California Broker Magazine Publisher Ric Madden Retires

As we pass into new management, we take a look back in a tribute to our publisher for 41 years, Ric Madden

{Excerpted from A LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER on the occasion of our 40th Anniversary Published Sept. 2021-}

How We Got Here
By Ric Madden, publisher since 1982

In September of 1982, I had the opportunity to become the publisher of, among other things, an insurance industry magazine.

That magazine was California Broker. I named the publishing entity McGee Publishers in my Doberman’s honor. (And that’s another story – see the Sept. 2021 issue for details).

While over time Cal Broker has mainly focused on health and life insurance products and the value those products bring to your profession and to the lives of so many Americans, I can’t help but also think about the value of the smaller products, too. Like pet insurance and so many others.

Insurance sometimes means the difference between life and death for people, for animals, for everyone.

As a result, over the years I’ve become passionate about the industry. Cal Broker does whatever it can to promote the information you need to help save lives.

Because whether you have two legs or four, I know insurance makes a huge difference in everyone’s lives. It’s made a huge difference in mine and my family’s.

We’ve had the honor of serving the insurance industry with this publication for 40 years. Thanks for being a part of our pack — whether you’re a reader, an advertiser or a contributor.

From the whole McGee team, may the wind be at your back and the force of the Doberman be with you. — Ric Madden

Tributes to Ric Madden from industry colleagues

Ric Madden and California Broker Contributions Cannot Be Overstated
     “California Broker magazine has been a part of the state’s insurance industry for over 40 years — longer than most readers have been in the business – and longer than many have been alive. California Broker is just there. Like a landmark on the horizon, its presence would be more pronounced by its absence.
     “Indeed, California Broker is and has long been an invaluable resource. Before the Internet there was California Broker. The magazine illuminated what trends were developing, what proposed legislation would do, what carriers were planning. California Broker’s consistency and caliber as a preeminent resource for the state’s agents is remarkable. And it is due, in large part, to Ric Madden’s vision and leadership.
     “It can be easy for California brokers to overlook how unique the magazine is. I have addressed industry audiences in 30 states. Yes other brokers get state-specific information from associations, carriers, and general agents provide producers. So do Californians. But we also benefit from having an independent publication bringing disparate perspectives together in one place. As far as I know, there is nothing like California Broker anywhere else.
     “Most of us thinking about Ric’s tenure will rightly focus on its editorial content. And it has been a pleasure and honor to have written dozens of articles for the magazine. However, the advertisements have value, too. These ads tell a fascinating story about the California insurance industry. They describe the evolving cast of players and the evolution of their products. These ads are a historian’s dream: over 40 years’ worth of insights into the state’s changing life and health insurance markets.
     “Yes, it may be easy to take California Broker and Ric Madden for granted. We shouldn’t. Thank you Ric. Your contribution to the industry cannot be overstated.”

Alan Katz, founder, NextAgency

“I’d like to say a big ‘thank you!’ to Ric Madden as well as his extended family Lex and Thora! I first met Ric about 25 years ago when I was working as an assistant editor to Cal Broker’s founding editor, Kate Kinkade. I went my own way after a few years but always kept in touch with the Cal Broker team.
I was occasionally enlisted by Cal Broker long-timers Steve Zdroik (art director), Leila Morris Lavizadeh (editor) and Scott Halversen (VP, Marketing) to help out with projects over the years. After Leila left, the magazine went through a couple of editors who didn’t work out. Ric asked if I could step in as editor on a “temporary” basis. I ended up staying beyond both Steve and Scott until spring 2022 — something like 5 years! During that time, I’m happy to say that we grew reader engagement, added many new contributors and received a CAHU award recognizing the magazine’s contribution to the industry.
“Ric, Lex and Thora have always been great to work with. Our tiny team — which eventually included art director Randy Dunbar, ad director Devon Hunter and asst. editor Linda Lalande — got the job done and had a lot of laughs along the way! Ric is an amazing artist, his true calling. And yet this artist kept an insurance industry publication going for 40 years in a time where other industry magazines folded and publishing underwent epic changes. God speed to Ric and Cal Broker. Onward!”

Victoria Alexander, former editor, CalBroker Magazine

     “Ric, thank you for all the years of your devotion to the California insurance industry. Thank you for everything you have done for the various organizations and agents and advisors in California. You have so graciously announced events, provided space for people to submit articles, shared many interesting stories, and allowed your editorial staff to cover and write about very important topics.
     “We hope you will enjoy your retirement, but you will be sorely missed. Thank you again for your contribution to the insurance industry in California.”

Janet Fishman, Executive Director, NAIFA-Los Angeles, WIFS-Los Angeles, NAIFA-Silicon Valley

“On behalf of the team at BenefitMall in Calif., I would like to thank Ric for his many years of service to this industry, the brokers in Calif. and the millions of citizens we serve. Best wishes for a happy and healthy retirement!

Brian Sullivan Market Director BenefitMall

     “Congratulations to Ric Madden on his well-deserved retirement! For over 40 years, he has accomplished tremendous feats and truly embodies what it means to be an industry disruptor. On behalf of Transitions Optical, we want to thank Ric for his generosity. We appreciate our partnership with Cal Broker and are grateful for the company’s support of our mission to reach and impact insurance agents with valuable information on the importance of vision benefits and employee eye health. Best wishes for a long, happy and fulfilling retirement, Ric. Enjoy this new chapter.”

