Our History

Since its inception in 1947 by Edward Weston Millward, the Millward Agency has been a testament to resilience, innovation, and a steadfast commitment to excellence in the insurance industry.

1947-1953
1947-1953
EWM Santa Monica Calif 1945_Page_1

1945 EWM Army Air Corp

After returning home after serving 4 years in the Army Air Corp as a rear gunner in a B-24 Heavy Bomber in the South Pacific. Dad enrolls into UCLA under the GI Bill in 1946, then works for Liberty Mutual in Los Angeles, selling Home & Auto in 1947. Some of his early clients were singer Kate Star & movie icon Jack Palance.

EWM 1953 Los Angeles, Ca.

1953 EWM Los Angeles, Ca.

1954 – 1958
1954 – 1958
EWM 1953 Los Angeles, Ca.

1954 EWM Boston Ins Trip-Top Row/2nd from Left

To further his knowledge, Dad flies to Boston in a 4 Prop Boeing Constellation; the fastest commercial airplane in the world at the time. He studies Commercial & Personal Insurance for 2 weeks before returning home.

1956 EWM 2nd Desk from front on Right

1958 EWM Sales Awards Top Row 3rd From Left

1962
1962
EWM Santa Monica Calif 1945_Page_1

1962 EWM New Liberty Mutual Safe Car

Always opportunistic, Dad branches away from Liberty Mutual, purchasing “The Jackson Agency”, an Independent Agency located in Watts, California. Dad works 6 days per week to write and renew Home and Auto policies. His sons, Weston & Brian often go with him to work on Saturdays.

1965
1965
EWM Santa Monica Calif 1945_Page_1

1965 Edward Weston Millward

The LA Riots of “65” break out forcing Dad to bring his Smith & Wesson .38 Special to work each day for over 6 months. Luckily no run-ins occurred, and the office was left untouched. However, the surrounding area was damaged from fire, vandalism & mayhem. It looked like a war zone.

1966
1966
EWM Santa Monica Calif 1945_Page_1

1966- Left to Right-Arco Insurance Cluster: Gus Shubert, EW Millward, Gordon Biles, Red Moore

To increase his book of business and to obtain more carriers, Dad merges with a cluster Agency in LA called “Arco Insurance”. The other 3 Agencies are run by Gordon Biles, Gus Schubert & Red Moore. The modern brick, multi-story building is located on 7th Ave. Dad continues to obtain carrier appointments, while writing large commercial clients such as Cochran Izant, & International Paper etc.

1969
1969

Arco Insurance moves to a new location, although the building is much older than the one on 7th Ave. It was located on what is now the Staples Center Parking Lot. Dad continues to see growth, now exclusively focusing on Commercial Clientele.

1971
1971
Weston Millward 1972

1972 Weston Millward

I am asked by Dad to clean the office building every week. I say sure. Not realizing at the time the drive from Orange County to LA takes up one whole day per weekend, my Janitor salary was $75.00 per month.

 

May 1974
May 1974

Working at Bragg Crane, in Paramount Calif, I was changing the oil on a Peterbilt. It was raining, the drain was plugged, I had water up to my chest while laying on a creeper underneath the big-rig. Because of the dripping water and warm oil, the 5-gallon oil filter slips from my hands, drenching my clothes, head & face with warm oil, mixed with water. While watching the oil and water continue to drip onto my glasses and face, I said to myself, “I’m not going to do this the rest of my life.” I pull myself out from underneath the Peterbilt, tell my manager that I quit. I drive home on a torn-up blanket in my 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner. Arriving at my $85.00 per month apartment in Anaheim; unemployed. In retrospect, this was one of the largest life changing decisions I have ever made.

June 1974
June 1974
Weston Millward 1972

Pacific Auto Dec Page

A few days later, after considering my current predicament, I called Dad at work and asked for a job. He doesn’t want to hire me. I like my Dad. But I didn’t see a lot of him as a kid because he worked 6 days a week and Mom was sick from 1963 until 1970. He was in a bad situation doing the best he could. I thought it would be great to hang out with him a lot more. So, I was persistent. After 2.5 weeks of negotiation, I start at Arco Ins on June 14, 1974 for a 3-month stint. After my 3 months were up, I had to go. Since I’m still the Janitor, I save a weekend day by cleaning the office on Friday, after work.

I liked what I did and came up with a solution so I could possibly stay. I had secretly been studying for my Insurance License; passing the test a few weeks before the 3-month deadline. On the day of judgement, Dad calls me into his office. I walk up to his desk and hand him my new License. I said, “Dad, you can’t fire me, I’m too valuable.” Dad got a funny look on his face, looked at the license, then looks at me, surprised. He says, “Damn Son, that’s impressive. So, you want to stay?’ “Yes Sir.” “Ok, let’s get to work.” I never left.

