Hickok & Boardman Insurance named Outstanding Business of the … – Vermont Biz
VermontBiz and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce announced the winner of the prestigious and highly anticipated Outstanding Business of the Year Award, 2022 at the Vermont Chamber’s Vermont Economic Conference on Monday, January 30th. This year’s winner is Hickok & Boardman Insurance Group.
In 1821, William A. Griswold and Timothy L. Follett established Griswold & Follett Insurance Agency, the first Vermont division of the Aetna Insurance Company. Their small insurance agency has since endured, prospered, and become what we know today as Hickok & Boardman Insurance Group. Celebrating their bicentennial in 2021, Hickok & Boardman is the leading broker for property and casualty insurance in the state of Vermont for both personal and commercial clients. Hickok & Boardman’s mission and values are the impetus through which the company has been able to operate for two centuries and display excellence in growth, prosperity, and serving its employees and communities.
At the core of its success is Hickok & Boardman’s commitment to the community, giving back through both time and treasure. The list of financial contributions is many, but none greater than the annual United Way Campaign where, with the help of business partners and employees’ dedication to the campaign, in celebration of their 200th anniversary the company exceeded their goal by over 50 percent, raising a total of $310,000! The annual ‘Here When You Need Us’ campaign, developed in 2014, is another example of philanthropic opportunity in which employees engage and dedicate their time to organizations in need of volunteer work. While the company hosts several community service campaigns throughout the year, there are over 25 employees who volunteer their time in public organizations all year long and over half are in leadership positions.
Another common thread woven into the 200-year company fabric is the dedication and commitment of the employees, particularly in living by the company Values Statement: ‘Do the right thing, with a sense of urgency, while exceeding expectations.’ This culture and the top-tier customer service provided by its employees is evidenced in results, having been recognized as one of Vermont’s Best Places to Work from 2018 to 2022. Hickok & Boardman’s work environment is one that encourages frequent and honest feedback from the entire workforce, helping us respond to the ever-changing needs and requirements of our employees and clients. The agency runs several programs that enhance employee well-being and satisfaction, including an award-winning Wellness Program, Tuition Reimbursement and College Debt Repayment plans, and a variety of fun, regularly occurring activities to build relationships among everyone internally.
Hickok & Boardman also understands that environmentalism and the conscientiousness of natural resources is a key factor in supporting communities and improving workplace culture. While the insurance industry generally has a low impact on the environment as a result of the business model, H&B partakes in several energy and resource saving activities. Some initiatives include having recycling bins at each workstation in the offices, a hybrid work-from-home and remote-work program that helps limit employees’ gas consumption for cars, an updated building exterior, improved temperature controls, and a significant reduction of paper printing in transitioning to virtual services.
Hickok & Boardman has faced many challenges over the course of two centuries. The company celebrated its bicentennial by honoring the history of generations that persevered and led the organization through two world wars, several economic depressions, and the Spanish Flu pandemic that occurred almost exactly 100 years ago. Navigating the second year of Coronavirus pandemic during their bicentennial, H&B celebrated with the communities in Vermont that have been an integral part to their mission and values. Despite the difficulties that the community and the agency have lived through, overcome, and continue to face, they look toward its next century of service, all while remembering the humble beginnings of Griswold and Follet’s start-up insurance agency.
“Hickok & Boardman Insurance Group is very pleased to receive this prestigious Outstanding Business of the Year Award as presented by Vermont Biz and the Vermont Chamber. This award recognizes the excellent work of our employees for both their clients and the communities in which they serve. This Honor is also a recognition of those that came before us at H&B. For over 200 years, we have built a culture of service to others, working hard and innovating for the benefit of our clients, and as we transition into our third century we are blending high tech service capabilities with downhome personal service. Thanks again to Vermont Biz and the Vermont Chamber for sponsoring this Award.” says Paul Plunkett, CEO and President.
“For many years, the Vermont Chamber and VermontBiz presented the Deane C. Davis Outstanding Business of the Year award. Like most things in recent years, we’ve evolved, and have pivoted the recognition to be re-established as the Outstanding Business of the Year Award. We look forward to establishing a new tradition of presenting this annual award at the Economic Conference each year”, said Betsy Bishop, President, Vermont Chamber.
“This annual award honors a Vermont business that shows an outstanding history of sustained growth while displaying an acute awareness of what makes Vermont unique. The award was created 33 years ago by VermontBiz and the Vermont Chamber to recognize and honor the state’s best companies” said John Boutin, Publisher, VermontBiz.
“The list of past winners (see below) is a virtual who’s who of businesses in Vermont. We have so many outstanding businesses in Vermont that reflect much of what we see throughout our state’s economy,” said Vermont Chamber President Betsy Bishop.
VermontBiz is the state’s most respected business publication. Since 1972, VermontBiz has published statewide business news, economic and political news and commentary, business and individual profiles, data, analysis, and statistics.
The Vermont Chamber is the largest statewide, private, not-for-profit business organization, they represent every sector of the state’s business community. Its mission is to create an economic climate conducive to business growth and the preservation of the Vermont quality of life.
DEANE C. DAVIS OUTSTANDING VERMONT BUSINESS AWARD WINNERS
1990 WALLACE ENTERPRISES
1991 C & S WHOLESALE GROCERS
1992 MCKENZIE MEATS
1993 PERRY RESTAURANT GROUP
1994 GREEN MOUNTAIN COFFEE ROASTERS
1995 VERMONT HEATING & VENTILATING
1996 MACKMOLDING COMPANY
1997 SMUGGLERS’ NOTCH RESORT
1998 VERMONT COUNTRY STORE
1999 CABOT CREAMERY
2000 WAITSFIELD CHAMPLAIN VALLEY TELECOM
2001 WILD APPLE GRAPHICS
2002 NRG SYSTEMS
2003 HUBBARDTON FORGE
2005 KING ARTHUR FLOUR
2007 SYMQUEST GROUP INC
2008 NATIONAL LIFE GROUP
2009 BIOTEK INSTRUMENTS INC
2010 SMALL DOG ELECTRONICS
2011 FOLEY FAMILY OF COMPANIES
2012 GW PLASTICS, INC.
2014 CHAMPLAIN CABLE
2015 PC CONSTRUCTION
2016 MARATHON HEALTH
2017 VERMONT MUTUAL INSURANCE GROUP
2018 GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER
2019 CHROMA TECHNOLOGY CORP.
2020 LAWSON’S FINEST LIQUIDS
2021 HEALTHY LIVING MARKET AND CAFÉ
2022 HICKOK & BOARDMAN INSURANCE GROUP
Burlington, VT (January 30, 2023) – VermontBiz and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce