2012 Roosevelt Haywood III

Roosevelt Haywood III is the President/CEO of Haywood and Fleming Associates (HFA), a solution-oriented commercial insurance and risk management firm with offices in Gary, Indiana, and Chicago, Illinois.  In business since 1984, the company utilizes its vast experience and expertise to deliver cost-effective services to large and complex entities in the private and public sectors.  HFA also serves the personal and unique needs of high net-worth individuals.  As “Risk Architects” in the area of commercial insurance and employee benefits, HFA’s focus is to protect the assets and enhance the bottom line of its clients.


Mr. Haywood is a second-generation insurance professional with over forty years in the business and has been involved in the industry in a number of capacities.  He has served as Chairman of the National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA), President of the Independent Agents of Northwest Indiana, Director on the Board of the Independent Agents of Indiana and Board Governor of the Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriters (CPCU) Society.  Active in the community, he serves on the Boards of the Boys & Girls Club of Northwest Indiana, Gary Chamber of Commerce, and Leadership Northwest Indiana (LNI).


Always striving for excellence, HFA has been highlighted in various industry publications:  National Underwriter, Independent Agent (AI), Rough Notes (Cover Story Agent), and Risk & Insurance (Power Broker and Responsibility Leader Award Winner).

010 Ronald Allen


Ron Allen is founder and past president of the A. Allen Insurance Agency Ltd. in Chicago, IL. Allen, a graduate of Chicago State University, was a former business education teacher with the Chicago Public Schools. Allen joined the Allstate Insurance Co. in 1967 and was one of Allstate’s first African American claim adjusters. Allen later became one of the first African Americans promoted to Allstate Agent. Allen maintained an agency affiliation with the Allstate Insurance Companies for over 40 years. Allen’s insurance agency has won several regional and national honors during his sales career. Allen formerly was the co-host of “The Financial Forum” radio show broadcast on WVON 1690 AM in Chicago. Allen has served on the Allstate Foundation Regional Grant Committee, the Demicco Youth Center Board of Directors, and the DuPage County Crimestoppers Board of Directors, the Chicago State University Alumni Board, and the DuPage County Adult Probation Department Volunteers. Allen is a Silver Lifetime member of the NAACP. Allen was awarded the 2009 "50 Men of Excellence Award" by the Chicago Defender Newspaper. Allen served as the 2009-2010 Chairman of the National African American Insurance Association. Allen was awarded the NAAIA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. Allen was accepted as a Fellow by the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance in 2011.


2009 Ernesta Procope



The Ernesta Procope Video


Hailed as the "First Lady of Wall Street", Ernesta Procope is the President and Chief Executive Officer of E. G. Bowman Company, Incorporated, the nation’s largest minority-owned insurance brokerage firm. Over the years the company has handled some business for 60 of the Fortune 500 companies, churches, colleges and a variety of other businesses and social welfare agencies.


Born in Central Brooklyn, Ms. Procope showed early promise as a piano prodigy who appeared at Carnegie Hall at the age of 13. Her interests would eventually change from music to real estate and insurance. In 1953, she founded E.G. Bowman, offering personal lines insurance in the mostly black Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn.

Then in the ‘60s, Ms. Procope would face her first major hurdle when riots prompted insurers to start "redlining" black neighborhoods. In one day alone, the Bowman Company received 90 cancellation notices for property insurance coverage. Frustrated that black homeowners were being denied insurance coverage, Ms. Procope took her case all the way to then Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller and convinced him to support the "New York Fair Plan", legislation that prevented "redlining" and made insurance available to all New York homeowners. Similar versions of the law have since been adopted by 26 states.

By the late ‘60s, Ms. Procope began to focus on commercial insurance accounts such as the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, a community development program started by Robert F. Kennedy. Facing tougher competition in this arena, Ms. Procope developed a plan to better promote her company and ultimately landed PepsiCo as her first major commercial account.


In 1979, E. G. Bowman Company made history when it relocated from a storefront in Bedford-Stuyvesant to 97 Wall Street and became the first African-American owned business to be located on Wall Street. Ms. Procope became the broker of record for the New York City Housing Authority and the insurance broker for the construction of the United States portion of the Alaskan Pipeline. The company, licensed in all 50 States, currently boasts an array of major accounts including IBM, Avon Products, Philip Morris Companies, General Motors and Time Warner.

Most recently, Ms. Procope has become the founder and president of Bowman Specialty Services, LLP. This extension of her business provides engineering and safety services, with an insurance prevention focus, to a number of major accounts.


2008 Fred Davis

Rising to become the first black chairman of the Memphis City Council, Fred L. Davis was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on May 8, 1934. After graduating from Manassas High School in Memphis in 1953, Davis went to Memphis State University, where he began studying business administration. Before graduating, he transferred to Tennessee State University in Nashville, earning a B.S. in 1957. Davis entered the Army in 1957, and served in France for two years.

Davis opened his own insurance agency, Fred L. Davis Insurance, in 1967. The agency was one of the first African American-owned insurance agencies in the South. When the sanitation workers of Memphis went on strike in 1968, Davis was serving on the city council. Siding with the strikers, Davis urged the city to recognize their union. Over the course of several months, there was violence by the police against the strikers when they would march, and leaders from the NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference came to support the strike. It was this strike that brought Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Memphis, where he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, and the strike ended soon thereafter. Davis later became the first African American chairman of the Memphis City Council.

Fred Davis Insurance is one of the most respected companies in Memphis, growing from a small office to a powerhouse of sales. Davis himself is very active in the community, serving on the board of directors of the Assissi Foundation, as a trustee of the Community Foundation, a director of the Memphis Leadership Foundation and a past president of the University of Memphis Society. He has been presented with the Humanitarian of the Year Award by the National Council of Christians and Jews and the Communicator of the Year Award by the Public Relations Society. Davis is married with three children and two grandchildren.


Past Lifetime Achievement Award recipients

2007 Thomas L. Whatley--Independent Agent, Detroit, Michigan
2006  George Gray--Allstate Agency Owner, Chicago, Illinois

2005  Milton Moses--Independent Agent, Chicago, Illinois

         Ralph Murray