Portland, ME – The Board of Directors for The MEMIC Group recently announced that it has named company veteran Michael P. Bourque as its President and CEO to replace John T. Leonard who is retiring later this year.
Bourque, who has worked for the company for nearly 22 years, has been serving under Leonard in the role of Senior Vice President, External Affairs. His selection was announced on Thursday afternoon at a gathering of the company’s nearly 400 employees.
“We are truly excited to present Michael as the next leader of MEMIC,” said MEMIC Board Chair David M. Labbe. “His experience, knowledge and loyalty to this company makes him the perfect candidate to step into the role at this important time in the company’s history. We have been fortunate to have the great leadership of John Leonard over our first 25 years and Michael is ready to carry on that tradition.”
Leonard, who was hired in February of 1993 to lead the then-fledgling company, announced in December that he would retire in September 2017. The company’s board undertook a search that included candidates from both inside and outside of the company before selecting Bourque.
Under Leonard, the company grew from a line-of-credit loan operating in a single state to an organization with more than $1.2 billion in assets with licenses across the country and eight offices from Maine to Florida. It is credited with leading the turnaround in workers’ compensation in its home state of Maine, where it underwrites 66 percent of the commercial market insurance premiums and where costs have fallen by more than 50 percent. Lost-time work injuries in the state have decreased by nearly 40 percent since the company was established in 1993.
“It is an incredible honor to be chosen to lead this great company,” Bourque said. “I am both gratified and excited by the opportunity to work alongside the great people and partners who make this company what it is, and what it will be. We have come so far since the early days of MEMIC and there is still so much potential.”
“I am proud to have spent more than two decades working for an organization that has helped reduce workplace injuries and their associated costs for employers. I look forward to continuing that effort, bringing our collective expertise to employers here in Maine, and far beyond our home state.”
Bourque, 49, came to MEMIC in 1995 as a Communications Specialist, earning promotions to Corporate Communications Manager, Director and Vice President before his appointment in 2011 to his current position as Senior Vice President.
“There are a few things that are so important in thinking about a successor,” Leonard said. “They include integrity and the ability to instill confidence in others. These are traits Michael truly possesses and demonstrates daily. Beyond that, here at MEMIC, I think it was important to select a leader who is a real champion of the independent agency system and that is something Michael knows well. He understands the value these partners bring to our business.”
“I have enjoyed the great benefit of having incredible mentors here at MEMIC,” Bourque said. “It’s an important tradition here, learning from each other. I am the beneficiary of learning from John Leonard and many others. This is representative of the strength of the team we have developed over the years. I think it is so important to continue that tradition.”
In addition to his responsibility in leading the company’s marketing and corporate communications and government relations area as well as serving as corporate secretary to the Board, Bourque has taken on many community leadership pursuits. He is the former chair of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce and also past chairman of the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine, the Southern Maine Community College Foundation, the Portland Community Chamber of Commerce, Youth and Family Outreach and the Maine Public Relations Council. He is the former senior warden at Trinity Episcopal Church in Portland. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Maine Chamber. In 2016, he led the United Way’s annual campaign in Greater Portland, helping to raise more than $8 million for the organization’s community efforts.
Bourque has received the Edward L. Bernays award for career achievement from the Maine Public Relations Council and received the 2016 Community Leadership Award from the nonprofit, DayOne.
He began his professional career as a newspaper reporter at daily papers in Alaska and Maine. Prior to joining MEMIC, he served as senior editor at the American Association of Community Colleges in Washington, DC.
A Maine native, born in Greenville and raised in Ashland, Bourque holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine and holds professional certifications in public relations and as a Workers’ Compensation Professional from AMCOMP. He is a graduate of Leadership Maine.
Bourque is a resident of Portland where he lives with his 16-year-old twins, Kathryn and William, and their two yellow Labrador retrievers.