Summer 2012 E-News

Education Weekly

Summer 2012

news & notes

YACs lead by example with SmartStart campaign

SS4K logo

It’s time for the Young Agents Council SmartStart4Kids back-to-school drive! Since the school-supply initiative started three years ago, Young Agents Council members have collected more than $75,000 in supplies for deserving children throughout the state. For 2012, we’ve upped the ante with a goal of collecting $30,000 in school supplies.

Here’s how it works: Throughout the month of July, FAIA member agencies in each of the 11 YAC zones stock up on school supplies—anything from backpacks to binders—and deliver them to the nearest drop off location. Items are assigned point values, and the zone and agency with the most points earn extra cash to donate to their zone’s recipient organization. All recipient organizations are non-profit groups that serve low-income families, single-parent homes, homeless shelters, and foster children.

Go online to find the points value and tracking list, plus a list of zone coordinators, drop-off locations, and recipient organizations. The contest is open to all FAIA member agencies, but only those with YAC members can win. Not a YAC member yet? Join now!

Special thanks to all the company members who donated promotional items and supplies from the 108th Convention, and to our 2011 sponsors!

Your attention, please!
  • Announcing the inaugural Young Agents Council Award winners: Congratulations to LeeAnn Dugan, AIAM, Strategic Insurance Services, 2012 Young Agent of the Year; Alicia Rosier, CLCS, Gulfstream Property & Casualty Insurance Co., Young Agent Company Individual of the Year; and Gulfstream Property and Casualty Insurance Co., Young Agent Company Partner of the Year.

  • Leadership program accepting applications: 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 Oct. 26.

young agent Q&A

Meet new YAC Chairman Dusty Johnson

Jennifer McWhinnie

Donald H. Johnson, AAI, better known as Dusty, is the 2012–2013 chairman of the Young Agents Council. Dusty has served as the YAC Golf Tournament chairman, and on FAIA’s Agent & Agency Issues and Market & Industry Issues task forces.

Q. What attracted you to this business?

A. Even though I am working in the family business, I wasn’t originally planning on being in the insurance industry. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Finance intent on becoming a financial adviser. During my junior year of college, I started working part time at Tower Hill Insurance Group, and after working there for a little over a year and a half, I realized I liked this type of work. I pursued a 2–20 license, and while I was studying for it, a position opened up back home for a commercial lines producer. I moved back in January 2006 and have enjoyed every minute of it since.

Q. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

A. I hope to either become a principal for my family agency or start my own agency.

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

A. If I wasn’t an insurance agent, I would have followed my original carrier path choice and become a financial adviser.

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

A. I’m actually kind of a shy person. Most people say I have an outgoing personality, but I think I’m more shy than outgoing at times.

Q. What is your guilty pleasure?

A. BBQ and sweets.

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

A. I would love to get my pilot’s license.

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

A. Strap in and hold on! Here in Florida there is never a dull moment and the industry is always changing. For someone starting on the sales side, I would highly recommend networking, networking, networking! Network not only in your local community, but also get involved in various industry associations. Business is not just going to walk through the front door; you have to go out and work hard to find it. Don’t think this is an 8–5 type job; you are always working…looking around to see where opportunities may be.

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

A. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, whether it’s talking with a prospect/client or a co-worker. Try to determine what questions they may pose during your conversation or understand what they may be going through.

Q. What is your customer service pet peeve?

A. It’s a toss-up between too much e-mailing and not proofreading. It drives me crazy when someone sends an e-mail and waits for a response for hours when they can just as quickly call to get the issue resolved in a matter of minutes. Not proofreading a document, e-mail, letter, etc., is another thing that tends to get me. I can’t even count how many times I have read something and thought to myself “Is this from an adult or an elementary student?”

Q. What are you reading?

A. “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent.


CALENDAR of events

Wednesday, July 11: Miami Young Agents cocktail reception, 7:00–10:00 p.m., Doral Golf Resort, Miami.

Thursday, July 12: Zone 5 reception, CRAVE, 6:00–8:00 p.m.

Thursday, July 19: IIAPBC luncheon, noon–1:00 p.m., Embassy Suites Hotel, West Palm Beach.

Saturday, July 28: Zone 6 SS4K Drop-off Event, 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., Office Depot Parking Lot, 5463 Waters Ave., Tampa.

Thursday, Aug. 16: IIAPBC luncheon, noon–1:00 p.m., Embassy Suites Hotel, West Palm Beach.

Aug. 9–11: FAIA 2012 Planning Session, Don CeSar, St. Pete Beach.

Thursday, Sept. 6: Big I Young Agents Leadership Institute, 7:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Atlanta.

Thursday, Sept. 20: Pinellas Association of Insurance Agents Big I Day.

Thursday, Sept. 20: IIAPBC luncheon, noon–1:00 p.m., Embassy Suites Hotel, West Palm Beach.

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

leadership corner icon

leadership corner

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

Ask no more of others than you ask of yourself: Part of creating a climate to grow potential leaders is modeling leadership. Read more.

Five leadership tips for 2012: Listening (the opposite of talking) and unlearning (it’s OK to be wrong or to change your mind) are just two of the tips. Find out what the others are.

Secrets to effective leadership: Giving credit where credit is due, empower and support, and treat others as you expect to be treated. Want more food for leadership thought? Experts offer their secrets for leadership success.

Send article suggestions to Melissa Champany.

philanthropy spotlight

Since 2009, Voices for Children has been the recipient of SmartStart4Kids donations from Zone 6 (Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, and Polk counties).

Every year, abused, neglected, and abandoned children enter the court system. Florida’s Guardian ad Litem program provides volunteer advocates for these children, but can serve only about 67 percent of them. Voices for Children provides volunteer guardians the financial means necessary to dedicate their time. Learn how you can help on the Voices for Children website.