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Constant Transformation (wsg McKeel Hagerty) – EP96

The Impact of Constant Transformation: Host Gregg Garrett is joined by McKeel Hagerty, CEO Hagerty Group and former Chairman Young Presidents Organization (YPO), who shares his incredible, ongoing journey. McKeel’s Top Three include his spouse, a former professor turned mentor, and his YPO tribe. And you have to hear his spin on the concept of work-life balance.  

About McKeel Hagerty

McKeel Hagerty is the Chief Executive Officer and driving force behind Hagerty, the world’s largest automotive lifestyle brand. Under his leadership, Hagerty has grown from a local insurance agency operating from his parents’ basement in Traverse City, to a global market leader with more than $500 million in annual revenues and an average year-over-year growth rate of 22 percent the past nine years. Hagerty is the leading provider of specialty insurance and partners with 22 of the top 25 U.S. auto insurance companies to protect nearly 2 million vintage, classic and enthusiast vehicles. Based in Traverse City, the company has 1,400 employees in the U.S., Canada, the UK, and Germany.

In 2017, McKeel refocused the company’s mission to saving driving and expanding the car community for future generations. In support of the mission, the company has made a series of strategic partnerships, acquisitions and expansions including the Hagerty Drivers Club (620,000 members), Hagerty Drivers Club magazine (600,000 circulation), Hagerty YouTube (1.3 million subscribers), DriveShare (peer to peer rentals), MotorsportReg.com (motorsports registration), the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, Hagerty Garage + Social (premium automotive storage and experiences) and the industry gold standard for vehicle values, the Hagerty Valuation Tool.

In addition to Hagerty, McKeel was elected by his CEO peers in 2016-17 to serve as the international board chair for YPO, the global leadership organization with 28,000 chief executives in more than 130 countries. During his term, he traveled the globe speaking to leaders and thinkers like U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, President of Rwanda Paul Kagame, Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, philosopher Yuval Harari, and countless business titans. These experiences deeply affected his views on the possibilities of leadership in a rapidly changing world: “There is a new generation of evolved leaders emerging

in the world. They take a balanced stakeholder approach. They show us that by being forward-looking, growth mindset-oriented and ideologically pragmatic, a more flourishing world is possible. These people have inspired me to think bigger than building profitable companies and taking on single global issues.” McKeel continues to work with YPO as an ambassador, speaker, moderator and strategic consultant.

McKeel is also a general partner of Grand Ventures, a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based venture capital firm focused on providing emerging companies with early-stage capital and strategic support. He is also a board member of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles and serves on numerous boards and advisory groups. McKeel has served as a judge for the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for 21 years.

In Traverse City, he is known as a passionate community supporter and an advocate for government, business and local organizations working together to create a more sustainable economy based on scalable businesses. Hagerty is the largest private employer in Traverse City with more than 900 local employees. Since 2008, Hagerty employees have donated nearly 100,000 volunteer hours to more than 600 local charities.

McKeel earned his undergraduate degree in English and Philosophy from Pepperdine University and his master’s in Theology from Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary. He lives with his wife Soon Hagerty near Traverse City. They have three wonderful daughters, Olivia, Sophia and Ava. The older two daughters learned to drive cars with manual transmissions. Ava will soon follow.

Show Highlights

During this episode:

Have you ever noticed how friction can grind into the ‘gears’ of new projects? [0:59]

Knowing the types of roles leaders need to play [2:15]

Recognizing the internal struggles/signals is an important skill [4:12]

Welcome guest, McKeel Hagerty (Hagerty Insurance) [6:30]

The “Top Three”

Gary Hart: Extraordinary teacher and guide who had a belief in his abilities [14:35]

The Young Presidents Organization Tribe including Mark Lancaster: Living the total life [20:36]

Soon Hagerty: The value of a constructive partner [38:29]

Transformation & Disruption

A corporate strategy change to a lifestyle brand [47:04]

You have to hear this…

You get one life – you’re either getting paid for your time or you pay for your time [54:48]

Additional Information

Contact McKeel Hagerty:

Contact Gregg Garrett:

Contact CGS Advisors:


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