Fall 2012 E-News

Education Weekly

Fall 2012

news & notes

Leaders Series debuts Oct. 3

Tampa-area young agents have been very busy getting ready to launch FAIA's first Leaders Series event, which will take place Wednesday, October 3, at the InterContinental Hotel in Tampa.

Organized and run by the Young Agents Council and designed for agency owners and key staff, the Tampa event will feature state Representatives Dana Young and Janet Cruz, and state Senator Jack Latvala in a panel discussion about local, state, and national politics. FAIA Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Kyle Ulrich will moderate the discussion, which starts at noon. A continuing education class, "Cyber Liability," follows at 2:00 p.m.

A $25 registration fee covers the luncheon and the class. For more information or to register, visit the Leaders Series online.

Your attention, please!
  • Deadline to apply for leadership program approaching—Ready to take your career to the next level? Florida's Future Insurance Leaders is an immersion program designed to attract high caliber agents and help them develop and build on leadership skills through education and mentorship. Criteria for admission and the application for the 2012–2013 class are available online. The application deadline is October 26.

  • Countdown to November: Contribute to InsurPac—Thanks to nuisance television commercials and constant solicitations for campaign donations, most people shy away from the greatness that is the American political system. Young Agents Council members, however, aren't most people. Leaders in their respective communities and their industry, YAC members unite to assert their influence through political action committees such as InsurPac. InsurPac operates separately from but is affiliated with the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America. It collects the voluntary contributions from independent agents nationwide and uses those dollars to fight for the best interests of its donors in the halls of American government. It is critically important that young agents participate, even in the smallest of ways, to help put value back into the American dollar and take control of their professional destinies. Find out how you can contribute on FAIA's website.

young agent Q&A

Meet Vice-Chair Jennifer McWhinnie

Jennifer McWhinnie

Jennifer McWhinnie, CIC, PIAM, CPIA, CPIW, is the 2012–2013 chair-elect of the Young Agents Council. A graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University and the Florida's Future Insurance Leaders program, Jennifer lives with her husband Mac and their Beagles in Tampa, where she is a Premier Client Manager with Willis of Florida.

Q. What attracted you to this business?

A. The obstacles that we overcome as agents.  I love a challenge.  I stay in this business because it evolves. Every. Single. Day. I get excited when underwriting changes are announced and new legislation is drafted that will affect our industry.  It's great to be able to educate clients, and they genuinely appreciate our guidance.

Q. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

A. Chairing the FAIA board while working in a larger capacity for the Willis Private Client division.  I've enjoyed collaborating with other Willis Client Managers across the country to assist their clients who have interests in Florida, and would like to expand that role.

Q. If you weren’t an insurance agent, what would be?

A. A lobbyist.

Q. What would people be surprised to know about you?

A. I could live on a meal of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, goldfish crackers, and Mint Milano cookies.

Q. What is your guilty pleasure?

A. "The Newsroom" and other Aaron Sorkin dramas. I've asked for the entire "West Wing" series DVDs for Christmas.  Three times…

Q. What is the No. 1 thing on your bucket list?

A. Meet Dave Matthews.

Q. What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the insurance business?

A. To be patient and understand that it is okay to learn from your mistakes. Just be sure to learn from them, and not repeat them.

Q. What is the best professional advice you’ve ever received?

A. You get more bees with honey. This industry is based on relationships and your reputation will follow you through your career.

Q. What is your customer service pet peeve?

A. Billing issues. Math is not my forte. I was a communications major, so I don't have a ton of patience for accounting stuff. I love the connections that we have with our clients though. We celebrate their new home, new boat, when their children get their license, go to college, etc. I'm just not the person to explain the payment plans, pro-rated additional premiums, or installment fees that follow all of those wonderful events.

Q. What are you reading?

A. "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn.


CALENDAR of events

Tuesday, October 2: IIA of South Florida "Night at the Marlins," 4:00–10:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 3: FAIA Leaders Series, noon–4:00 p.m., InterContinental Hotel, Tampa.

Wednesday, October 3: Zone 6 Happy Hour, 4:00–7:00 p.m., InterContinental Hotel.

Wednesday, October 10: Miami YAC Networking Event, 6:00–8:00 p.m., Bougainvillea's Old Florida Tavern.

Wednesday, October 17: IIA of Broward County Legislative "Meet the Candidates" Luncheon, noon–2:00 p.m., Ft. Lauderdale Country Club.

Thursday, October 18: 2012 IIA of Greater Tampa Fall Scholarship Classic, 10:30 a.m.–8:00 p.m., The Claw at USF.

Thursday, October 18: IIA of Palm Beach County Luncheon, noon–1 p.m., Embassy Suites Hotel, West Palm Beach.

Wednesday, October 24: IIA of Central Florida Legislative Luncheon, noon–1:00 p.m., Harry P. Leu Gardens, Orlando.

Thursday, October 25: IIA of South Florida Big "I" Day, starting at noon, Normandy Shores Golf Club, Miami Beach.

Thursday, November 8: YAC Zone 7 Networking Event, 5:00–8:00 p.m.,The Mandarin, Vero Beach.

Thursday, November 15: IIA of Broward County Annual Bowling Event, details TBA.

Visit the YAC Calendar in the Community for a full schedule of upcoming events.

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leadership corner

Leadership development underpins nearly everything we do. The following links feature blog posts and articles related to leadership:

The Washington Post "On Leadership" section. The site features blog posts, articles about leadership, Q&As, video and more.

10 Characteristics of Superior Leaders: See if you have what it takes.

Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: From Leadership Now's Leading Blog.

Send article suggestions to Melissa Champany.