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.

Due to the internal perpetuation policy, Unity continued to retire senior owners and recruit talented young sales representatives and managers who were provided an early opportunity to become shareholders. In 2013, the success of Unity’s stock price and growing number of retirees created a turning point for the company.

On August 1, 2013, HUB International Limited (HUB) a leading global insurance brokerage, acquired the assets of The Unity Group, Inc. The employees of the Everett office joined the HUB Northwest Corporate office in Bothell. The Bellingham office, including the sales and service employees, remained at the 110 Unity Street location. The Bellingham branch continues to operate as The Unity Group and will integrate the HUB affiliation gradually through 2015, eventually phasing out The Unity Group name. Click here for the complete press release.

An overview of HUB International can be found below:
  • Ranked 10th in the World’s 10 Largest Brokers list (Business Insurance, 2011)
  • Ranked 1st in revenue among the top 100 Privately Held property/casualty agencies in the U.S.; 2nd in total written premium (Insurance Journal, 2011)
  • $6.5 billion in premium volume gives HUB credibility and negotiating leverage with key insurance carriers
  • Broad reach with 23 regional offices, 250 satellite locations, and 5,000 employees in the United States and Canada
  • Worldwide Broker Network provides coverage in 75 countries worldwide
  • One of a few brokers able to facilitate cross border transactions between the United States, Canada, and Mexico
  • Corporate headquarters in Chicago

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