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Greg Baker, John Gardner, and Safeco honored at FAIA’s 109th Convention & Education Symposium

(Leadership) Permanent link

A past chairman, an FAIA stalwart, and a Trusted Choice company partner were honored at FAIA’s 109th Anniversary Convention and Education Symposium for their dedication and service to the independent agent community.

Mitchell Stallings Memorial Award

Greg BakerGreg Baker, CPCU, CLU, ChFC, received the 2013 Mitchell Stallings Memorial Award—the highest honor FAIA bestows. Given in memory of FAIA Past Chairman Mitchell Stallings, the award recognizes a lifetime of leadership, integrity, and service to the industry.

Greg joined ThompsonBaker in 1970 and serves as chairman, Commercial Lines account executive, and Agency & Financial Services partner. Greg has served on numerous task forces and councils, and served as chairman of the board of directors in 1999. His service to FAIA did not end, however, when his term on the board expired. Currently, Greg serves on the Pay it Forward Task Force and is vice chairman of the FAIA Good Works Fund Committee.

Greg’s service and volunteer work is not limited to his profession. He has served as mayor of his hometown, St. Augustine; president of his area Chamber of Commerce; trustee for the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida; and chairman of the board of trustees of the Flagler Healthcare System. He’s currently a member of the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center advisory council.

Chairman’s Award

John GardnerJohn Gardner, AAI, president and owner of Lee County Insurance Agency in Fort Myers, received the 2013 Chairman’s Award for his commitment to his fellow agents and the enthusiasm his actions inspire.

Past Chair Cindy Webster established the Chairman’s Award in 2012 to recognize an individual whose attitude, spirit, and efforts inspire others to be their best.

In addition to serving on the FAIA and FMS boards and numerous task forces and councils, John has served on the Automation Task Force for several years, where he regularly volunteers for projects that require an in-depth understanding of insurance technology. He has been a pilot agent for many of FAIA’s proposed programs and is known for bringing information to light that benefits all members.

Trusted Choice Company Partner Award

SafecoSafeco, an original Trusted Choice company partner, received FAIA's 2013 Trusted Choice Company of the Year Award for its commitment to living the brand.

In 2013, Safeco launched a co-branded national advertising campaign featuring Phoebe, an overbearing wife, and Marty, the quiet husband who endures Phoebe’s relentless complaining. The ads ran on ESPN, Discovery Channel, TBS, History, Travel Channel, and Food Network during key prime-time shows like “SportsCenter,” “The Deadliest Catch” and “American Choppers.”

The award winning commercials were well-received and brought awareness to the company, Trusted Choice, and the independent agent system. Watch the ads online.

This Week in Insurance: June 24–28, 2013

(This Week in Insurance) Permanent link

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 

  • Florida Cabinet, Cabinet Meeting Room in the Capitol, Tallahassee. 
  • Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, Miami (Chapman Conference Center, Miami Dade College). 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

  • Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, Board of Governors; 9:00 a.m., Miami (Chapman Conference Center, Miami Dade College). To participate via teleconference, dial 888-942-8686 and use Conference ID 5743735657#. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

New officers, board members elected at 109th Convention

(Leadership) Permanent link

FAIA Installed new officers and gave thanks to its outgoing board members during the Business Breakfast, held in conjunction with the 109th Anniversary Convention & Education Symposium, on June 22, 2013.

New Board Members

  • Paul Mack, CIC, AAI, CRM, president of Mack, Mack & Waltz Insurance Group in Boca Raton;
  • Kevin Mangan, CIC, CRM, AAIM, account production and sales manager of Hugh Cotton Insurance, Orlando; and
  • Billy Wagner, territory manager and agency owner at Brightway Insurance in Ponte Vedre; were elected to three-year terms.

New Officers

  • Sam Rogers, Jr., CPCU, chief executive officer of Rogers, Gunter, Vaughn Insurance, Inc., in Tallahassee, was elected chairman;
  • Veronica Della Porta, CIC, CRIS, CPW, president of The Della Porta Group, Inc., Jacksonville, was elected national director;
  • Chip Green, president and CEO of Green-Hazel Insurance Group in Jacksonville, was elected vice chairman; and
  • Jeff Schlitt, CPCU, CFP, vice president and commercial department manager of Schlitt Insurance Services in Vero Beach, was elected chairman-elect.

Outgoing Board Members

Cycling off the FAIA board are:

  • Ray Bouchard,  
  • Tom Cotton,  
  • Anthony DuBose,  
  • Cindy Webster, and
  • Doug Wiles.

FAIA Chairman John Laurie continues on the board for another year as past chairman.

Congratulations to incoming board members and thank you to outgoing board members for their dedicated service. 

FAIA Good Works Fund announces the Bob Ross Scholarship

(Member News, Good Works Fund) Permanent link

/uploadedImages/FAIA_Site_Home/Media_Center/Ross_Bob.jpgBob Ross, who passed away November 9, 2012, mentored and inspired insurance agents through his informative and entertaining classes, and a scholarship named in his honor will ensure that future insurance students will benefit from Bob’s influence.

