A New England “Insurance Legend” Says Goodbye: Hello to Retirement After 40 Years of Service

In New England’s insurance industry, everybody knows him and loves him; some even refer to him as “Hawk.” If you’re in insurance, it’s hard not to know Jim Hawkins, the senior vice president at Quaker Special Risk, since he’s been in the Boston-area insurance scene for over 40 years.


Hawk is now trading risk for retirement in June after a lengthy career, over 35 of those years at Quaker Special Risk (Quaker) since starting there in 1985. At Quaker, Hawkins specialized in Property and Casualty insurance placements, as well as Environmental and Excess Liability accounts, helping the company grow from five employees to over 40 today. 


“Jim is the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back, someone who’s known as a mentor here.” said colleague Mary Roy, a vice president at Quaker. “I hope that I can mentor others here at Quaker similar to the way that Jim has inspired me over the past 18 years.” 


From large complex accounts, to the small “unique” risks, Hawk was always there to help. Honesty, integrity and a passion for service were qualities that he demonstrated to each and every one of his clients. He was a gentleman in all senses of the word and a true mentor to all he knew, both in and out of the office. His door was always open and he was always there to guide others in risk and rate selection.


“Jim is one of the kindest, generous and most loyal people you will ever meet. I am forever grateful for his mentorship. He began our relationship as my boss but he will leave as a friend, which is something I think all of his former co-workers will agree with,” said EJ Bradley, assistant vice president.


Hawkins majored in Marketing at Babson College and graduated in 1979 with his Bachelor’s degree. He then spent five years working in the Commercial Department of The Travelers Insurance Company in Worcester where he was responsible for the underwriting and marketing of all the various lines of commercial business, before coming to Quaker.


Aside from his work experience, Hawkins served six years as chairman of his condominium association and stays active by lending advice to its current board members. Once retired, he wants to spend more time hanging out with his three grandchildren, volunteering in his local community of North Oxford, MA, and playing in occasional corn hole tourneys. 


Since they’re not able to throw him a party as a result of COVID concerns, Hawkins’ colleagues at Quaker encourage people to celebrate him by writing a note of encouragement and/or sharing a memory of him on their message board here

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