1975
1975
Weston Millward 1972

1975 Weston Millward

New and eager, I create my first niche marketing program with Mercury Ins providing Auto coverage for college students in the LA area. I drive to all the major colleges, make flyers, posters, put them on billboards and wrote about $150,000 in new written premium in just 1 year. Impressive. However, the loss ratio exceeds 400%, so the program fails miserably & Mercury cancels our appointment. The other 3 producers are not happy.

1978
1978

While working late one evening Dad opens the front door and is met by 3-men, one shoving a loaded & cocked Colt 45 into his face. He is tied up, the office ransacked. He tells his captors where the petty cash is; $100. They talk about killing him. He suggests they take his Lincoln in the back. They take the keys out of his pocket and leave. Dad calls Mom at 4 AM after untying himself; he is ok. Weeks later the Lincoln is found in LA, tires stripped but otherwise in good shape.

Months earlier, I kicked a guy out of our office for casing the joint, walking around looking into each office. After the robbery, my Dad tells the detective about it and they ask me to do a line up at LAPD. Behind the window, looking at 12 guys in the lineup, just like in the movies, I see the guy that was casing the office, pointing him out to the detective. The detective asks if I’m sure, I say “Yep, that’s the guy.” The detective pats me on the shoulder and says, “I’m happy to hear that son, well done.” LAPD now has their man. Dad goes to court about a month later, points out the same individual and his buddies. They are convicted and serve 10-years for armed robbery.

November 1978
November 1978
Weston Millward 1972

1977 – Typed Memo-Agency Copy

The LA drive to and from Orange County, taking over 2.5 hours each way, is wearing the Millwards down. Since the situation in LA has deteriorated, we relocate to Santa Ana, Calif, bidding goodbye to the cluster after 11 constructive years. It saves us 4 hours a day on the freeway.

1981
1981

On January 26, 1981, while watching the Super Bowl between the Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders, Dad suffers a massive heart attack. It catapults myself into the driver’s seat of the Agency with only 7 years of experience.

The defibrillator paddles were introduced earlier that year, saving Dad’s life. On the way to the hospital the Paramedic turns to me and states, “Your Dad is one tough SOB. It’s nice to save one once in a while.” They worked on him for 45 minutes until he could be moved. After recovery, Dad lives a very energetic 21 additional years.

Spring & Summer of 1981
Spring & Summer of 1981

With Dad out, I have to do the financial work plus run the office, continue the marketing, work on new & renewal business, visit clients, & help our 2 employees. The books were computed by “Safecom”, out of Seattle WA. I learned to tear the paper invoices apart, the pink copies were stapled together, mailed to “Safecom”, the yellow copies we kept. Check stubs the same way. Journal Entries were put on a JE sheet and that was included. After mailing, it took 2 to 3 weeks for the General Ledger and reports to come back. Then I would manually reconcile them to the previous month’s reports, comparing them to the Agencies General Ledger.

Gordon Biles, an agent that worked at Arco, was Dad’s friend and he saved my butt. I would call him with my questions, sometimes 3 or 4 times per week. He knew the answers and was very patient with me. He guided me through it all until Dad came back, about 9 months later. Gordon was a lifesaver.

Payroll was computed manually. The Feds gave the Agency a small, perforated coupon book with round circles on it. I would fill in the circles, like a ballot, take the percentage of that individual tax, then subtract it from the Gross Payroll amount due the employee. Each tax had a separate percentage and circle. I would then type a check payable to the Bank, take the check and the perforated Fed Tax form and deposit it into the Bank. Every employee’s payroll was completed this way twice per month. My weekends disappeared; 50–60-hour weeks were the norm until Dad returned at the end of the year to take this over…but I learned the business side of the Agency. It was hard.

Early Fall 1981
Early Fall 1981

Before Dad recovers and comes back to work, I lose Dad’s 4 largest accounts: Cochran Izant, Western Security, International Wallboard and National Dyeing Incorporated. Being tied up in knots over these huge losses, I confess the bad news to Dad, while still in the hospital. Dad makes this classic comment. “Well, son, are the lights still on?” “Sure” “Are you making payroll?” “Yep” “Do you have enough to pay the bills?” “Of course,” “Well, Hell son. What’s the problem? Don’t worry about it, we’ll make it back!” I laugh….