Jonathan Ormsby, senior key account manager, Transitions Optical

      “I would like to thank Ric for my 30 great years at California Broker Magazine. I needed a change after 13 years working in advertising for an insurance carrier. The magazine was the perfect place to land. It was such a great change of pace after being in a corporate pressure cooker. There was no bureaucracy to unravel, no politics and no approval gauntlet. It was so refreshing. If something seemed like a good idea we just did it. Ric gave us all kinds of leeway. He trusted us. I am sure it added years to my life.
     “The magazine had started off as an advertising agency so we tried to do things with flair. We wanted to stand out from the national magazines by focusing on what brokers were dealing with in California. It was like a family. We must have liked working together. The junior member of our team worked over 20 years for the magazine. It’s a tribute to Ric that he kept the magazine going for 40+ years. We never got tired of having brokers tell us how much they loved the magazine at the trade shows. I gained a great appreciation for everything brokers go through to serve their clients.”

Scott Halverson, former VP of Marketing for Cal Broker

     “Ric will be missed! He and CalBroker have created a great forum for industry news, important product and sales ideas and a chance to share and learn. As an independent agent I found this magazine a valuable tool. We will miss his passion and dedication to the agent community.”

Maggie Stedt, CSA, LPRT, Senior Summit co-chair, Medicare chair of OCAHU and immediate past president of CAHIP

     “Thank you, Ric Madden, for everything you accomplished at Cal Broker. Ric, you will be missed greatly. Your contributions to the insurance industry are unmatched. California Broker under your leadership thrived, with great content and even better people and relationships. Thank you for understanding the needs of the industry and being one of the first to put it in front of us on a regular basis. Thank you for getting it; for getting us, the brokers, and for helping us help our clients with great content. As a contributor to Cal Broker for years with my  articles, I have had the privilege of working with your staff, and those relationships will continue for years to come. You certainly created a great team there! Best wishes to you in your retirement. May you be as successful in retirement (that means enjoying yourself and doing what makes you and your family happy!) as you were in the industry. Happy Retirement! Thank you from all of us!”

Dorothy Cociu, president, Advanced Benefit Consulting 

      “Being a champion and advocate on behalf of the California broker community might sound like an easy job. But for 40+ years, Ric had primarily been behind the scenes of one of the most vital and supportive magazines in our industry.
     “If you ever had a chance to meet Ric, he is one of the most humble humans I have ever met. Yet, he always tried to make a difference in our ever-changing health insurance industry with a smile and a warm welcome.
     “It wasn’t until I hosted a holiday dinner for the Cal Broker team as their Associate Publisher that Ric and I realized we were both artists. This was a connection on a different level of love and expression. So for me, as we are paying tribute to the man that radically championed our industry for so long, I hope he will allow us all a peek into his main love in life, which is his art.
      “As I am now helping to shape the future of Web3.0, where artists, collectors and community builders are moving the physical world into digital, I hope that we will all soon be able to access his next level of career while he enjoys his retirement.
     “I love you, Ric; many blessings for a beautiful, meaningful time.

Namaste, Naama O. Pozniak, CEO, Rightplan

      “On behalf of the Los Angeles Association of Health Underwriters (LAAHU), I want to thank you for your peerless performance during the past 41 years, as we congratulate you on your retirement. Thank you for everything you’ve done for our chapter along with the broker communities that we serve. You so graciously have given us space in your magazine to submit articles, stories, legislative updates, and so much more over the years. Your editorial staff has been priceless to our organization and that is because of YOU!
     “You will certainly be missed, my friend. Congratulations on a job well done and a retirement well deserved.”

June Taylor, LAAHU President – 2022-2023

     “California Broker has been a widely read and respected trade publication in the state for the past three decades. We at Dickerson have been proud to collaborate with you and your staff through the years. The standard of excellence provided by the magazine has been a unifier in the health insurance industry statewide and nationally. Thanks for the great partnership over the years, and we look forward to building a solid relationship with your successor. You will be missed, Ric!

Cindy Jones, Dickerson Insurance Services

From the New Publisher

Health Broker Publishing, LLC, dba MJPR Media Group, has acquired the assets of California Broker Magazine. All operations, processes and procedures will continue as before for the print magazine, Insurance Insider eNewsletter publication and our website,

McGee Publishers Inc. and its publisher, Ric Madden, will assist during the transition period. All members of the McGee team will remain active in the new company and continue their excellent work and commitment to our readers, advertisers and contributors.

Ric enjoyed remarkable success as his efforts connected California Broker media to so many brokers, carriers and many others in the health insurance industry for over 41 years.

MJPR Media Group looks forward to continuing his excellent work and will strive to meet the expectations of the devoted partners including readers, advertisers and editorial contributors as we remain committed to journalistic excellence. More information on plans for increasing circulation and enhancing editorial content will be available soon.

Included in the Cal Broker product portfolio is California Broker Magazine, the Insurance Insider eNewsletter and All three media will continue into the future. With input from our strategic partners we look forward to enhancements that will focus on gathering information related to the health industry, contributions and feedback on the news and events our readers want us to explore, investigate and cover in 2022 and beyond.

Plans are in process to increase print and digital circulation to reach more health, life and annuity insurance professionals in California. Also, on the list is to enhance editorial content and continue to bring relevant and current information to readers. And most importantly provide advertisers with partnerships involving the benefits of all three media to carry their messaging to our print and digital audiences.

Questions and suggestions are always welcome. Contact: