What began as a small life insurance brokerage general agent study group in the early 1970’s has evolved into LifeMark Partners, an industry-leading marketing and sales organization poised for continued growth.
It was at the Greenbrier Resort that Security Connecticut, one of the leading early brokerage industry companies, hosted a meeting of their General Agents. Several of these attendees decided to begin to get together to share ideas for insurance sales and marketing as well as the business side of their fledgling agencies. The first formal meeting of LIFE Inc. (Life Insurance for Everyone) was held in Pittsburgh, PA in June of 1976 and the original member agencies included Security House (Baltimore, MD), Life Plans (CT), Shaw American (Louisville, KY), Underwriters Brokerage Service (Pittsburgh, PA), Ambassador Insurance Agency (Boston, MA) and Imco Life Services (Southfield, MI).
Membership expanded over the years to a high of 17 member agencies. And, while Life, Inc. maintained their study group presence and roots, they envisioned business opportunities and growth beyond their original charter. It was in the early 1990’s as LifeMark Associates and later LifeMark Distributors that they embarked on an initiative to provide consulting services to carriers, one of which involved a project with United of Omaha to assist with their desire to enter the brokerage side of the life insurance business. An additional project was for extensive annuity consulting for GECA in Seattle.
This group understood that there was a major difference between a study group among friends and a successful business venture. As a marketing organization, LifeMark Partners was introduced mid 1990’s with the goal to develop as a major sales and marketing force within our industry. With Mende Lerner as the initial Chairman, Becky Wingate (a former Mutual of Omaha executive) was brought on board to help develop the business side of the organization with headquarters in Baltimore, MD. Partners were added in a strategic fashion bringing significant production, geographic diversity and market expertise. Under the initial leadership the organization developed a stellar reputation. Michael Flynn, Malcolm Sklar and currently Mark Rosen followed Mende Lerner as Chairman. When Becky Wingate moved on to other opportunities, LifeMark was fortunate to have Nancy Bosley available to step into the President’s role and help further the organization as a true leader within the industry. LifeMark is now ably led by Bill Shelow, a brokerage industry veteran and former life insurance company president.
Members of LifeMark are well known leaders within their industry and respective communities and over the years, roughly half of the NAILBA Chairman have come from the LifeMark ranks.