1982
1982

Dad recovers and returns to handle the financial items, explained above, while I lead the Agency into a new and exciting era. Focusing on niche marketing; initially targeting Pharmacies, Printers, Silk Screeners & Embroidery. It works pretty good, I start writing a ton of new business, while obtaining new carrier appointments.

1983
1983
Weston Millward 1972

1983-EW Millward & Charles Nail-President of Lumbermens Mutual

We move the office to Laguna Hills, purchasing a one unit office condo. Phones are changed to push button and dial phones are now a thing of the past. We have 1 Clerical Employee, our 2 season CSR’s didn’t want to move. Combined with that, Dad takes a 3-Week vacation to England which I won for premium volume with Lumbermen’s Mutual. More 50-60-hour weeks ahead.

1984
1984

After writing a new Re/Max client in Newport Beach, Calif. the owner, Craig Batley, suggests I contact the new Franchise Owner, Sid Severtson. Without hesitation, I drive from Orange County to Palos Verdes and arrive at 5:30 PM. After an intense hour long negotiation, “The Millward Agency” becomes the preferred insurance vendor for all Re/Max offices in the State of Calif. This relationship lasts until 2009, when the Real Estate market collapses.

The fax machine is introduced, typewriters, carbon paper and white-out are still used. All files are still paper. All money is mailed via check.

1987
1987

Dad formally retires from the Agency after 40 years in the industry. He gives me a Purchase Agreement in my office. I don’t want to sign it, I like working with him, I want him to stay. So I tell him no. Besides, I will miss him. Dad, frustrated, finally ends the friendly back and forth discussion with the line, “Son, do you love me?” I crack up, “You know I do Dad.” “Then sign that damn agreement; I’ve got a golf game to play.” “Ok Dad, here you go.” I signed the only contract I never read, giving it back to him. I didn’t even know what my monthly payment was until he told me a month later! However, I paid Dad in full for the Agency in 13 years; in the year 2000.

1992
1992

The Agency is growing, Re/Max accounts are opening across the State; the Real Estate boom has started in earnest.

I travel the width & breadth of Calif from 1984 until the bust in 2009; 25 years. I take my daughter, Julie, with me for 5 of those years. We write hundreds of Real Estate offices, employing tens of thousands of RE agents. It is the most rewarding niche I ever found. I was invited to many Re/Max social events. The highlight was the National Re/Max Annual meeting in San Francisco, in the early 1990’s I think. One of my long-time clients, Re/Max Valencia, obtained the largest RE/MAX volume award in the Nation. It’s true, and they announced my name from the pulpit as their Insurance Broker. I was stunned to hear that from the last row in the room.

Computers are new and the Agency invests in its first program, Redshaw. It reduces the time to issue Certs, typewriters, white-out and carbon paper are finally thrown away. I have to come into the office every Saturday to do a 2.5 hour backup of the computer system.

Around this period of time, the manual payroll process was eliminated by outsourcing all payroll to a payroll service that computes the tax percentages and sends the Agency paper evidence. Saves me countless hours every month. Our first payroll company is ADP. ADP sends a monthly report, which is imputed into the computer.

1994
1994

Redshaw soon burns out from lack of memory and is overwhelmed. I travel to Coeur d’Alene Idaho and after testing it, purchase Agency One Software, replacing Redshaw.

1996
1996
Weston Millward 1996

1996 Weston Millward

The Pharmacy program dies due to Walgreens & CVS purchasing or pushing out all the Independent Pharmacies, nationwide. It’s sudden. Hundreds of accounts are lost in a 2- year period. Pharmacy owners are forced to retire or work for the newcomers. None of them like the takeover…

1997
1997

Pacific National, purchased by Highland Insurance a few years earlier, files for Bankruptcy & liquidates. They issue 60-day notices of cancellation on 2.5 million in premium. I contact every major carrier to replace Highland. Luckily, Hartford appoints me. I manually move the 2.5 million in premium, the last account being bound only 15 days before the 60-day cancellation date arrives. That was a close one.

2000
2000

Not really understanding why, I start purchasing Non-Resident Licenses in all states with the carriers we have appointments with. It will be a life saver within a decade.

2004
2004

Outgrowing the condo in Laguna Hills, the Agency moves into a newly constructed office Building on Bake Blvd, in Lake Forest, Calif. It is 5,000 sq ft; one story.

Agency One burns out. After careful consideration, I decide to design my own Agency Management Software System. I call it “Hunter”. It’s a huge undertaking, but the results are worth it. In 2 years it is up and running, all client data is stored in house and is used extensively until 2023.

The Re/Max real estate industry has peaked and is leveling off.

