Si Sokol, founder, former chairman and chief executive officer of Columbus, Ohio-based Bancinsurance Corporation died Tuesday. He was 79 years old.

Mr. Sokol recently retired from the company following a 37-year career with Bancinsurance. He served as chairman of the board since the company was formed in 1970 and as its CEO from 1980 until his retirement. His son, John, succeeds him.

Bancinsurance said in a statement that Mr. Sokol was born in Columbus in 1927. Throughout his life he believed in the importance of hard work, determination and concern for others. He consistently ended a meeting or conversation with the question, “Is there anything I can do for you?” His personality and entrepreneurial spirit are embodied throughout the entire Bancinsurance organization.

He began his professional career at the Sokol Insurance Agency; was co-founder of the Beverlee Drive-In restaurant chain; and then established his own company, Si Sokol & Associates, specializing in community bank mergers and acquisitions. He created Bancinsurance Corporation in 1970 and served as its chairman.

In 1980, Mr. Sokol became CEO of Bancinsurance, an underwriting specialty insurer. The company has grown to approximately $60 million in revenues, over $120 million in assets and writes business in 48 states.