Former FAIA Chairman and friend of the Ross family Alex Soto announced the establishment of The Bob Ross Scholarship during General Session of FAIA’s 109th Anniversary Convention & Education Symposium. To be administered by the FAIA Good Works Fund, the scholarship will bring young, energetic people into the Florida insurance industry.

“We are delighted that Bob and Flo’s children are here today, and we are delighted to be launching this scholarship, which will preserve the memory of one of our greatest,” said Soto, who was joined onstage by the five Ross children.

The scholarship is possible through a generous and substantial contribution from the Ross family and BB&T Insurance Services, but it’s not enough, said Soto, to leave a lasting legacy.

“The idea is to raise more than $100,000 in perpetuity to give $5,000 to a worthy student each year,” said Soto. “The scholarship needs my help, and it needs your help.”

Soto asked General Session attendees to complete pledge intention cards after Friday's presentation ended, and an initial tally shows agents and company partners pledged almost $10,000 in one day. 

Donate to the Bob Ross Scholarship.


 Bob and Flo's five children joined Alex Soto on stage to announce the establishment of the Bob Ross Scholarship.


Good Works Fund meets—and exceeds—‘Make it Count’ campaign goal

(Member News, Good Works Fund) Permanent link

/uploadedImages/FAIA_Site_Home/Education/GWFlogo.pngCompany partners, member agencies, and individual agents contributed more than $40,000 to the FAIA Good Works Fund between June of 2012 and June of 2013, more than doubling the fund’s annual contributions and surpassing the “Make it Count” campaign goal set and announced at the 108th Annual Convention & Education Symposium.

Attracting new talent to the American Agency System is necessary to sustain our industry, and offering financial support is a great way to attract that talent. That’s the driving force behind FAIA’s Good Works Fund. Make it Count Campaign contributions will be used to expand support of colleges and universities offering insurance programs, and to fund insurance degree programs at institutes of higher learning that aren’t currently offering them.

The Good Works Fund Committee extends its heartfelt thanks to campaign contributors. Below, Good Works Fund Committee Chairman Bill Gunter describes the Good Works Fund and announces the Make it Count Campaign's success. The video was shown during General Session of FAIA's 109th Annual Convention & Education Symposium.

Learn more about and contribute to FAIA’s Good Works Fund. 

This Week in Insurance: June 17–21, 2013

(This Week in Insurance) Permanent link

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

  • FAIA's Young Agents Council Golf Tournament, Orlando World Center Marriott. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

  • FAIA's 109th Anniversary Convention & Education Symposium, Orlando World Center Marriott. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

  • FAIA's 109th Anniversary Convention & Education Symposium, Orlando World Center Marriott. 

This Week in Insurance: June 10–14, 2013

(This Week in Insurance) Permanent link

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 

  • House District 2 (Pensacola area) special election. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

  • Florida Workers' Compensation JUA, Board of Governors teleconference, 10:00 a.m. To participate in the teleconference meeting, please contact Kathy Coyne at (941) 378-7408. 

Lorrie Partridge honored with the 2013 InVEST Dach Award

(Member News, InVEST, Leadership) Permanent link

Lorrie PartridgeLorrie Partridge, president of Blackadar Insurance Agency in Longwood, has been selected as the 2013 InVEST Dach Award recipient. 

The award, named in memory of the program’s founder, Stephen Dach, honors an insurance industry volunteer who has made tremendous contributions in fostering the growth and development of InVEST. The honoree receives a $1,000 cash prize to be used in his or her InVEST classroom.  Lorrie will receive her official award at the Big "I" Leadership Conference in San Antonio in September. 

About InVEST

Founded in 1970 and based in Alexandria, Va., InVEST promotes insurance education in order to attract individuals to pursue a career in the insurance industry. Each year, the program prepares thousands of students for insurance-related careers with a hands-on curriculum taught in high schools, adult education centers and community colleges.


Oklahoma agents receive disaster relief from FAIA Good Works Fund

(Member News, Good Works Fund) Permanent link
The mission of FAIA’s Good Works Fund includes providing disaster relief to fellow agents, and last week, the Fund contributed $5,000 in disaster assistance to the Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma Insurance Foundation. 

“Thank you just doesn’t cover it,” said Malinda Day, chief financial officer of the Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma (IIAO). “I know I speak for all of us affected here, we truly appreciate your support.”

The need is great. An EF5 tornado leveled entire subdivisions and struck two elementary schools in Moore, OK., on May 20, killing 24 people. A second tornado struck the outskirts of Moore and Oklahoma City on May 31, making a bad situation worse.

“Thank you for your generosity,” said IIAO President Dan Ramsey, CIC. “There are people in great need in our state—these funds will be appreciated so very much.”

This Week in Insurance: June 3–7, 2013

(This Week in Insurance) Permanent link

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

  • Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, Claims Committee teleconference, 1:30 p.m. To participate, call 1-866-361-7525 and use Conference ID 5219676193#. 

Friday, June 7, 2013