2005 Adam Millward
2005 Adam Millward
2005 Adam Millward

2005

Back in the day, carrier appointments were very hard to come by. One day the Travelers “Special Agent” drops by and asks if we want to be appointed. I was stunned. In 31 years, a major carrier has NEVER asked to be appointed with my Agency. I say sure & sign the Agreement right then & there. Travelers is still with the Agency today, 18 years later. My middle son, Adam Millward, starts with the Agency.

2008
2008

The economic recession kills the Re/Max program overnight as the housing market implodes. Re/Max offices across the state either close, file BK, or just go broke. 75% of all licensed RE agents in Calif cancel their licenses. It’s epic. In response, I start another niche marketing program, Home Medical Equipment Dealers, or HME. We go Nationwide with it. Now the Non-Resident Licenses come into play, which are ready to go. Wade Millward, my youngest son, starts with the Agency. Conventions are now a yearly item, but on a Nationwide basis. Instead of Long Beach & Anaheim, we go to Atlanta, Las Vegas, etc.

2009
2009

Due to the poor California economic and political climate, I decide to move the office to Highland, Utah. The Calif Corp is dissolved, the HME program is taking off, sales are coming back.

2011
2011

I finalize construction on the new 10,000 office building in Highland, Utah. With space to grow, we establish ourselves in the new area, writing other Nationwide niche programs to diversify.

2014
2014

Growth reaches new levels, new carrier appointments are made, volume increases. The move to Utah was pivotal in reducing operating expenses and improving the bottom line. We go paperless and sell all of our 15-5 drawer file cabinets. I don’t know if I’m happy with that decision or not.

2020
2020

Wade decides to branch off on his own, leaving the Agency. The Hunter Management System needs to be reprogrammed, so I start the process all over again. I’m not looking forward to it. I start with the Accounting portion first. Business is showing steady growth due to the different nationwide niche programs Adam has developed.

The Fall of 2021
The Fall of 2021

Adam is appointed CFO, obtaining many new carrier appointments and designing new Niche marketing programs. I concentrate on the Agencies finances, as my father did before me. Adam is now handling the day-to-day operation of the Agency, a 3rd Generation Millward. What a ride this has been!

Epilog June 18, 2023
Epilog June 18, 2023

Now my son, Adam, is running the Agency; I’m doing the Finances. I look back and think that many decades ago; the situation was reversed with my Father doing what I do now.

Time flies, as seconds turn into minutes, hours into days, weeks, then years; life shortens with every breath we take.

When I started in 1974, selling and servicing our Insurance clientele, nothing had dramatically changed, other than the contracts themselves, since INA wrote the first Ocean Marine policy in America, circa 1799. The typewriter, telegraph and phone were invented, but the paper processes had remained the same.

When Dad started in 1947, the processes basically remained unchanged until he retired in 1987; that’s 40 years! Typewriters, phones, whiteout, carbon paper, paper policies received and sent, had remained the same. However, since 1974, the Insurance Industry has changed more than it did in the previous 200 years; by far.

After Dad had worked 40 hard years, thinking of learning new technology, including Computers, Software, Auto Computer Quoting, Fax Machines? Forget it. He was done. Time to get out while the time is right; and he did.

My situation was different. The changes hit me right in the face, in the middle of my career. I had no choice, I had to change and absorb it, like it or not.

Electronic computers came into being, phones went digital. Fax Machines, Computerized Accounting & Management Systems Software? All paper copies of policy documents went electronic. What? It was hard to understand what Email was, let alone the staggering array of technological advancements that never seemed to cease. Individuals growing up in this new era do not understand how hard it really was…

For the first time in history, paper files were destroyed for electronic. White out, carbon paper, typewriters, all gone. Snail Mail is replaced by electronic ACH Bank Deposits and Checks.

Policies are not mailed, but electronically sent via email to Clients and Agencies. All client data is stored now in the “cloud” but TMA still have copies on our server at work, but that is rare.

When calling Carriers, you have to go through a multitude of artificial answering devices to talk to an underwriter. Its nuts…and it has gone too far. Clients and Agents still like to talk to real people, that know what they are doing.

What will be the changes in another 50 years? Who knows? It could remain the same with improvements; or other systems will be invented that make this comparison look like childs play. Maybe it will reverse and the advantage of paper over digital/electronic will come back?

But the one thing I have noticed is the Baby Boom generation has seen the most unrelenting, continuous upheaval in change in the Insurance Industry since it started in America. At times it stretched the ability of understanding. Was it good or bad? Probably a little of both.

With this missive, I bid you goodbye, wishing the best for those that pass after me. May your involvement in the Insurance Industry be as rewarding, difficult and productive as it has been for me.

