Ernesta Procope, Business Pioneer, Profiled in US Airways Magazine

E.G. Bowman Co. Founder Beat Odds as Black Woman

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - February 5, 2008) - The odds of an African-American woman succeeding in the overwhelmingly white, male-dominated insurance industry of the 1950s, were "nearly insurmountable," C.J. Prince writes in her profile of Ernesta G. Procope in the February issue of US Airways Magazine.

But E.G. Bowman Co., founded by Procope in 1953, today ranks as America's largest minority- and woman-owned insurance brokerage. From its Wall Street office, the firm serves Fortune 500 clients, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, small businesses and individuals.

The article covers Procope's inspirational life story, from a child prodigy pianist to a young widow who went into the insurance business after her real-estate developer husband died.

Selling only personal insurance initially hindered the firm's opportunity for growth, so Procope decided to expand into commercial insurance, but race was a formidable barrier at that time. However, in the late 1960s the company won clients like the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, founded by Senator Robert Kennedy, PepsiCo and other big companies.

In 1979, Procope moved her firm to Wall Street. E.G. Bowman became the first major African-American-owned business on the block and Procope became know as the "First Lady of Wall Street."

But she doesn't rest on her many laurels.

"Even in her 70s, she is pragmatic, dedicated, and still gunning for new business," Prince writes. Procope tells her: "You have to have all kinds of projects going to generate new business," she says. "You can't just sit back and service the old."

The full article can be read online at

E.G. Bowman is a full-service insurance brokerage and loss-control firm whose clients include FORTUNE 500 companies, major nonprofits, government agencies, individuals and small businesses. Phone: 212-425-8150; Web:

Contact Information: Contact: Henry Stimpson Stimpson Communications 508-647-0705