to hit the links whenever he can, too.
Nick has always been helpful and hardworking; one client in particular was so pleased with Nick when he took the time to go out to a property and take pictures when she was unable to do so.
Wanda Oslund is Rockford born and raised and attended East High School. (Go E-Rabs!) She went to Rock Valley college after high school and began working at Eckburg in 1998 as a personal lines customer service agent. She has been here ever since! Wanda and her husband love spending time with the family, and they take trips down to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri to go boating and enjoy nature as often as possible.
Clients tell Wanda she always makes them feel as if she has their best interest in mind and always goes above and beyond to help.
Erin Bloom grew up in Rockford and attended Boylan Catholic High School. She began working at Eckburg in 2007 as a receptionist, and has since moved into commercial and personal lines as a service agent. When she is not busy working with her clients, Erin enjoys spending time with her husband and children.
Erin Mills joined the agency in the personal lines department during the summer of 2018. Erin is a native of Kenosha, Wisconsin, but has been working and living in Rockford for over a decade and earned her degree in Business Management from Rasmussen College here. In her free time, Erin likes to spend time with her daughter outdoors and travel when she can. In addition, she is a volunteer at Christian Life School.
Julie Buelow is originally from Durand, Illinois and attended Durand High School. She joined Eckburg in 1998 as a customer service representative, and now acts as the office manager for the agency. Julie enjoys being outdoors, whether it is gardening, biking, skiing, or hiking. She spends her free time volunteering for her church and the Rockford Rescue Mission. Julie likes being involved with the sports that her son plays, too.
“Customers always appreciate honest answers. I've had situations when offering a quote when it made more sense for the person to stay with their current carrier instead of changing. While reviewing their coverage I offered suggestions for coverage changes to improve their policy and they thanked me because I took the time to review, explain and give my honest opinion even though I didn't take over their policies.”
Michelle Heggemeier is originally from Rockford and attended Boylan Catholic High School. She received her Associate's degree from Rock Valley College before moving on to Northern Illinois University and completing her Bachelor's degree in Finance. Michelle started at Eckburg in 2011 as the receptionist, and has since moved into the commercial department as a service agent.
Heather Bickford grew up in Belvidere and graduated from Rock Valley College. After studying at the University of Maine at Machias, Heather returned to the Rockford area and began working at Eckburg in 2013 as the receptionist. She quickly made her way into working as a commercial lines service agent. In her free time, Heather enjoys spending her free time with her family and volunteering at her son’s school.
Heather loves going above and beyond with her clients, and often meets with them at their place of business to visit and review policies.
Steve Eckburg is a Pecatonica native and graduated from Pecatonica high school. He studied at the University of South Carolina and Illinois State University before returning to Rockford and joining the agency. Steve began working in marketing at Eckburg in 2005 and has since moved into the bookkeeping and operations role.
Ben joined the Agency in May, 2020 after two successful 20 win seasons as a college basketball coach. With limited collegiate coaching opportunities in Northern Illinois near family and friends, the time was right to join his family’s business. Ben is a 2012 graduate of Boylan High School and a 2016 graduate of the University of Wisconsin/Madison. In 2018, he received a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership. Ben was part of the Wisconsin men’s basketball program for two Final Four runs during the Bo Ryan era. He was on the training staff for Ryan and served as a graduate student coach for Greg Gard. Ben successfully completed his insurance licensing and has already written many excellent accounts.
Ryan is a Northern Illinois native who has been with the Agency since 2004. His primary specialty is business insurance but he is also an expert in auto and home coverage, particularly with higher valued dwellings.
Ryan and his wife Jamie live in Rochelle and have 3 children. He is an active member of the community—especially with coaching youth sports.
Susan joined Eckburg in 2017. Prior to working at Eckburg, she spent 7 years at Country Financial in Rochelle where she specialized in auto and home insurance, farms, and small commercial accounts. She serves in the same capacity at Walker. Susan and her husband Greg have four daughters. When not at work, she enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her family and friends.
Angie joined Eckburg in 2017 after spending the previous 15 years at other local agencies. She and her husband Denny have 1 son and all three are graduates of Rochelle Township High School. Angie writes and services both personal lines and commercial polies with a special focus on manufacturing, contractors, and small businesses. She is an active member of Calvary Lutheran Church where she teaches Sunday School.
Laurie, a native of Pecatonica, joined the agency in May, 2022. She has more than 30 years of experience in property and casualty insurance. She and her husband, Dan, have two daughters and two granddaughters. She enjoys camping, watching Nascar, riding motorcycles, and spending time with family and friends.
Danny, born and raised in Rockford, returned to his community in 2022 after spending 4 years as a PGA golf professional. Danny was the IHSA state golf champion in 2013. He graduated from Boylan High School and comes from a large family that is deeply rooted in local athletics. In his free time, he continues to play golf, but he also enjoys taking day trips around the area. In the agency, Danny specializes in Property and Casualty insurance with a heavy focus on personal auto and home insurance.
Originally from Chicago, “Lupe” has lived in the Rockford area since the age of 5. She graduated from Rockford East high school in 2017. On the weekends, she can be found in area creek beds hunting for geodes, rocks that reveal incredible crystals when broken in half. Lupe also loves fishing, kayaking and swimming. She started in the agency in 2022 as the receptionist. She now works with commercial customers focusing on contractors and other small business clients. She speaks fluent Spanish and is a great resource for our staff and customers.
Rachele, a lifelong Rockford resident, joined the agency in 2023 after spending nearly 6 years working at Pinnon’s Grocery. She has a passion for agriculture, loves to garden and is known for growing California Giant Zinnias. She is also great cook. Originally starting as the receptionist, Rachele now serves as a customer service agent in the personal lines department specializing in auto and home insurance.
Renee joined the agency after spending a year working for AAA Insurance Company. A lifelong area resident, Renee is a graduate of Pecatonica High School. She currently works in the personal lines department servicing auto and home insurance clients. In her free time, Renee likes to take her dog on walks or to play at the dog park. Renee likes to spend most of her time hanging out with friends and family, creating fun memories. During the summer, she enjoys going for long motorcycle rides through the countryside and taking in the beautiful scenery.