I fare thee well, as you continue to work in this fascinating industry! But always remember;

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1947-1953
1947-1953
EWM Santa Monica Calif 1945_Page_1

1945 EWM Army Air Corp

After returning home after serving 4 years in the Army Air Corp as a rear gunner in a B-24 Heavy Bomber in the South Pacific. Dad enrolls into UCLA under the GI Bill in 1946, then works for Liberty Mutual in Los Angeles, selling Home & Auto in 1947. Some of his early clients were singer Kate Star & movie icon Jack Palance.

EWM 1953 Los Angeles, Ca.

1953 EWM Los Angeles, Ca.

1954 – 1958
1954 – 1958
EWM 1953 Los Angeles, Ca.

1954 EWM Boston Ins Trip-Top Row/2nd from Left

To further his knowledge, Dad flies to Boston in a 4 Prop Boeing Constellation; the fastest commercial airplane in the world at the time. He studies Commercial & Personal Insurance for 2 weeks before returning home.

1956 EWM 2nd Desk from front on Right

1958 EWM Sales Awards Top Row 3rd From Left

1962
1962
EWM Santa Monica Calif 1945_Page_1

1962 EWM New Liberty Mutual Safe Car

Always opportunistic, Dad branches away from Liberty Mutual, purchasing “The Jackson Agency”, an Independent Agency located in Watts, California. Dad works 6 days per week to write and renew Home and Auto policies. His sons, Weston & Brian often go with him to work on Saturdays.

1965
1965
EWM Santa Monica Calif 1945_Page_1

1965 Edward Weston Millward

The LA Riots of “65” break out forcing Dad to bring his Smith & Wesson .38 Special to work each day for over 6 months. Luckily no run-ins occurred, and the office was left untouched. However, the surrounding area was damaged from fire, vandalism & mayhem. It looked like a war zone.

1966
1966
EWM Santa Monica Calif 1945_Page_1

1966- Left to Right-Arco Insurance Cluster: Gus Shubert, EW Millward, Gordon Biles, Red Moore

To increase his book of business and to obtain more carriers, Dad merges with a cluster Agency in LA called “Arco Insurance”. The other 3 Agencies are run by Gordon Biles, Gus Schubert & Red Moore. The modern brick, multi-story building is located on 7th Ave. Dad continues to obtain carrier appointments, while writing large commercial clients such as Cochran Izant, & International Paper etc.

1969
1969

Arco Insurance moves to a new location, although the building is much older than the one on 7th Ave. It was located on what is now the Staples Center Parking Lot. Dad continues to see growth, now exclusively focusing on Commercial Clientele.

1971
1971
Weston Millward 1972

1972 Weston Millward

I am asked by Dad to clean the office building every week. I say sure. Not realizing at the time the drive from Orange County to LA takes up one whole day per weekend, my Janitor salary was $75.00 per month.

May 1974
May 1974

Working at Bragg Crane, in Paramount Calif, I was changing the oil on a Peterbilt. It was raining, the drain was plugged, I had water up to my chest while laying on a creeper underneath the big-rig. Because of the dripping water and warm oil, the 5-gallon oil filter slips from my hands, drenching my clothes, head & face with warm oil, mixed with water. While watching the oil and water continue to drip onto my glasses and face, I said to myself, “I’m not going to do this the rest of my life.” I pull myself out from underneath the Peterbilt, tell my manager that I quit. I drive home on a torn-up blanket in my 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner. Arriving at my $85.00 per month apartment in Anaheim; unemployed. In retrospect, this was one of the largest life changing decisions I have ever made.

June 1974
June 1974
Weston Millward 1972

Pacific Auto Dec Page

A few days later, after considering my current predicament, I called Dad at work and asked for a job. He doesn’t want to hire me. I like my Dad. But I didn’t see a lot of him as a kid because he worked 6 days a week and Mom was sick from 1963 until 1970. He was in a bad situation doing the best he could. I thought it would be great to hang out with him a lot more. So, I was persistent. After 2.5 weeks of negotiation, I start at Arco Ins on June 14, 1974 for a 3-month stint. After my 3 months were up, I had to go. Since I’m still the Janitor, I save a weekend day by cleaning the office on Friday, after work.

I liked what I did and came up with a solution so I could possibly stay. I had secretly been studying for my Insurance License; passing the test a few weeks before the 3-month deadline. On the day of judgement, Dad calls me into his office. I walk up to his desk and hand him my new License. I said, “Dad, you can’t fire me, I’m too valuable.” Dad got a funny look on his face, looked at the license, then looks at me, surprised. He says, “Damn Son, that’s impressive. So, you want to stay?’ “Yes Sir.” “Ok, let’s get to work.” I never left.

