1945: EMC Enters Wisconsin
EMC first entered Wisconsin in 1945, when a general agency contract was created with the Wylie C. Sampson Agency in Milwaukee. It didn’t take long for the Sampson Agency’s business to pick up. In fact, they produced so much business that EMC opened a supporting claims office in 1947.
1950s: Milwaukee Officially an EMC Branch Office
In 1955, EMC purchased the Sampson Agency and sent Iowa Field Supervisor George Kochheiser to help establish it as an EMC office. In January 1956, it officially became EMC’s Milwaukee Branch, carrying out underwriting, production and claims functions. During these first few years, the office remained in the two rooms it previously occupied above a Walgreen’s store at Southgate Mall.
By 1958, premium volume had increased from roughly $625,000 to $1 million, led by workers’ compensation and auto business. In addition, the staff had grown from its original seven employees to 23 employees, with 160 agents producing business. As a result, they relocated to a second-floor office above a five-and-dime and music store two miles away.
1960s and ’70s: New Business, New Office
Throughout the ’60s and ’70s, the Milwaukee Branch underwent several important changes as it continued to grow. In 1963, the branch started offering direct bill automobile under EMCASCO. In 1968, they began writing life products through Employers Modern Life Company. In the ’70s, a risk improvement manager and a special risk supervisor were added to the staff.
In 1970, the Milwaukee Branch moved its operations to a new building, which matched EMC’s relatively new uniform building structure. The branch is still at this location.
2011: Strength, Stability, Service
Today, the Milwaukee Branch has approximately 74 employees working under Resident Vice President Phil Lucca. The branch serves 65 agencies, and the book of business is 93 percent commercial lines and seven percent personal lines. The branch’s written premium for 2010 was more than $64.6 million.