In 1985, a group of six gathered informally to network and learn more about the benefits of strategic alliances. These visionary individuals, Dan Murphy with Monumental Life; Glenn Phillips with BMA; Mel Hicks with Southern Life; John O’Mahoney with Aetna Life and Casualty; Larry Gerdes with Physicians Mutual; and Tom Barnard with Durham Life, are credited as the organization's founders. Mel Hicks is further credited with providing the inspiration for the name Inter-Company Marketing Group. After three Annual Conferences in Greensboro, NC, the first Board of Directors was organized with Mel Hicks designated as the first President.
In 1988, fewer than 30 senior executives gathered at the first Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX. Today, the Annual Conference attracts a significant percentage of ICMG's approximate 500 members and is renowned as "best in the industry." Known as the place where deals get done, the Conference is an event where attendees deliver personal opening introductions, schedule one-on-one meetings, network in the exhibit hall, learn from session speakers, and make connections through speed networking.
ICMG celebrated its 36th anniversary in 2020. The esteemed list of Past Presidents shares credit, along with fond memories, for ICMG's impressive evolution.
“I believe ICMG is the most valuable organization in the insurance industry today. It has grown and prospered due to its focus on one thing: Making the Deal!”
- The late Thomas McCracken
“I have been a member over 30 years and my association with ICMG made getting things done a lot easier. I could call any ICMG member and if they couldn’t help me, usually they could refer me to someone that could. When attending my first meeting, I only had 20 networking contacts and now I have more than 800 numbers in my file and 80% came from ICMG.”
- Rich Katz
“I was always amazed at the openness and candor of ICMG members. I got more deals done through ICMG than any other association I have participated in.”
- Bob Bowsher
“This association helped my career. Being a member and the President of ICMG made me better at managing my own job. A milestone I will never forget is facilitating the Board's completion of the first 3-year strategic plan and I use those skills in my job to this day.”
- Derek Brigham
“I recall when I first suggested to my boss that we sell other company’s products. I bet my bonus that it would be good for the company. Needless to say, best bonus ever.”
- Jerry Hennenhoefer
“It was a small group of people that wanted to create an environment to help insurance companies network and it’s grown into a vital organization for myself and many of our members.”
- The late Don Kampe