MN CPCU Celebrates 70th Year on December 1, 2019

The following is excerpted from and/or based on information found in The First 50 Years - A History of the Minnesota Chapter of the CPCU Society, a booklet written by Minnesota Chapter founding member John A. Phaender, CPCU, JD in celebration of the Minnesota Chapter's 50th anniversary.

The first CPCU designations were awarded following the administration of all five CPCU examinations June 9, 10 and 11, 1943. The national Society of Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters was established January 1, 1944. One of the first six designees, Robert Babbitt spearheaded the development of a CPCU chapter by getting the group together to develop the program. The principle speaker at the first All-Industry Day Luncheon in Chicago in 1944 was Newell R. Johnson, Insurance Commissioner of Minnesota, and President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. He spoke on the topic of multiple line underwriting.

Babbitt and his wife Jinx developed the social life of the organization. They were great dancers and promoted hiring of name bands for the annual meetings. This is being mentioned because it was a medium that helped to bring the organization together on a more personal basis. An exclusive group such as this, however, could be detrimental to the CPCU society in the long run and was abanadoned in the late 1950s.

Meanwhile, Minnesota people became aware of CPCU from circulars, trade magazines, and newspaper articles. Dean Loman of the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters, which had been incorporated April 11, 1942, made frequent visits to the state, calling on schools, teachers and Insurance Companies. T.P.Lowe (ID.57), a member of the Los Angeles California chapter who worked for a Minnesota corporation, Anchor Casualty Company, publicized it during his visits to the state. Similarly, Kenneth Hough, with Anchor Casualty Company in Dallas also made local insurance men aware of the organization.

In 1949, Minnesota had six CPCUs, which was enough to qualify for a CPCU Chapter. This was speedily developed and our admission date was December 1, 1949. The Minnesota chapter was the fifteenth in the United States. At that time there were 317 designees in the country, including those admitted in 1949. The Charter members of the Minnesota Chapter of CPCU were Rod Hood (ID 31) of Liscomb Hood Insurance Agency, Duluth MN, William Brandow, (ID 90) of B.H.K. & R. Agency of Minneapolis, MN, Joe Brink of the Thomas Linnel Agency of Minneapolis, Bernard Brissman, (ID222) of Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, William Peet, (ID 281), consultant, of St. Paul, MN and John A. Phaender (ID 282), Anchor Insurance Agency, Inc., of St. Paul.

It was agreed between the designees that the first president would be the one who received the initial designation and then go down the line in order of designation. However, in the case of the last three, Brissman, Peet and Phaender - all of whom received their designation in 1949, it was agreed they would preside in alphabetic order.

The Minnesota Chaptergram was first published in late 1955 as a monthly method for providing news about the chapter, including the President's Message and information about meetings and committee reports.

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