When Gordon Mumpower began Commercial Insurance Managers Inc. (CIM) in 1989, he did not have a succession plan for a family-owned business. But now a plan is solidly in place — and it’s one that has placed the business into the capable hands of his daughter, Candice Mumpower, who has been an owner of CIM since the beginning.
“I wanted to begin my own business in insurance, and Candi’s mother joined me for a 20% ownership,” said Gordon Mumpower. “We started out in an executive office center and grew our business from scratch.”
When Mumpower and his wife divorced Candi moved with her mother to Rochester, N.Y., where she graduated from high school and earned a cosmetology license. “After a year she decided that she wanted to come back to Columbia, and I paid her rent for a year to assist in her moving back,” Mumpower recalled. “She started working with me in 2000 and grew with the business. We have always worked well together.”
Now, Mumpower said, he has come to a point in his life where “retirement is beginning to haunt me.” He decided to appoint his daughter as president and CEO of CIM as of Aug. 1. “I can spend another two to three years with her and do the things necessary for agency perpetuation, secure my retirement and allow her to move the agency forward aggressively.”
Continuing the Success
Gordon Mumpower settled in Columbia in 1973, after finishing a U.S. Navy tour of duty at the National Security Agency in Fort Meade. He first worked with Travelers Insurance in Baltimore, then with several more insurance brokerage firms throughout the 1980s.
In 1989, with an MBA and CPCU designation, he began CIM with a vision to create a business-to-business insurance agency that served every industry. The product mix included property, liability, automobile, workers’ compensation, directors and officers, and crime. He later added employee benefits including group medical, life, disability, dental and vision coverage. The company’s most recent products include employment practices, legal liability and cyber liability. Mumpower also encourages visitors to the CIM website, www.businsure.com, where he has been expanding his communication efforts.
Candice Mumpower is a licensed property and casualty insurance agent in Maryland and other states. She said she will continue the CIM vision to serve the nonprofit human services sector and other industries while growing CIM as the premiere business insurance agency in central Maryland.
She said she doesn’t think about how she can change the agency as much as she thinks about how she can continue its successful 25-plus-year track record. ‘I have very big shoes to fill and hope I can learn from and overcome any obstacles I may have down the road,” she said. “I hope to grow this agency both with clients and team members. I am very optimistic to see what is to come.”
Both Feel Fortunate
Gordon Mumpower will continue to work at CIM servicing clients, selling new business, managing the website, creating social media and Facebook opportunities, networking and assisting his daughter any way he can.
“Over the next couple of years I want to have Candi replace me as the point of contact for all our larger clients and support her efforts to build relationships and friendships in the marketplace,” he said.
Both Mumpowers consider themselves fortunate to be working together. “The most challenging aspect of being a father-daughter team in business together is treating each other as equals while designing specific roles and responsibilities for each other,” said Gordon Mumpower. “The most rewarding aspect of the relationship is watching your daughter grow, change her perspective, mature and prosper from her work ethic.”
A Heart for the Family Business
As his daughter grew up, Gordon Mumpower’s advice was the same philosophy he took himself: Seek out the occupations that make you happiest.
Candi Mumpower believes she has followed that advice, and that there are many rewarding aspects of working with family. “We have been fortunate to be so lucky,” she said.
Elkridge-based CIM is a well-known staple in the Howard County community, as is Gordon Mumpower, who is a former board chair of the Howard County Chamber of Commerce and a graduate of Leadership Howard County.
He also holds and has held board positions for human services organizations serving people with disabilities.
The Mumpowers have a special regard for family-owned businesses.
“There are a lot of new small business startups arising out of immigration,” said Gordon Mumpower. “Contracting — for example landscaping, lawn maintenance, cleaning, improvement contractors and other small enterprises — seems to be thriving,” he said. “Some businesses have had to adapt to increasing and improving technology, allowing them to hire fewer employees but requiring more sophisticated high-tech workers.”
Candi Mumpower said today’s technology has helped family-owned businesses thrive. “You can really pursue any career you want these days.”