Just over 400 IIAN members, company representatives, and industry leaders attended IIAN's 110th annual convention held at the Embassy Suites in Lincoln, October 11-13. "It was great to see so many IIAN members from all across the state at the convention especially over 80 young agents and 36 first-timers," commented Greg Zimmer of Lincoln, who was elected and installed as IIAN's new president during the convention. "Thanks to Annual Convention committee chairperson Michael Luna, AIP, and all of our Convention committee members, for putting together such a fun and educational event." Committee members are Benjamin Anderson, AIP; Brian Bradley; Mindy Haag; Jon Hongsermeier, AIP; Machell Naylor; Julie Richt, CIC; Riley Tonkin, CPCU, CIC; and Mark Weidner.
The convention started with a bang on October 11 with a record-breaking golf fundraiser at Woodland Hills near Eagle, along with a concurrent CISR CE session Elements of Risk Management presented by veteran instructor Chuck Hembree. The day was capped off with Happy Hour at iconic Husker bar Barry's in the Lincoln Haymarket. The 22nd Annual IIAN Foundation golf tournament in memory of Jay Jacupke, was packed with 144 golfers, 34 hole sponsors, and 13 event sponsors and raised over $22,000 to support the Big "I" Talent Network program and scholarships.
CE sessions were packed on October 12 with national insurance experts Jerry Kennedy presenting the Personal Lines Hot Topics, and Angie Heavener presenting Falling Through The CGL Cracks D&O/Fiduciary/EPL/E&O/Cyber Liability. Nebraska Insurance Director Bruce Ramge and State Senator Mark Kolterman of Seward were the featured speakers at the Leadership Luncheon and Annual Meeting, along with IIABA Chairman Vaughn Graham from Tulsa, Oklahoma giving members an update on agent legislative issues in Nebraska and Washington, D.C. And IIAN's "nextgen" Young Agents sponsored two sessions Boost Your Online Marketing presented by Sydney Roe, and Increase Your Marketing ROI 8-10x presented by Steve Maly, followed by a "nextgen" networking reception and fun wine bottle ring toss to raise funds for IIAN's political action committee.
Then the "Oktoberfest" fun really began with the trade fair, where members visited with 58 exhibitors, filled their bags with swag and munched on pretzels, German sausage and potato skins. Employers' Halloween theme was voted the best-decorated booth, and four lucky members who visited all 58 booths each won $100.
Following the trade fair, conventioneers filled the "Oktoberfest" hall, and enjoyed tasting beers from three Lincoln breweries, and a buffet feast featuring schnitzel, sauerbraten, dumplings, and German chocolate cake, while IIAN's annual award winners and professional designation achievers were recognized. A live auction to benefit Big "I" advocacy capped off the evening, raising just under $5,000.
IIAN Past Presidents line up for recognition at the Oktoberfest Awards Dinner.
The new Big "I" loss control seminar presented by Heavener - "E&O: Roadmap to Policy Analysis" - dominated the CE program on October 13, while another "nextgen" sponsored program "Your Agency In 2030 The World Is Changing" was presented by agency management guru Mary Eisenhart Belka. IIABA Chairman Vaughn Graham installed IIAN's new officers during the President's Luncheon on October; and new President Greg Zimmer presented outgoing President Krae Dutoit with a plaque in appreciation of his service to IIAN during the past year. Graham and Zimmer wrapped up the convention with heart-felt presentations about their visions for the association in the coming year and beyond.
And finally, Graham drew the lucky winner of the raffle to support Big "I" PAC'S Vincent Christensen, IIAN's Nebraska PAC chairman, won the Green Bay v. Tampa Bay football weekend package raffle prize lifting the total raised during the convention to $10,880!
Photo: Vincent Christensen is the "Big Cheese" PAC Raffle Winner!
Below: Jim Cavanaugh, Vaughn Graham, Sen. John Lowe, Carol McClelland, Greg Zimmer, and Krae Dutoit - lining up for the President's luncheon.