In the Rearview Mirror: A Farewell to Kim Hagerty

November 30, 2021

Hagerty Drivers Club Magazine
McKeel Hagerty

A few months ago, we lost my sister Kim, one of the founders of Hagerty. Kim had a radiant smile, an infectious laugh, and a deep love of all things pink. We worked together for many years and she served in many senior roles, including general counsel, CEO, and Chairman of the Board—a post she held until her retirement in 2014. It has been a sad time for me, my family, and everyone at Hagerty, so I would like to honor her memory with a few thoughts about how she positively impacted what we do here.

a farewell to kim hagerty 3 Growing up in the Frank and Louise Hagerty clan meant you were a hard worker and a lover of cars. Kim certainly was both. After graduating from high school at 17, she breezed through college before attending law school in San Francisco. Her law practice in Incline Village, Nevada, on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, brought her many early career successes, including becoming the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Sierra Nevada University at a young age.

We both moved back to Michigan in 1995 and began our entrepreneurial partnership with our parents and sister, Tammy. It was an amazing period. We had so much fun wrestling Hagerty out of its start-up phase. We worked tirelessly. While I traveled and developed the business side of things, Tammy managed our underwriting and claims, and Kim was passionate about building our culture and keep- ing us legally compliant! Today, we refer to our culture as Hagerty Hospitality, but its genesis started with the idea that we treat customers, partners, and vendors like guests in our homes. Kim was a great entertainer, and she always made people feel welcomed and honored—no small talent. For the employees at the time, Kim was famous for her pink notecards, pink heart signature, and big hugs. It really felt like family in this family business.

a farewell to kim hagerty 2When we assembled some photos for her memorial service, it was amazing how many of them involved cars and driving. First was her beloved Corvair Lakewood station wagon. That picture is her driving us to our first day at school (if anyone has any idea where to find that car, please let me know). Then there was the array of Porsches my dad shipped out west to her: our 1976 912E, a 1971 911T, and finally, our 1976 930. When her practice and career at Hagerty took off, Kim’s car passion switched to various white Mercedes, and she always loved driving them with the top down around Northern Michigan. She was a bit of a lead foot.

The loves of Kim’s life were her daughter, Mia, and her husband, Antonio. She was very proud of both of them. They enjoyed traveling and cooking and supporting Kim’s passion for flower gardening. Mia and Antonio led the funeral procession in Kim’s favorite collector car, her 1957 Thunderbird, Pinkie.

Kim and I talked a couple of days before her passing. She was so excited about the future of Hagerty. She kept saying, “Holy sh*t, Baby Bro. Can you believe it?! I am so proud of you.” I told her that big things were coming for Hagerty and for our members and that we all did our part to make it happen.

a farewell to kim hagerty 1And then I told her I loved her one more time. I’m so glad I did.

Onward and Upward, Big Sister. You
will be forever missed. ❤