1975
1975
Weston Millward 1972

1975 Weston Millward

New and eager, I create my first niche marketing program with Mercury Ins providing Auto coverage for college students in the LA area. I drive to all the major colleges, make flyers, posters, put them on billboards and wrote about $150,000 in new written premium in just 1 year. Impressive. However, the loss ratio exceeds 400%, so the program fails miserably & Mercury cancels our appointment. The other 3 producers are not happy.

1978
1978

While working late one evening Dad opens the front door and is met by 3-men, one shoving a loaded & cocked Colt 45 into his face. He is tied up, the office ransacked. He tells his captors where the petty cash is; $100. They talk about killing him. He suggests they take his Lincoln in the back. They take the keys out of his pocket and leave. Dad calls Mom at 4 AM after untying himself; he is ok. Weeks later the Lincoln is found in LA, tires stripped but otherwise in good shape.

Months earlier, I kicked a guy out of our office for casing the joint, walking around looking into each office. After the robbery, my Dad tells the detective about it and they ask me to do a line up at LAPD. Behind the window, looking at 12 guys in the lineup, just like in the movies, I see the guy that was casing the office, pointing him out to the detective. The detective asks if I’m sure, I say “Yep, that’s the guy.” The detective pats me on the shoulder and says, “I’m happy to hear that son, well done.” LAPD now has their man. Dad goes to court about a month later, points out the same individual and his buddies. They are convicted and serve 10-years for armed robbery.

November 1978
November 1978
Weston Millward 1972

1977 – Typed Memo-Agency Copy

The LA drive to and from Orange County, taking over 2.5 hours each way, is wearing the Millwards down. Since the situation in LA has deteriorated, we relocate to Santa Ana, Calif, bidding goodbye to the cluster after 11 constructive years. It saves us 4 hours a day on the freeway.

1981
1981

On January 26, 1981, while watching the Super Bowl between the Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders, Dad suffers a massive heart attack. It catapults myself into the driver’s seat of the Agency with only 7 years of experience.

The defibrillator paddles were introduced earlier that year, saving Dad’s life. On the way to the hospital the Paramedic turns to me and states, “Your Dad is one tough SOB. It’s nice to save one once in a while.” They worked on him for 45 minutes until he could be moved. After recovery, Dad lives a very energetic 21 additional years.

Spring & Summer of 1981
Spring & Summer of 1981

With Dad out, I have to do the financial work plus run the office, continue the marketing, work on new & renewal business, visit clients, & help our 2 employees. The books were computed by “Safecom”, out of Seattle WA. I learned to tear the paper invoices apart, the pink copies were stapled together, mailed to “Safecom”, the yellow copies we kept. Check stubs the same way. Journal Entries were put on a JE sheet and that was included. After mailing, it took 2 to 3 weeks for the General Ledger and reports to come back. Then I would manually reconcile them to the previous month’s reports, comparing them to the Agencies General Ledger.

Gordon Biles, an agent that worked at Arco, was Dad’s friend and he saved my butt. I would call him with my questions, sometimes 3 or 4 times per week. He knew the answers and was very patient with me. He guided me through it all until Dad came back, about 9 months later. Gordon was a lifesaver.

Payroll was computed manually. The Feds gave the Agency a small, perforated coupon book with round circles on it. I would fill in the circles, like a ballot, take the percentage of that individual tax, then subtract it from the Gross Payroll amount due the employee. Each tax had a separate percentage and circle. I would then type a check payable to the Bank, take the check and the perforated Fed Tax form and deposit it into the Bank. Every employee’s payroll was completed this way twice per month. My weekends disappeared; 50–60-hour weeks were the norm until Dad returned at the end of the year to take this over…but I learned the business side of the Agency. It was hard.

Early Fall 1981
Early Fall 1981

Before Dad recovers and comes back to work, I lose Dad’s 4 largest accounts: Cochran Izant, Western Security, International Wallboard and National Dyeing Incorporated. Being tied up in knots over these huge losses, I confess the bad news to Dad, while still in the hospital. Dad makes this classic comment. “Well, son, are the lights still on?” “Sure” “Are you making payroll?” “Yep” “Do you have enough to pay the bills?” “Of course,” “Well, Hell son. What’s the problem? Don’t worry about it, we’ll make it back!” I laugh….

1982
1982

Dad recovers and returns to handle the financial items, explained above, while I lead the Agency into a new and exciting era. Focusing on niche marketing; initially targeting Pharmacies, Printers, Silk Screeners & Embroidery. It works pretty good, I start writing a ton of new business, while obtaining new carrier appointments.

