Over 375 IIAN members and company representatives attended "Living The American Dream",
IIAN’s 105th annual convention held at the Younes Conference Center in Kearney, October 10-12. "I was happy to see so many IIAN members from western Nebraska at the convention – especially all of the young agents and first-timers," commented Lisa L. Davis
of Omaha, who was elected and installed as IIAN’s new president during the convention. "Thanks to Annual Convention committee chairperson Maureen Vanis
from Grand Island, and her committee, who did a great job of putting together and excellent program.” Over 70 insurance professionals attended “Customer Service Representative Day” on October 10, with 134 attending the Technology and CE tracks on October 11, and 106 attending the “Automated Agency Procedures” workshop on October 12.
On Wednesday, October 10, 80 golfers, along with 18 hole sponsors, enjoyed nice Nebraska fall weather for the convention Golf Tournament at the exclusive Awarii Dunes golf course in nearby Axtell, chaired by Jeff Allen with Columbia Insurance. Golfers made good use of the Trusted Choice® “valuables pouches” they received compliments of IIAN! In the meantime, back at the Younes Center, over 73 agents and CSR’s earned 8 CEUs and learned about bonds and cyberliability, as well as personal lines situational analysis and management of unusual exposures, at the Hold Advanced Learning seminar on Customer Service Representative Day, presented by popular instructor Lisa Worley.
On Wednesday evening, a crowd of 300 conventioneers and guests visited with 50 exhibitors during the opening Industry Night reception. The “star” of the evening was the Trusted Choice® “Chopper For Charity”, which was custom-built by Orange County Choppers for Trusted Choice® to help raise $150,000 for Make-A-Wish® in August. The Chopper is now touring the country, appearing at Big “I” state conventions and events. IIAN welcomed Kearney-area Make-A-Wish® kids and their families to the reception to see the Chopper, and raised $500 for Make-A-Wish® Nebraska during the evening. A number of exhibitors decorated their booths to complement the “American Dream” theme. Paul Davis Restoration was voted the best by conventioneers, winning the traveling “Exhibitors’ Spirit” award for 2012. Five lucky members who visited every booth won $100 cash each in the final trade fair drawing – Linda Kuhlmann, Carrie Brown, Lorraine Kohtz, Dee Sykora, and Steve Mason!
On Thursday, October 11, agents enjoyed earning 6 CEU’s as they learned how to handle the special personal lines exposures of “baby boomers”, along with strategies for coping with a hardening market, from Lisa Worley. The convention’s Technology track - “Insurance In The Digital World” - featured top national digital marketing experts Marty Agather and Jason Cass, who presented two morning sessions – “Bricks or Clicks”, and “Digital Marketing and Your Agency”, and Cass demonstrated how he is using the new Big “I” marketing initiative – Project CAP – to successfully generate new business. The two moderated an afternoon panel discussion featuring Nebraska agents who are using digital marketing now successfully – Krae Dutoit with Gary Thompson Agency, Jamie Gustafson and Jessical Vogel with SafetyNet Insurance, and Katie Kochenower with Writer Agency. Then IIAN marketing rep Phil Harr moderated a second panel on data security featuring Nathan Waite with SEMCAT, and Bailie Shada and Tim Kiteley with SilverStone Group. In a concurrent Technology track session, Vertafore system users learned how to maximize their MS Office skills, and AMS360 reports, from top trainer Angela Adams.
Following a full day of education, Thursday evening’s Great American Cookout was the premier event of the convention, featuring a fantastic “progressive” feast with food tables hosted by company sponsors, along with “Chasing Change”, the 2nd Annual Live Auction to benefit the IIAN Foundation’s insurance literacy and scholarship programs. Enthusiastic cookout-goers raised over $11,000 as they bid on a wide array of great items, including jewelry, wine, Omaha Steaks, golf equipment, Husker football and volleyball game tickets, autographed Husker player photos and Ndamukong Suh game jersey, and a fine art photo print of the Trusted Choice® Chopper produced by Sartore Studios!
On Friday, October 12, national agency management consultant Virginia Bates presented “Automated Agency Procedures” workshop to 140 attendees. The convention was capped off with the drawing of the winners of two iPad3 prizes – Doug Brummels of Kearney, and Todd Mundhenke of Ainsworth. Conventioneers who joined IIAN’s new “Buck-A-Week” Club to support Big “I” PACs were qualified for the drawing.