The Insurance Marketing & Communications Association (IMCA) presented Mark Wells, executive chairman of Wells Media Group Inc., with the IMCA Icon award in recognition of extraordinary leadership and exemplary achievement in insurance marketing and communications.
Wells recently celebrated 50 years in executive leadership for Wells Media Group, publisher of the Insurance Journal, Claims Journal, MyNewMarkets, Insurance Journal’s Academy of Insurance, and Carrier Management.
In IMCA’s announcement, Wells was recognized for his efforts to expand Insurance Journal nationally and for leading the company as an early adopter of the web, email, social media, audio, and video content. “His nomination credited him for creating an innovative and collaborative environment at Wells Media, where his associates feel valued and encouraged to contribute new ideas,” IMCA said.
Throughout his career, Wells has served several terms on the board of directors of the Western Publications Association, the board of trustees of Flintridge Preparatory School, and the Directors Council of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation. He currently serves on the board of the National Insurance Industry Council for the City of Hope. He is a California native and completed his undergraduate and graduate studies in finance and marketing at the University of Southern California prior to serving with the U.S. Army Security Agency.
IMCA also announced that Justin Jacobs, vice president of marketing at IMA Financial Group Inc., was awarded the IMCA Rising Star Award, which recognizes someone with fewer than five years’ experience in the industry who is already demonstrating leadership, innovation, and positive impact. Jacobs was the first one hired and has built a team of 10 promoting the sixth-largest privately held insurance company in the United States.
IMCA also announced 96 Showcase Awards in 37 categories. Organizations from across the United States and Canada entered the competition, which recognizes outstanding marketing and communications products while promoting higher standards of excellence within the insurance industry.
Grinnell Mutual, UFG Insurance, and VGM Insurance each captured four Best of Show and one Award of Excellence. Falvey Insurance Group, Gallagher, Risk Placement Services, Sun Life, and Westfield also each received five total awards.
“During this extraordinary time, we are honored to continue IMCA’s 63-year-old tradition of recognizing the top achievements in our field,” said Hank Pinkowski, chair of the board of directors and manager, strategic content at MAPFRE Insurance. “These award-winning works acknowledge the importance of marketing and communications in the insurance industry and give us all the opportunity to celebrate those who have a positive impact.”
Other winners of Best of Show Awards included ACORD, AIG Life & Retirement, Avera Health, Aviva Canada, Blink by Chubb, Church Mutual Insurance Company, Combined Insurance, Frankenmuth Insurance, Gallagher Basset, HealthMarkets, Nautilus, Orchid Insurance, Padilla, ProSight Specialty Insurance, ReSource Pro, Saleme, The Doctors Company, and Vertibrands.
Additional Award of Excellence winners included AAIS, AIG, Applied Underwriter, AXA XL, CopperPoint Insurance Companies, CRC Group, Crump Life Insurance Services, Foremost Insurance, Harford Mutual Insurance Group, IAT Insurance Group, MAPFRE Insurance, SageSure Insurance Managers, Sompo International, The American Equity Underwriters, and Trusted Choice.
The entries with the top 10 overall scores are eligible for the SAMMY (Special Award by Members). IMCA members may vote for the SAMMY award winner through July 31. The finalists are AIG, Aviva Canada, BLINK by Chubb, Church Mutual Insurance Company, Frankenmuth Insurance, Gallagher, Grinnell Mutual, HealthMarkets, Saleme Insurance, and VGM Insurance Services.
Judging criteria for each of the 2021 IMCA Showcase Awards’ 39 categories included background (why the program or product was created), target audience, objectives (what the intended outcome/strategy and measurable success criteria were) and results versus established metrics. More than 50 judges participated in the virtual judging process. Judges included advertising, marketing, public relations, and corporate communications executives from across North America.
IMCA is the oldest association for insurance marketing and communications professionals in North America with roots tracing back to 1921. Membership includes international and domestic multiline insurance companies and brokerage firms, regional and specialty companies, general agencies, and prominent industry suppliers. The organization represents over 120 companies, including the industry’s top five property/casualty writers. Members include senior level management and professional staff working in the areas of corporate communications, advertising, public relations, marketing communications, marketing and sales promotion, marketing research and technology.