From about the 1920s...
Vernon Wilson Holleman followed his father in the property insurance business in the mid 1920's after attending Milsaps College and before joining Home Life Insurance Company of New York in 1927 as a field agent - we still have a copy of his original contract. After early success in Mississippi, Vernon Sr. was asked to be a Home Life General Agent. Following a year of training in New York City, The Hollemans (Vernon and Lilian, with daughter Florence) moved to Washington, D.C. in 1934, as Vernon took over the DC Home Life agency. He would run that agency until 1966, when he retired. His job was a manager and, often, as a second father figure to the field agents he hired, trained, and mentored. He had to re-build the agency after World War II after losing several of his agents. He was known, and remembered to this day, as a leader with calm resolve, who was as sweet as he was effective.
Vernon W. Holleman, Jr.
One of the men who joined his Washington DC Home Life agency in 1960 was Vernon W. Holleman, Jr. Although it took a sabbatical from the business (to work as an advance man for the Goldwater Presidential campaign) to give Vernon Jr. the perspective that lead to the focus necessary for success, he quickly became a pension expert. He started Qualified Pension Consultants (QPC) in 1969, with two partners, as a qualified pension plan actuarial and administrative company. This was the first of "The Holleman Companies", as we would later be known. Vernon Jr. earned every major honor that Home Life bestowed - joining the company's Hall of Fame and their highest honor, The Tiffany Award. On the local level, he won the Vernon W. Holleman, Sr. Award (for agency achievement) so many times they re-named it after him. In 1978 he incorporated the Vernon W. Holleman, Jr. Company and also started Employee Benefit Underwriters in the early 1980's as a payroll deduction company for employee benefits. It was at that time the firm began to do business as The Holleman Companies.
Beyond his pension expertise, Vernon Jr. was also a specialist in both executive benefits and estate planning. He was an industry leader. Members of the Advanced Association of Life Underwriters elected Vernon Jr. president for the 1986-1987 term. Before his AALU involvement, Vernon was very active with his local association, the DC Life Underwriters Association, serving as president and later winning their highest honor, the Wilner Award, in 1986. Vernon Jr. was an experienced and polished negotiator, and a wonderful public speaker. He was invaluable in creating industry alliances and fostering an atmosphere of cooperation among the groups in Washington representing the life insurance industry. He achieved this through a keen ability to listen and a gift for using humor to put perspective on difficult situations.
Vernon attended Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA and served the school in many capacities, including trustee. His activity in the Republican Party early in his life helped fuel his interest in serving AALU. His commitment to his community was as legendary as both his fund raising skills and his enjoyment of practical joking. He served as president of the DC Kiwanis Club, Chairman of the St. Albans School Board, Chairman of Goodwill Industries, on Pension Committees of numerous organizations, and as a Board member of the Washington National Cathedral, among others. An avid reader, golfer, and fisherman, Vernon died in the summer of 1999 and is survived by wife of thirty-one years Betsy, son Vernon and daughter-in-law Tina, daughter Elizabeth and son-in-law Ben, daughter Lily, and (now) five grandchildren.
The 90s to the present - Vernon W. Holleman, III, CLU
The firm joined M Financial Group, one of the nation's premier financial services distribution companies in 1987 and his son, Vernon III, joined the practice in 1994, continuing a family tradition. It was 1999 when Vernon Jr. died suddenly before he and Vernon III were to give a speech about the work the firm had done on its own succession plan to a group of M Financial peers. David Wexler, VP of the firm and Vernon Jr.'s chief technical aide, was also to participate in that talk. For a year and half he and Vernon III lived a succession plan and worked to ensure proper continuity for the firm's clients. Betsy Holleman played a vital role in the transition and earned the title of Chief Integrity Officer. She did everything from client file reviews to high level management during that time. It was important to her that Vernon Jr.'s work be carried on, but only if that is what Vernon III wanted.
The Board named Vernon III the firm's president in early 2001 and he set to build a team to realize the vision he had for being a world class life insurance practice focused on helping business owners tackle the issues of succession, as he had learned that the issues were primarily political and emotional.
Elizabeth Holleman Brown, Vernon III's sister, joined the firm in 2003. Jeff Webb, who also had Home Life roots began working with the firm in the summer of 2004.