Emerge News | October 2023

“Hard work does not go unnoticed, and someday the rewards will follow.”

– Allan Rufus, The Mater’s Sacred Knowledge

The teams at First MainStreet Insurance (FMSI) and TrueNorth can certainly relate to this mantra. While we don’t spend a ton of time pumping our own tires, we do pause from time to time to see how far we have come. It gives us an appreciation for all the tireless hours of hard work we have poured into our independently owned company. While the rewards are fun, it is not why we do what we do. We continue to be problem solvers, innovators and great business partners. While we already announced four additional firms in 2023 into the FMSI platform, in this edition of Emerge, I am excited to share more…

Hello, Minnesota!

It comes with immense pride and a ton of excitement that I announce to you our newest partnership and newest state expansion. United Prairie Insurance (UPI) has joined forces with FMSI, and we have fully launched our platform into the great state of Minnesota. A bank owned agency, UPI, comes to us with 12 locations in the southern half of Minnesota. With 21 highly focused and talented employees, this partnership creates an endless number of possibilities with our two firms and for the state of Minnesota’s insurance landscape. Joining us in partnership is long time UPI General Manager, Scott Yerington. With a long track record of success in agency management, Scott will provide us with continued leadership, entrepreneurship, and many years of positive growth. We couldn’t be more thrilled for what the future holds for us and are going to be aggressive with our growth initiatives in this region.

“Over the past 10 years, United Prairie Insurance has already embraced the FMSI model by creating a growth environment where our 12 locations collaborate and share resources. We are looking forward to joining the FMSI platform that will only enhance the values we have created at UPI.”

-Scott Yerington, United Prairie Insurance

Principal & Risk Advisor

"With the current market conditions, our First MainStreet model makes more sense today than ever before. Launching into Minnesota, with this team, is exciting and meaningful as we help the independent agencies remain a viable part of rural America." 

- Dru Bridges, First MainStreet Insurance

Executive Vice President

Three more Iowa locations put their trust & confidence in FMSI...

First, SMC Insurance (aka Harrison-Thornburgh Insurance) joined FMSI on July 1. Located in Dumont, IA and led and owned by Shelly Zimmerman, the team at FMSI was honored to carry her legacy forward. A hard worker, a great insurance agent and a better person, Shelly has embraced the platform and will continue to do great things for her clients and her community.

Harmeyer Insurance is our second Iowa agency to jump on board and join FMSI. Owned and operated by multi-generational agency owner, Rod Harmeyer, Harmeyer Insurance has a great list of clients and continues our expansion efforts in southeast Iowa. Located in West Point, IA, Rod and his team will continue to move the needle forward and produce great results for his current client base.

Our last acquisition to announce comes by way of Liberty Insurance Agency located in Durant, IA. This marks our second recent bank owned agency acquisition as we have proven multiple times over that our platform is perfectly suited for banks looking for a different path with their insurance operations. Started from scratch back in 1963 by Delmar Frick, and led for the last 25 years by Tim Reimers, Liberty Insurance Agency is a perfect fit for First MainStreet. Tim will continue with us in his leadership role, along with two additional talented staff members, and we are glad to have such a stout presence remaining inside of these walls. We look forward to the community investments both the bank and agency have demonstrated, and we are gearing up for even further growth from this location. Loaded full of great clients, a strong footprint in Durant, and many solid insurance carriers, Liberty Insurance Agency is poised for a robust future. 

Agency Spotlight - United Insurance Counselors

Located in Davenport, IA, United Insurance Counselors (UIC) has been a consistent force for us on the FMSI platform. Principal and Risk Advisor, Tom Kellenberger, joined us back in 2019 and hasn’t looked back. A good partner, a great insurance agent and a strong leader both in his agency and in the community, Tom has embraced what we are building and has been an awesome advocate for new agencies looking to join our team.

“As we all know the year of 2023 is not a friendly one for us in the insurance industry. This hard market will be one for the ages. Since we hopped on the FMSI Platform, we have seen record derecho, hail, inflation, and now the tough market [just to name a few]. Having multiple markets to help keep accounts has been one of the shining lights since the merger. In addition, the technology team has helped keep us up and running through it all, no matter the condition.

I've appreciated the sales collaboration in working with Mike Summers and the Construction Specialty Group within TrueNorth. Together we are securing a sizable account that I wouldn’t have been able to land on my own. Coupled with the expertise of Brian Burns, who specializes in large life cases, and Kris Kellenberger, a Benefits Risk Advisor, helping me to secure existing accounts, is the cherry on top!

We have also been very proud of the philanthropic side to FMSI. They care about our communities and are always looking for creative ways to give back. Teamwork, collaboration and camaraderie are what make this crazy world go round!”

- Tom Kellenberger

Principal, Risk Advisor

Wrapping Up

With six additional deals in agreement, and a very nice pipeline beyond that, 2023 should end with a great flourish. Doing good things with good people has certainly been a recipe for success. While the rewards will be recognized in time, the hard work is certainly attracting many to FMSI and TrueNorth family.

Now stocked with over 55 FMSI locations and over 200 people in four states, I hope it is time for you to realize the staying power we have. Please, reach out to me and start the dialogue to learn why so many agency owners have jumped on this rocket ship.

Best of luck to you all in the last quarter of the year! 

Dan Driscoll
Director of Strategic Expansion and M&A


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