Celebrating 100 years in the community.
The history of McLean & Dickey
is woven through the fabric of Orillia.
When George McLean Sr. started selling insurance in 1922, there were only a handful of cars in the area and most of the roads were unpaved.
A politician at heart, George McLean was elected Mayor of Orillia in 1924. By 1930, he decided to enter federal politics and after winning the Simcoe East seat for the Liberals in 1935, served as an MP in the Mackenzie King government for two full terms.
Image Credit: Library and Archives Canada/Arthur Roy fonds/a047430
Read MoreWhen the roof of the Presbyterian Church caught fire, George rushed up the street and ran inside the burning building to help carry out any valuables he could save. In 1978, while relaxing on his boat that was moored at what is now Crate’s Marina in the Narrows, George was on hand when another boat that was being fueled, caught fire. In order to get the burning vessel as far away from the marina’s fuel pumps as possible, George took hold of the boat’s bow rope and swam out into the channel. He dismissed his heroic act as simply a way to protect the marina, which happened to be a McLean & Dickey client. George McLean Jr. was heavily involved with the community and like his father before him, also served as Mayor of Orillia from 1961-62. In 1985, he was elected president of the IBAO (Insurance Brokers’ Association of Ontario).
George McLean’s partner, Dick Dickey, was a former semi-pro baseball player, who served during WW II with the Royal Canadian Ordinance Corps where he received an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) “in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in North West Europe.”
Read MoreEventually George and Dick persuaded him to join the firm in 1973. “Dick” Dickey retired in 1978 and George Jr. brought in Bill Hamilton in 1976 and Bill Adams in 1979. Both had been working at major insurance companies. The trio of Bill, Bill and Wayne purchased the firm when George McLean retired in 1986.
Read MoreNotably, in the fall of 1997, Sue Mulcahy, daughter of Teefy Mulcahy whose insurance office was across the street from George McLean’s, retired after 40 years as an insurance broker in Orillia and McLean & Dickey took over her client list.
Read MoreFrancois Tisi, his daughter Danielle Tisi and her husband Mike Holenski bought the brokerage in 2006 and moved to Orillia with their families.
Francois Tisi, an educator and former CEO of the Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (OTIP), threw himself into community work and focused on supporting numerous local charities and fundraising on their behalf.
He helped create the online component of the annual Kiwanis auction, with some of his contacts helped spearhead the Drive for Millions campaign for Orillia Soldiers Memorial Hospital Foundation. As president of McLean & Dickey, Francois Tisi’s commitment to charitable support helped build a bridge to the community who welcomed the new owners of McLean & Dickey with open arms.
Read MoreAs he recently admitted, “They’re not clients. They’re friends. When they phone, we talk about their families and catch up. That’s why I enjoy it so much. It’s not work – it’s coming in and talking to your friends.”
Read MoreHeaded by Sylvain Tisi, MD Marine has grown to become Canada’s largest personal watercraft insurance broker and now sells marine insurance across the country.
Read MoreMcLean & Dickey purchased the former Goodwill building on King Street and completely retrofitted it, incorporating as many green initiatives as possible. The company moved into its new offices in early spring 2021.
McLean & Dickey Ltd. celebrated its 100th year in business in 2022. At the same time, the company was recognized by the IBAO (Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario) for its 100 years of membership, a milestone that fewer than 10 other brokerages had attained.
Fast forward to today and McLean & Dickey is Orillia’s leading insurance company and only locally owned independent brokerage. While many things have changed since the company was founded, our reputation for understanding and serving our clients’ needs remains at the forefront of everything we do.
In 2023, the Orillia & District Chamber of Commerce celebrated our 100 years in business by presenting McLean & Dickey with the Milestone Award.