It’s been four years since I last worked for the Insurance Journal, and returning has been quite an eye opener. I have been astonished by the industry’s rapid growth and its ability to adapt to a new world. There are coverages now that were unimaginable during the late 1990s. I am proud to return to IJ during a time of such massive expansion, even more so as a new member of the Wells family.
I became an industry fellow in 1992 while working for a family-owned independent agency in Austin, Texas. The agency’s principal, “Mr. Watkins,” taught me numerous life lessons, including the commitment and dedication it takes to manage and succeed in the business world. I owe much to him, including my admiration for agents and their responsibility to serve their clients’ best interests. Many times I would have been lost without my agent’s valuable advice.
So here we are celebrating the 80th Birthday of the Insurance Journal. Not only are we celebrating our history, but also the history of many industry leaders who made us what we are today. Take a glance into IJ’s past through the eyes of our publisher Mark Wells in an exclusive interview by Charles E. Boyle, managing editor, IJ-East. Join Kevin O’Reilly, managing editor, IJ-Midwest, as he looks into the industry’s beginnings when agents sold nothing more than basic fire insurance, to current the complex risk management market. And don’t forget to read a little about our industry’s forefathers who laid the groundwork for today’s independent agency system by Stephanie Jones, managing editor, IJ-Texas/South Central. For your added pleasure, spend some time reminiscing as you look over historical advertisements from the Insurance Journal over the past 80 years. You might also be interested in the power behind the magazine, the IJ team.
I am elated to return to the industry I call home. And welcome you in the weeks and months ahead to send us your comments and suggestions. Our new national editorial team is anxious to bring you the news first. So give us a call, send us an e-mail or write us a letter. When all else fails visit our Web site at www.insurancejournal.com. From the East to the West, Texas/South Central to the Midwest and the southern states of the Southeast, we are proud to expand our coverage to agents all across the country.
We sincerely hope you enjoy this special anniversary edition of the Insurance Journal.
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