When you ask Loren to talk about his life story his comment will more than likely be the John Lennon quote, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”
Loren was born and raised in Cedar Rapids where he attended parochial schools from elementary through high school. As a child, he was a constant witness to hardworking parents and neighbors, and selfless role models in his school setting. These childhood mentors helped to shape him into the person he has become today and shaped the importance he places on being a mentor himself because, according to Loren, “mentors help you set your compass.” While watching his parents devote their lives to work in order to support their family Loren noted that he never wanted to, “work his life away” but that is all he knew and inevitably that is what he did.
Following high school, Loren attended the University of Iowa intending to be a teacher. This plan was on track until he attended his Principles of Insurance class taught by Emmett Vaughan. Loren had found his passion and immediately, he changed his major to Finance and Insurance. After graduation, he worked as a commercial underwriter for The Atlantic Companies for two years and a stock broker with Merrill Lynch for three years. In March of 1975, he knew that he wanted to buy into an insurance firm. He interviewed with three firms in Cedar Rapids and landed with Davis Jones Lamb Insurance. During Loren’s time at Davis Jones Lamb, the company grew from 13 to 53 employees. Through this growth it was very important to Loren and his partners that the culture of the company did not change, they and were focused on all of their team members feeling as though they were part of a family.
In 2001, Davis Jones Lamb Insurance merged with Insurance Service Corporation and Verhille & Associates to create TrueNorth Companies. This merger created the largest financial services firm of its kind based in Eastern Iowa. The founding principals: Larry Bergdale, Loren Coppock, Pete Layden, Steve Lounsberry, Duane Smith, and Dave Verhille, were very aware that to truly excel in the future of the insurance industry, agents could no longer be generalists; instead, they would need to become specialists. TrueNorth’s mission is to provide an entrepreneurial platform that attracts, develops, and coordinates high performance talent and opportunities. They decided from the very beginning that they had no intentions of selling the company. Because of this, they have grown from 6 owners to 45 since their inception and they set in place a mandatory phase out plan for ownership at age 62. Loren has enjoyed this phase of his career as it has given him an opportunity to mentor those who are up-and-coming in the industry. Loren has a wealth of knowledge to pass on to the next generation and has affectionately become known as, “The Professor.”
TrueNorth’s success has been recognized as: Top 100 Privately Held Independent Agencies (2012); Corridor Business Journal’s (CBJ) Best of the Corridor as Best Insurance Agency (6 time winner) and Best Investment Services Firm/Team, and Runner-up as the CBJ’s Best Philanthropic Small Company (2012). Throughout his career, Loren has also personally received multiple awards and recognitions including Young Agent of the Year, Chairman Award, and Agent of the Year from the Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa.
Loren is passionate about giving back. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for: Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust, Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation (current Chair), and the Vaughan Institute at the University of Iowa; the Board of Trustees for: Mount Mercy University and United Way of East Central Iowa. In the past, he was also on the leadership teams at the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce, The Regis-LaSalle Foundation, St. Pius X Church, the University of Iowa Linn County I Club, Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa, and the Cedar Valley Chapter CPCU.
Loren and his wife Patti live in Cedar Rapids and have two grown children and four grandchildren.