Elkridge-based Commercial Insurance Managers (CIM) is a well-known staple in the Howard County community, as is its owner, Gordon Mumpower, Jr. Mumpower 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 service organizations serving people with disabilities. “My focus is to give back to the community and help people who are less fortunate than me,” he said.
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.
With an MBA and a CPCU designation, Mumpower started his own firm, CIM, in 1989. His vision was 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. His most recent products include employment practices legal liability and cyber liability. He also encourages visitors to the CIM website, www.businsure.com, where he has been expanding his communication efforts.
‘Seek Out Happiness’
Before he talks about his business, Mumpower wants to talk about his family. He has three daughters and three grandchildren, and his advice to his daughters growing up was the same philosophy he took himself: Seek out the occupations that make you happiest.
“They [respectively] chose conference planning for American Wind Energy Association, insurance sales with CIM and pet grooming with Petco,” he said. His grandson enjoys Taekwondo and basketball, and attends St. Louis Elementary School. His granddaughter takes dance lessons and attends the Goddard School. Another granddaughter goes to Park School and loves dancing, acting and art.
Mumpower said he views life and work as an adventure, and that he embraces new challenges and moves them in a positive and creative way to completion. After 47 years in the commercial insurance business, he thrives on the fact that he has not “seen it all.”
The insurance industry changes so rapidly that Mumpower finds it difficult to retire. He said, “I learn something new every day I go to work.” (Perhaps, he mused, he is fearful of his next adventure: retirement.)
From Golf Tourneys to the Chocolate Ball
CIM has been the presenting golf tournament sponsor for Bello Machre, a residential and service provider for people with disabilities in Howard, Carroll and Anne Arundel counties, for more than 15 years.
“I am honored to have been able to support such a wonderful organization for so many years,” Mumpower said.
Bello Machre, founded in 1972, means “Home of My Heart” in Gaelic. The nonprofit provides homes and support to children, teens, adults and seniors with developmental disabilities through 57 community homes located throughout central Maryland.
Mumpower is also the cofounder and past chair of the popular Chocolate Ball, the signature fundraising event of The Arc of Howard County. The ball will celebrate its 20th anniversary on March 11, 2017.
The black tie event includes music, dancing, a silent auction and a confection contest for bakers from all over the state. Proceeds from the Chocolate Ball benefit The Arc’s vocational and residential support and services, respite care, and other programs and services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
In 2003, CIM received the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Maryland Association of Community Services, and in 2016, Mumpower was awarded the Governor’s Volunteer Service Certificate, signed by Gov. Larry Hogan, for community involvement.
Mumpower has grown in his insurance career to realize that the sale of insurance products, price and coverage are not the only services his clients need. In partnership with a national firm, CIM is providing services for free to many of its clients, including two bimonthly newsletters, entitled “Benefits Buzz” and “Risk Analysis,” which provide information on various topics including legislative changes, fraud indicators, wellness programs, safety manual programs, employee manuals and other topics.
“Through their own portal, clients are also allowed access to thousands of documents on the Family and Medical Leave Act, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Affordable Care Act, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, safety programs, wellness materials, defensive driving and other up-to-date materials,” Mumpower explained.
Another new service is an “HR hotline” telephone number that allows clients to immediately access human resource managers. “A conversation with the HR specialists saves CIM clients hours, even days, of research,” said Mumpower.
From Big Stone Gap to Beloved ‘Os’
Mumpower is originally from Big Stone Gap, a town in southwest Virginia and the setting of a 2014 film with the same name. Though he’s a fan of the movie, Mumpower doesn’t get back to Big Stone Gap very often. His heart is with his current community and his beloved Orioles baseball team.
He’s often seen around town in his Orioles baseball cap, which he has vowed to wear until the Orioles win the pennant. “My Os hat is old and frazzled,” he said. “The threads are showing up and it may not last another year. We will see.”