October 25-27, 2016
It was a "Spooktacular" event!
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2016 Exhibitor and Attendee Directory.pdf
Just over 400 IIAN members and company representatives attended IIAN's 109th annual convention held at the Younes Convention Center in Kearney, October 25-27. "It was great to see so many IIAN members from 'greater Nebraska' at the convention especially over 110 young agents and 68 first-timers," commented Krae Dutoit of Grand Island, who was elected and installed as IIAN's new president during the convention. "Thanks to Annual Convention committee chairperson Peggy McDonald, CIC and all of our Convention committee members, for putting together such a fun and educational event."
The convention started with a special appearance by U.S. Congressman Adrian Smith, who met privately with IIAN Circle of Eagles members, and then addressed members on national issues and upcoming elections during lunch on October 25.
After sessions on digital marketing, customer service, sales, and professional development for young professionals presented by top agency experts Mary Belka, Sydney Roe, and Paula Skartland - members joined area Make-A-Wish kids decked out in their Halloween costumes at the trade fair, visited with 60 exhibitors, and filled their bags with swag and treats. Method Insurance's "scary clown cave" was voted the best-decorated booth, and four lucky members who visited all 60 booths each won $100.
CE sessions were packed on October 26 with national insurance gurus Keith Wilts presenting the Top 10 Personal Lines & Commercial Lines issues, and Catherine Trischan presenting Cyber Liability and Certificates of Insurance. Then the Halloween fun really began with a unique beer and wine tasting event, live auction to benefit Big "I" advocacy, and Awards Dinner - all capped off by a "spirited" costume contest judged by Peggy McDonald, John Deardorff, and Mark Weidner. Machell Naylor's amazing "Trusted Choice Eagle" was the grand prize winner, with Roxie Roth as a scary Red Riding Hood taking second, and Julie Richt and Rob Hynek coming in third as traffic cops.
"Bushwood Country Club vs. Danny Noonan's No Risk Insurance Agency", based on characters from the comedy film classic "Caddyshack", dominated the CE program on October 27. The mock E&O trial starred The Big "I" Thespians John Deardorff, Tom Greco, Mindy Haag, Brenda Kaiser, Michael Luna, Peggy McDonald, Machell Naylor, and Mark Weidner with real-life attorneys Sean Minahan and Cathy Trent-Vilim for the prosecution and defense, and IIAN's Jim Cavanaugh as the judge. IIAN's Jeremiah Gudding served as narrator, and the audience was the "jury". Unfortunately, in this case the jury found for the prosecution, and against the insurance agency. Conventioneers also attended CE sessions on Time Element and Drones presented by top instructor Jay Williams.
Past IIAN president Tom Greco, CPCU, CIC, second from left, installed IIAN's new officers during the President's Luncheon on October 27 - Sandra Ryks, left, Secretary-Treasurer; Greg Zimmer, second from right, Vice President; and Krae Dutoit, far right, President. (They look happy, don't they?!) New President Dutoit presented outgoing President Michael E. Jones, CIC with a plaque in appreciation of his service to IIAN during the past year.
IIABA's Vice President of Federal Government Affairs Jen McPhillips was the keynote speaker, and addressed top national agent legislative issues, including the new U.S. Department of Labor overtime rules set to go into effect on December 1. McPhillips drew the lucky winner of the raffle to support Big "I" PAC'S Jim Cavanaugh, IIAN's own legislative representative, won the Samsung curved 4k Ultra HD TV with HDR!