Lakeshore Title is Benzie Business of the Year

BEULAH – “We were flabbergasted, we never expected it,” said Bill Dungjen with Lakeshore Title. “We’re not the kind of company that typically wins awards.”

The Benzie County Chamber of Commerce thought otherwise when it named Lakeshore Title Company as Benzie Business of the Year.

Lakeshore Title was chosen because of its expertise and professional service, growth, and for its commitment to give back to the community.

The company has offices in Beulah and Empire, serving Benzie, Leelanau and Manistee counties.

Ted and Brian Dungjen opened their first office in Traverse City in 1985. But seeing more opportunity in Benzie County, they moved the following year to Beulah and haven’t looked back since.

The father-son partnership has grown to include sophisticated high-tech procedures to offer full service title insurance, escrow and closing services.

With gradual growth and a rising population, the company now has 13 employees, including Paul Szymanski, attorney Linda Moorey Kehr, brother Bill, brother-in-law Tim and cousin Rob. At one time or another many other family members have joined the ranks of the company.

It remains a locally-owned and operated business that has earned a loyal customer base.

“Having a quality product is the surest way to have a business grow,” Bill said. “It’s not easy to go through a stack of papers an inch or two thick, we try to make people more comfortable with the process. Our staff is very well- versed, knowledgeable and talented in what they do and that makes the difference. We owe everything we have to the quality of our employees and all that they do.”

The award presentation emphasized Lakeshore Title’s commitment to Benzie County and neighboring communities.

The selection committee agreed and wrote, “In this age of corporate culture and the focus on the bottom-line (profit), it is commendable that Lakeshore Title places a higher value on its relationship with employees, clients, and the people of Benzie County and surrounding communities.”

“We are proud that we have always placed a higher value on our relationships with our employees and our clients than on the bottom-line,” Brian Dungjen said.

“This philosophy allows all of the people affiliated with Lakeshore Title to earn a decent living, keep a sense of independence and dignity and offer the very valuable time and energy to their families as we offer to ours.”

In support of the community, Lakeshore Title company donates its time, money and expertise into a wide-range of community activities, such as the Crystal Lake Team Marathon, the Betsie Valley Trails, the Mills Community House, Frankfort Rotary, the Willoughby-Rotary Foundation, the Benzie Community Chorus, the Paul Oliver Foundation, Relay for Life, the Old Town Playhouse, The Grand Traverse Land Conservancy, school co-op programs, continuing education programs for realtors, and sponsoring a FIA family at Christmas.

A major project the company is working on is the completion of a computer tract index.

“We purchased the microfilm copies of the county records from 1926-1986 and are in the process of having them transferred into digital format to use on the computer. It’s a very exciting project.” Brian said.

The company has plans to add offices in Leelanau and Manistee counties. BN