40 Under 40 The Class of 2017

Jack Toner

Principal, Customer Relationship Development, Sumner & Toner Insurance Agency Inc.; Age 36

Jack Toner

Jack Toner

Jack Toner is a third-generation business owner who you might say is going the distance. He’s an insurance agent by trade, and a marathoner for fun.

“The insurance business is always evolving and changing; on any given day you might come across a new risk that you need to manage,” he explained. “Running is a mental and physical recharge for me.”

He’s also on the run for his clients, some who’ve been with Sumner & Toner for more than 40 years.

Toner said the insurance industry is all about partnerships, bringing agents and customers together to tailor policies to meet each of their specific needs. “I like meeting people and figuring out not only how to help them prepare for the unexpected, but also make a positive difference in their lives.”

He got a jump start on changing lives for the better two years out of Georgetown University, when he taught English as a second language in China. “I was working in D.C. and decided I wanted to see the world and do something different,” Toner said. “It was amazing to experience their culture, and share ours.”

When he returned, he worked as a leasing agent for just over a year. He decided to come home to work at his family’s agency because it was an opportunity to not only carry on a family legacy, but build on a solid foundation of success.

“In 1967, our family became involved in a local independent insurance agency that was founded in 1933 in Springfield,” he noted. “The agency took its present form in 1998, when my father, Bill, and Warren Sumner III merged their two agencies. Today, Warren’s son Bud is my partner in the agency.”

Toner, who lives with wife, Elizabeth, in Longmeadow, is also involved in the community, serving as a leader for the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, Habitat for Humanity, and the Springfield Rotary Club. He also serves on St. Mary’s Parish Council in Longmeadow, and is a fourth-degree Knight of Columbus.

“I truly believe in the Rotary’s mission, ‘service above self,’ and serving humanity, whether it’s in our own backyard or across the world,” he said.

He added that he’s blessed to have loving parents who taught him that the world was bigger than him. “They told me to be patient, humble, and considerate, and that would lead to success.”

—Alta Stark