Tom Brown

Chairman of the Board
1978-2012

Tom Brown, a man of considerable charisma.

Never before had there
been such a compelling demonstration of the California Casualty Code put into practice.

If there was an assumption that Tom Brown would join the family business, he never felt pressured. Like his father and grandfather, he attended and graduated from Stanford. Afterwards, he served in the U.S. Navy for two years and then worked for a year at California Casualty while considering his next move. He returned to Stanford to pursue an MBA and, after graduation, joined the company for good in 1963.

Personality characteristics often skip generations before repeating. Whether the result of nature or nurture (Tom lived with his grandparents for a few years while his dad served in the Navy), Tom seemed to have inherited his grandfather’s considerable charisma. Within California Casualty, he formed a strong team with the similarly gregarious Pete Goldberg and Marston Nauman, and as they worked together, the company grew in new and sometimes unexpected ways. Theirs was a “big idea” team that effected major change.

Tom Brown, three and a half years old, and his first trout, 1941.

The company embraced technology, and the CRT debuted on employee desks. Three service centers were established, in Arizona, Colorado and Kansas, to better serve the company’s burgeoning reach. More group relationships solidified, catapulting California Casualty into the national arena, most significantly with the hard-earned endorsement of the National Education Association in 2000.

However exciting the times were, there were pivotal, challenging moments, too. State laws were again changing, and Tom made the difficult decision to exit the workers’ compensation arena. When the 1991 Oakland Hills Fire destroyed thousands of homes, including those of many California Casualty policyholders, Tom made the unprecedented move to waive policy limits, and ensure that homes were rebuilt to equal or better standards. Never before had there been such a compelling demonstration of the California Casualty Code put into practice.

Tom cared equally for his employees, and instituted the Carl G. Brown, Jr. Award of Excellence, an annual award recognizing the exemplary work and community commitment of a peer-nominated employee.

Tom Brown also inherited the Brown family’s love of fly fishing, an activity he and wife Joan continue to enjoy. He liked Wyoming so much he built his own house on his father’s Wyoming spread.