About the Unity Group|
In 1929, Earl Griffin opened a small insurance office above Johnson Floral at Commercial and Magnolia in Bellingham Washington. During the 1930s and 1940s, Orville Garrett and Helge Johanson formed competing agencies. In 1970, all three agencies merged into a single business named Griffin, Garrett, Johanson and Schacht (GGJ&S.)
GGJ&S flourished and grew. New, young sales representatives joined the agency and their desire for ownership was accommodated by the original owners who devised an internal perpetuation plan and began selling portions of their stock in the company.
During the mid-1980s, GGJ&S adopted a new strategy of growth through acquisition and merger. In 1987, GGJ&S acquired the Ireland and Bellingar Agency, the largest competitor in Bellingham. In addition to a significant volume of business, the branch operations of Ireland and Bellingar in Burlington and the San Juan Islands instantly expanded GGJ&S' market area.
The Ireland and Bellingar Agency acquisition also provided a convenient opportunity to create a new name for the agency that reflected the unification of agencies and the culture of the new operation - The Unity Group.
Continuing its growth through acquisition strategy, The Unity Group (Unity) purchased the Hood Agency in Ferndale in 1989, the Frank B. Hall Agency in 1990 and The Insurance Store in 1995. These transactions expanded the business volume and further strengthened operations on the rapidly expanding I-5 corridor.
Fine tuning of Unity's operations followed. In 1997, the Seattle office operations were merged into Lynnwood followed by the closure of both a Ferndale and San Juan office so service could be more efficiently provided from Bellingham.
Currently, Unity has two offices located in Bellingham and Everett.
Thanks to the internal perpetuation policy, Unity continues to retire senior owners and recruit talented young sales representatives and managers who are provided an early opportunity to become shareholders.
Perhaps the strongest corporate value has been the legacy of the group of agents who formed GGJ&S and came together as equals, committed to always cooperate with and have respect for one another. While we are much larger and our team is more diverse, that tradition lives on.
|Calendar Map & Directions Community Involvement Workshop|