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What’s New: In Brief (August 07, 2007)


August 7, 2007   by Canadian Underwriter


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Western Financial Group Inc. has completed the acquisition of Blonde & Blonde in Kelowna, B.C., Baxter Agencies, formerly a Trans West Insurance office, in Lac La Biche, AB, and Nielsen & Wolfe Agencies in Morrin, AB.
“We are pleased to be able to add the growing Alberta communities of Morrin and Lac La Biche to our network,” said Western Financial Group president and CEO Scott Tannas. “We are also very proud to welcome the expert employees of Blonde & Blonde, who have established themselves as leaders in commercial insurance.
They strengthen our relationships with key markets and bring commercial programs that will significantly add to our market presence in Kelowna.
Western Financial Group provides insurance, financial and banking services in more than 80 communities through its WFG Agency Network locations, its affiliated insurance brokers, Western Life Assurance Company and Bank West.

CARSTAR Automotive Canada has opened Autobahn CARSTAR Collision in Calgary, AB, as part of an aggressive growth strategy to expand operations to more than 200 locations across Canada.
The addition of Autobahn CARSTAR Collision comes from an expansion of GT CARSTAR Collision and Arrow CARSTAR Collision, the company announced in a press release. All three stores are operated by the Stathko Group, which has been a part of the CARSTAR network since 1999.
Chris Stathonikos, founder of the Stathko Group, has operated a collision repair business in Calgary for more 30 years. His son, Matthew, joined the business in 1997 after completing his business administration diploma at Mount Royal College.
Together, they expanded their business in 2001, with the acquisition of GT CARSTAR Collision, which brought Dave Stretz into the business.
Stretz has extensive automotive management experience and has managed GT CARSTAR since the acquisition. He will be managing this new location with the help of his son Joel.
The Stathko Group plans to make the Autobahn CARSTAR location its flagship store. It will be centralizing the administrative management of the three stores at this new location, as well as establishing a business training centre within the facility.
The new facility is now open and is located at 2601 29th Street NE. Hours of operation are Monday to Friday 7:30 a.m.5 p.m.