Peschong returns home, spotlights local businesses through State Farm agency

T-R PHOTO BY ROBERT MAHARRY — State Farm Agent Tyler Peschong, right, and his team — which includes his father and predecessor Mike, left — pose for a photo outside of his office at 101 E. Linn St. in Marshalltown.

Tyler Peschong, a 2008 Marshalltown High School graduate, had the world in front of him as he started his career with State Farm Insurance and followed the path his father Mike, a longtime agent himself, had forged for him. But even as he was moving up the corporate ladder and, at the time, planting roots in the Omaha area with his wife Kaylee and their young children, something kept calling him home.

“We wanted to raise our kids in kind of a rural Iowa town just the way that our upbringings were,” he said. “We wanted to give the same opportunity for our kids, but with the corporate job that I was in, there was a good chance as you progress and as you continue to evolve your career that you could potentially move. So we really wanted to be here long term, and that’s what ultimately led me to come back and to take over dad’s business.”

At first, Tyler was actively recruiting someone to take over for his father through his corporate job, but due to some family health concerns, he felt God was calling him back to Marshalltown. Once he came to that realization, the conversations were expedited, and it was simply a matter of how quickly he could take over — and finally allow Mike, who still helps out on a part-time basis, to enjoy a well-deserved retirement.

The Peschongs settled back in Marshalltown in 2020, but initially, Tyler was still working in more of a corporate role, overseeing a territory that stretched as far as the northeast edges of Iowa to places like Dubuque and Decorah.

“We had some conversations about ‘Do our family goals and my career goals align?’ And they really didn’t, and so this was just the right thing for our family,” he said.

With three kids ages three and younger, bringing them back to the place where their father grew up, went to school and excelled in athletics was an opportunity Tyler and Kaylee, who now coaches the MHS volleyball team, couldn’t pass up.

“I’m just super proud of what Marshalltown is and what it represents and what we’re about and the people here. Small towns and rural towns, they’re not for everyone, and that’s OK. But it is for us, and just the way that we operate as a community and we go about our business, I just love the concept,” Tyler said. “It’s just like a bring your lunch pail to work and work hard and do the right things attitude, and that’s what I want for my kids. I want my kids to have that instilled in them. You only go as far as the work that you put in, and so I feel like that’s kind of what Marshalltown represents.”

Mike and Lea Ann Peschong, who first came to Marshalltown over 30 years ago from his native South Dakota, are happy to have their son and grandkids home and are confident the agency is in great hands.

“To be honest, I was ecstatic,” Mike said of his son’s decision to return. “When we grew this office, we grew it with community, you know, and just kind of face to face (interaction), a lot of handshakes. This community has just been such a big part of our lives that I knew when I was gonna retire, to have him interested in moving into the position and I knew that the people would be taken care of, I was ecstatic… It’s a gift.”

For Mike, building trust has always been paramount to everything he does, and it’s served him well both as a businessman and a community member. He’s been happy to see that civic mindedness passed on to his son, and he doesn’t see himself as being in competition with other insurance agents in Marshalltown — as the old saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.

“There’s just a lot of good people in the business sector in the community. I don’t care if it’s retail or financial services. There’s just a lot of good options, and we’re just blessed to be able to help,” Mike said.

Now that he’s back where it all began, Peschong hasn’t simply been content to go about his business and go home each day. In addition to his comical social media posts about everything from his Generation Z interns to his beloved Minnesota Vikings — who, yet again, did not hoist the Lombardi Trophy in 2023 — he’s been able to shine a light on a host of other local businesses through his #MtownProud video series in partnership with fellow Marshalltown entrepreneur and 2008 MHS graduate Austin Chadderdon of Soul or System Photography, a longtime friend.

“Pretty much everyone’s been really receptive of it. Some people don’t like the camera, so they get a little bit nervous about that. I always just try to put them at ease that, like, I’m just a marketing major from a little school in Minnesota (Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall), so it’s not like I have a news background or anything like that,” Peschong said. “This #MtownProud mission that we’re on is really a team thing, so the team gets involved with where they want to showcase (and) what’s important to them. So I want to make sure that we’re doing things not only that are important to me but are important to my whole team.”

With Chadderdon’s expertise in photography and video production and Peschong’s enthusiasm for the community on full display, the series has been a hit so far, and there are plenty more to come in the future. And they aren’t the only members of the Class of 2008 doing big things: besides Peschong and Chadderdon, people like Marshall County Arts and Culture Alliance Executive Director Amber Danielson, La Carreta Owner Alfonso Medina and Paul Thompson at Thompson True Value — a diehard Packers fan who Peschong loves to feud with during football season — are all making their mark on their hometown in various ways.

“I think it’s just a coincidence, really, but you knew, growing up with Alfonso and Amber and Paul, you knew they were gonna do really good things, and Austin’s one of the most talented people I’ve ever met in my life,” Tyler Peschong said. “Whatever those people touch, typically, it turns into gold, and so I’m just glad that they chose to have things here to be involved with because they’re gonna continue to do awesome things. And we’re gonna try to do our part.”

Looking forward, Peschong and his team will keep looking for new ways to make an impact locally and tell the story of all of Marshalltown, including the immigrants who have settled here and launched their own businesses.

“The diversity of our community is so cool, and it’s just such a huge part of the fabric of what we are that I want to continue to tell those stories as well,” he said. “We don’t plan on stopping for a long time because there’s always good stories to be told. There’s always good businesses. There’s always good things going on. We’re going to get more involved in the nonprofit world as well… We won’t run out of things to talk about.”

Peschong’s office is located 101 E. Linn St. The phone number is (641) 752-1002.


Contact Robert Maharry at 641-753-6611 ext. 255 or rmaharry@timesrepublican.com.


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