John ter Avest started his business July 7, 1953 as a General Agent for Federal Life and Casualty Company, specializing in individual life, health and disability insurance as well as group life and health. The John ter Avest Agency was always ranked among the top ten Federal Life agencies in the United States.
The John ter Avest Agency has been a fixture in downtown Battle Creek since its inception in 1953 with its original office location on the tenth floor of the Wolverine Federal Tower. In the early 1960's they were located at 9 McCamly and in 1992 the agency moved to its current location at 9 Capital Avenue. The design of the distinctive windows from this historic building has been incorporated into the logo for the John ter Avest Agency, Inc.
Since immigrating from the Netherlands in 1951, John ter Avest has been very active in his community and has received honors from many organizations. John served as a trustee and President in the Presbyterian Church, president of the Pennfield school board from 1967 to 1980, and board member for the Child Guidance Clinic from 1967 to 1969. In 1968 Mr. ter Avest received the Daughters of the American Revolution Award for "trustworthiness, service, leadership and patriotism". In 1972 the Battle Creek Jaycees named John ter Avest the "Boss of the Year".
In 1975, John was honored to have his son, Simon G. H. ter Avest join the agency after his graduation from Albion College in 1974. Currently Simon serves as President of the John ter Avest Agency, Inc. Bringing a third generation of the family name to the agency in 2008 is Simon's son Gerrit C. J. ter Avest. Gerrit graduated from Western Michigan University with a background in sociology, English, and law.
During the sixty years the John ter Avest Agency has been in existence they have credited their success to the unique and pleasant service provided to their clients. It is the hope of the John ter Avest Agency to provide another fifty years of quality service to the Battle Creek community.