1983
1983
Weston Millward 1972

1983-EW Millward & Charles Nail-President of Lumbermens Mutual

We move the office to Laguna Hills, purchasing a one unit office condo. Phones are changed to push button and dial phones are now a thing of the past. We have 1 Clerical Employee, our 2 season CSR’s didn’t want to move. Combined with that, Dad takes a 3-Week vacation to England which I won for premium volume with Lumbermen’s Mutual. More 50-60-hour weeks ahead.

1984
1984

After writing a new Re/Max client in Newport Beach, Calif. the owner, Craig Batley, suggests I contact the new Franchise Owner, Sid Severtson. Without hesitation, I drive from Orange County to Palos Verdes and arrive at 5:30 PM. After an intense hour long negotiation, “The Millward Agency” becomes the preferred insurance vendor for all Re/Max offices in the State of Calif. This relationship lasts until 2009, when the Real Estate market collapses.

The fax machine is introduced, typewriters, carbon paper and white-out are still used. All files are still paper. All money is mailed via check.

1987
1987

Dad formally retires from the Agency after 40 years in the industry. He gives me a Purchase Agreement in my office. I don’t want to sign it, I like working with him, I want him to stay. So I tell him no. Besides, I will miss him. Dad, frustrated, finally ends the friendly back and forth discussion with the line, “Son, do you love me?” I crack up, “You know I do Dad.” “Then sign that damn agreement; I’ve got a golf game to play.” “Ok Dad, here you go.” I signed the only contract I never read, giving it back to him. I didn’t even know what my monthly payment was until he told me a month later! However, I paid Dad in full for the Agency in 13 years; in the year 2000.

1992
1992

The Agency is growing, Re/Max accounts are opening across the State; the Real Estate boom has started in earnest.

I travel the width & breadth of Calif from 1984 until the bust in 2009; 25 years. I take my daughter, Julie, with me for 5 of those years. We write hundreds of Real Estate offices, employing tens of thousands of RE agents. It is the most rewarding niche I ever found. I was invited to many Re/Max social events. The highlight was the National Re/Max Annual meeting in San Francisco, in the early 1990’s I think. One of my long-time clients, Re/Max Valencia, obtained the largest RE/MAX volume award in the Nation. It’s true, and they announced my name from the pulpit as their Insurance Broker. I was stunned to hear that from the last row in the room.

Computers are new and the Agency invests in its first program, Redshaw. It reduces the time to issue Certs, typewriters, white-out and carbon paper are finally thrown away. I have to come into the office every Saturday to do a 2.5 hour backup of the computer system.

Around this period of time, the manual payroll process was eliminated by outsourcing all payroll to a payroll service that computes the tax percentages and sends the Agency paper evidence. Saves me countless hours every month. Our first payroll company is ADP. ADP sends a monthly report, which is imputed into the computer.

1994
1994

Redshaw soon burns out from lack of memory and is overwhelmed. I travel to Coeur d’Alene Idaho and after testing it, purchase Agency One Software, replacing Redshaw.

1996
1996
Weston Millward 1996

1996 Weston Millward

The Pharmacy program dies due to Walgreens & CVS purchasing or pushing out all the Independent Pharmacies, nationwide. It’s sudden. Hundreds of accounts are lost in a 2- year period. Pharmacy owners are forced to retire or work for the newcomers. None of them like the takeover…

1997
1997

Pacific National, purchased by Highland Insurance a few years earlier, files for Bankruptcy & liquidates. They issue 60-day notices of cancellation on 2.5 million in premium. I contact every major carrier to replace Highland. Luckily, Hartford appoints me. I manually move the 2.5 million in premium, the last account being bound only 15 days before the 60-day cancellation date arrives. That was a close one.

2000
2000

Not really understanding why, I start purchasing Non-Resident Licenses in all states with the carriers we have appointments with. It will be a life saver within a decade.

2004
2004

Outgrowing the condo in Laguna Hills, the Agency moves into a newly constructed office Building on Bake Blvd, in Lake Forest, Calif. It is 5,000 sq ft; one story.

Agency One burns out. After careful consideration, I decide to design my own Agency Management Software System. I call it “Hunter”. It’s a huge undertaking, but the results are worth it. In 2 years it is up and running, all client data is stored in house and is used extensively until 2023.

The Re/Max real estate industry has peaked and is leveling off.

