Investor News: MMG named top 50
PRESQUE ISLE - A major investor in the Aroostook Partnership for Progress has been named a top 50 insurance company in the United States by Ward Group, a leading provider of operational and compensation benchmarking and best practices services for insurance companies.
MMG Insurance, based in Presque Isle, received word of the honor earlier this month.
To develop its annual list of the top 50 performing insurance companies, Ward Group analyzes the financial performance of more than 3,000 property-casualty insurance companies and nearly 800 life-health insurance companies domiciled in the United States and identifies the top performers in each segment based on objective data and subjective quality measures. Each company has passed all safety and consistency screens and achieved superior performance over the five years analyzed. This is the 24th consecutive year Ward Group has conducted the analysis.
"Most insurers saw improvements in both financial returns and overall premium levels," explained Jeff Rieder, Partner and Head of Ward Group. "In clear signs of continued optimism, our research shows considerable investments are being made in technology, product enhancements and identifying ways to deliver a better customer experience. Companies will be challenged to manage the costs of these initiatives, but have strong financial positions to support the investments. Total policyholder surplus continues to grow and overall financial stability for the industry remains very strong. In selecting the Ward's 50, we identified companies that pass financial stability requirements and measure their ability to grow while maintaining strong capital positions and underwriting results."
MMG Insurance CEO Larry Shaw said to WAGM-TV, "This accolade says the company is succeeding in achieving a level of excellence among its peers." Shaw also went on to praise the employees of MMG, who earned the distinction.
Bob Dorsey, APP President, commented, "MMG is a tremendous example of how a company can be based in Northern Maine and in addition to providing great insurance programs for Maine, can increase their market share in other states as well as compete and win awards at the national level. The other great attribute of MMG that I wish many more companies would employ, is the fact that when you call their offices, you get to talk to a real person and not a machine - that is a time saver, a real treat, and a true Aroostook example of customer service."
MMG Insurance operates in five states including Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Registration open for "Education to Industry" Summit Aug. 7 at UMPI
PRESQUE ISLE - There is still time to register for the second Aroostook Partnership for Progress (APP) Education to Industry Summit, coming up Thursday, Aug. 7, at the University of Maine at Presque Isle Campus Center.
APP President and CEO Bob Dorsey said the first summit last summer brought awareness about the growing need for skilled workers in Aroostook, especially in the 18- to 44-year-old demographic, and the second summit will expand on ongoing efforts and highlight best practices.
The summit is part of a larger APP "Education to Industry" initiative, which looks to promote more job shadowing and/or internships to show middle, high school and college students there are good jobs available in the region with the right skills.
"This is a great opportunity for the Aroostook County business community to learn about successful examples of job shadowing and internships that have been achieved right here close to home," said LEADers Encouraging Aroostook Development Executive Director Ryan Pelletier. "It also brings together education and business leaders to share ideas, collaborate and dialogue about long term sustainable models that engage our County youth and provides real work and experiential opportunities for them."
"I am hoping more high school principals, superintendents and school board members attend to hear how important it is to increase student awareness of upcoming jobs in all sectors of our economy," said Dorsey. "Employers should come to hear from educators and students how important and successful job shadow and internship programs have been in Aroostook and how these programs have enabled companies to grow, gain excellent employees and secure their success going forward. They will also hear the students' perspective on how beneficial those programs have been to helping them decide on career paths and staying in The County."
The summit will be from 8 a.m. to noon Thursday, Aug. 7, at the UMPI Campus Center. Electronic registration for the free event is available at, http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=ziygt7jab&oeidk=a07e9i9xl5bd2d79555 or at www.appme.org.
Maine Tourism Association Executive Director guest speaker at Aroostook County Tourism
Vaughn Stinson (top of the photo), Execcutive Director Director of the Maine Tourism Association, informed the Aroostook County Tourism board of directors about efforts to promote tourism and grow the state tourism budget. The ACT meeting was held Thursday, July 24, at Rideout's Lodge in Weston. Also pictured, left from bottom right, are Romeo Parent, Judy Sherman, Steve Dobson and Jim Brown. Brown is the owner of Rideout's Lodge.