Mark Wells, editor and publisher of Insurance Journal and InsuranceJournal.com and CEO of Wells Publishing Inc., has been awarded the Insurance Marketing Communications Association’s (IMCA) 2004 Golden Torch Award for his lifelong contributions to the insurance industry, ongoing dialogue with insurance professionals in print and online, as well as his many charitable efforts on behalf of Insurance Journal.
“The impact Insurance Journal has had on how the insurance industry communicates is profound and with Mark’s continued leadership, Insurance Journal is participating, if not helping, to lead a fundamental change in how the industry communicates,” stated IMCA at its annual Golden Torch Award ceremony in Connecticut.
Wells, who became publisher in 1970 after his father’s death, has led Insurance Journal magazine to become the most widely-read media in the property/casualty insurance industry. Under his leadership, Insurance Journal has grown from a small regional Southern California trade magazine with 4,000 readers to a national network of five regional magazines with a bi-monthly circulation of more than 45,000 readers nationwide. Mark’s father, Mark Wells Sr., originally purchased the publication in 1936.
Most notably, Wells oversaw the development and launch of Insurance Journal Online (www.insurancejournal.com) in 1997, recognizing how the Internet would change the way the industry reads news. Since its launch, IJ Online has grown from just a few thousand visitors per month, to more than 144,000 unique visitors a month. As of June 2004, more than 34,500 insurance professionals have subscribed to Insurance Journal’s daily news e-mail service.
Wells is a California native and completed both undergraduate and graduate studies in finance and marketing at the University of Southern California prior to serving with the U.S. Army Security Agency. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Insuring the Children and the Directors Council of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation. He has served several terms on the Board of Directors of the Western Publications Association and the Board of Trustees of Flintridge Preparatory School. He and his wife Gayle are residents of Solana Beach, Calif.
IMCA, an international organization of insurance communications professionals specializing in marketing, advertising, sales promotion, public relations and media relations, awards the Golden Torch each year to individuals or organizations that have contributed greatly to the insurance industry.
Previous winners of the Golden Torch Award include: Gay Silberg, principal of Graham Silberg Sugarman Inc.; William E. Bailey, founder and president of National Consumer Education Foundation; Edwin Overman, president emeritus of American Institute for CPCU and Insurance Institute of America; George Nordhaus, founder/CEO of Insurance Marketing and Management Services; Nicholas Matthews, former senior vice president of National Association of Professional Insurance Agents; John Osborne, retired CEO of Oregon Mutual Insurance Co.; Lowell Beck, former president of National Association of Independent Insurers, and more. IMCA awarded its first Golden Torch Award in 1991.
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