2005 Adam Millward
2005 Adam Millward
2005 Adam Millward

2005

Back in the day, carrier appointments were very hard to come by. One day the Travelers “Special Agent” drops by and asks if we want to be appointed. I was stunned. In 31 years, a major carrier has NEVER asked to be appointed with my Agency. I say sure & sign the Agreement right then & there. Travelers is still with the Agency today, 18 years later. My middle son, Adam Millward, starts with the Agency.

2008
2008

The economic recession kills the Re/Max program overnight as the housing market implodes. Re/Max offices across the state either close, file BK, or just go broke. 75% of all licensed RE agents in Calif cancel their licenses. It’s epic. In response, I start another niche marketing program, Home Medical Equipment Dealers, or HME. We go Nationwide with it. Now the Non-Resident Licenses come into play, which are ready to go. Wade Millward, my youngest son, starts with the Agency. Conventions are now a yearly item, but on a Nationwide basis. Instead of Long Beach & Anaheim, we go to Atlanta, Las Vegas, etc.

2009
2009

Due to the poor California economic and political climate, I decide to move the office to Highland, Utah. The Calif Corp is dissolved, the HME program is taking off, sales are coming back.

2011
2011

I finalize construction on the new 10,000 office building in Highland, Utah. With space to grow, we establish ourselves in the new area, writing other Nationwide niche programs to diversify.

2014
2014

Growth reaches new levels, new carrier appointments are made, volume increases. The move to Utah was pivotal in reducing operating expenses and improving the bottom line. We go paperless and sell all of our 15-5 drawer file cabinets. I don’t know if I’m happy with that decision or not.

2020
2020

Wade decides to branch off on his own, leaving the Agency. The Hunter Management System needs to be reprogrammed, so I start the process all over again. I’m not looking forward to it. I start with the Accounting portion first. Business is showing steady growth due to the different nationwide niche programs Adam has developed.

The Fall of 2021
The Fall of 2021

Adam is appointed CFO, obtaining many new carrier appointments and designing new Niche marketing programs. I concentrate on the Agencies finances, as my father did before me. Adam is now handling the day-to-day operation of the Agency, a 3rd Generation Millward. What a ride this has been!

Epilog June 18, 2023
Epilog June 18, 2023

Now my son, Adam, is running the Agency; I’m doing the Finances. I look back and think that many decades ago; the situation was reversed with my Father doing what I do now.

Time flies, as seconds turn into minutes, hours into days, weeks, then years; life shortens with every breath we take.

When I started in 1974, selling and servicing our Insurance clientele, nothing had dramatically changed, other than the contracts themselves, since INA wrote the first Ocean Marine policy in America, circa 1799. The typewriter, telegraph and phone were invented, but the paper processes had remained the same.

When Dad started in 1947, the processes basically remained unchanged until he retired in 1987; that’s 40 years! Typewriters, phones, whiteout, carbon paper, paper policies received and sent, had remained the same. However, since 1974, the Insurance Industry has changed more than it did in the previous 200 years; by far.

After Dad had worked 40 hard years, thinking of learning new technology, including Computers, Software, Auto Computer Quoting, Fax Machines? Forget it. He was done. Time to get out while the time is right; and he did.

My situation was different. The changes hit me right in the face, in the middle of my career. I had no choice, I had to change and absorb it, like it or not.

Electronic computers came into being, phones went digital. Fax Machines, Computerized Accounting & Management Systems Software? All paper copies of policy documents went electronic. What? It was hard to understand what Email was, let alone the staggering array of technological advancements that never seemed to cease. Individuals growing up in this new era do not understand how hard it really was…

For the first time in history, paper files were destroyed for electronic. White out, carbon paper, typewriters, all gone. Snail Mail is replaced by electronic ACH Bank Deposits and Checks.

Policies are not mailed, but electronically sent via email to Clients and Agencies. All client data is stored now in the “cloud” but TMA still have copies on our server at work, but that is rare.

When calling Carriers, you have to go through a multitude of artificial answering devices to talk to an underwriter. Its nuts…and it has gone too far. Clients and Agents still like to talk to real people, that know what they are doing.

What will be the changes in another 50 years? Who knows? It could remain the same with improvements; or other systems will be invented that make this comparison look like childs play. Maybe it will reverse and the advantage of paper over digital/electronic will come back?

But the one thing I have noticed is the Baby Boom generation has seen the most unrelenting, continuous upheaval in change in the Insurance Industry since it started in America. At times it stretched the ability of understanding. Was it good or bad? Probably a little of both.

With this missive, I bid you goodbye, wishing the best for those that pass after me. May your involvement in the Insurance Industry be as rewarding, difficult and productive as it has been for me.

I fare thee well, as you continue to work in this fascinating industry! But always remember;

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