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BUILDING ON EIGHT GENERATIONS OF RELATIONSHIPS

BUILDING ON EIGHT GENERATIONS OF RELATIONSHIPS

BUILDING ON EIGHT GENERATIONS OF RELATIONSHIPS
April 27
12:20 2021

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

BUILDING ON EIGHT GENERATIONS OF RELATIONSHIPS

Hickok & Boardman celebrates 200 years of serving Vermont communities

By Scott Boardman, CPCU

As our U.S. president was writing the Monroe Doctrine in 1821, two gentlemen named Griswold and Follet were establishing an insurance agency in Burlington, Vermont, that eventually would become known as Hickok & Boardman Insurance Group.

In the late 1880s, after the agency had had numerous owners, Julius Hickok became the agency principal. He was joined by his son Henry Hickok in the early 1890s.

Julius Hickok, who joined the agency in 1888

In 1918, Munn Boardman was enrolling at the University of Vermont, fresh off the farm in Stowe, Vermont, when he answered an ad from Henry Hickok to become his chauffeur. Munn worked for Henry for four years while at UVM and joined him in the agency upon graduation.

In 1925, the agency changed its name to Hickok & Boardman. Munn ran the agency for many years, until 1968, when he turned over the reins to his sons Munn Jr., Robert, and David. By that time, the agency had expanded into life insurance and residential real estate to meet the growing needs of its clients.

Service to clients is the foundation on which the business has operated for 200 years, strengthening relationships generation upon generation.

Over the next 26 years the Boardman brothers continued to expand, with new offices in St. Albans and Stowe, Vermont, along with broadening the agency’s product offerings to include employee benefits, commercial real estate, and financial planning. They also invested in the agency’s first automation system, Gemini.

The next generation, buying the agency from Munn Boardman Sr.’s sons (and our fathers and uncles) in 1994. Back row, left to right, Paul Plunkett, Carla Boardman Smalling, and Munn Boardman III (deceased); front row, left to right, Mike Boardman, David Boardman, and Scott Boardman.

Today the life insurance, financial planning, retirement products, group benefits, and real estate businesses are separate Hickok & Boardman entities, with related ownership but distinct management.

In 1994, the brothers sold the agency to Scott, Munn III, Mike, and Carla Boardman, and Paul Plunkett; in 2000, they bought the Denis Ricker & Brown agency, with locations in Montpelier and Lyndonville, Vermont. A couple of years ago, they continued to expand their operations by opening an office in upstate New York.

Today, with 100 employees and over $123 million in premium, the agency is continuing to build on the relationships established during earlier generations. Its mission is to proactively develop long-term relationships that are mutually beneficial to clients, employ-ees, insurers, and the communities it serves.

Today, with I00 employees and over $I23 million in premium, the agency is continuing to build on the relationships established during earlier generations.

The agency’s values are: Do the right thing with a sense of urgency while exceeding expectations.

As the agency moves into its third century of operation, it has partnered with Acrisure LLC. The agency will continue to operate independently under the trusted Hickok & Boardman name and will continue to provide the superior customer service that has been the hallmark of the agency over the past eight generations.

The author

Scott Boardman, CPCU, is president of Hickok & Boardman Insurance Group.

Note: If your agency has been serving customers for 100 years or more and would like to be featured, drop us a note at davew@roughnotes.com.

Cover Photo: Henry Hickok, son of Julius, at the rear of a room where policy typists are working. The photograph was taken in 1920, just before the agency’s centennial year.

The next generation of leadership for Hickok & Boardman. From left: Jay Nunn, controller; Jen Barrett, director of risk management; and Ian Sutherland, director of sales.

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