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InVEST Introduces New Board Members
Abate and Browne bring decades of industry experience to program’s leadership.
ALEXANDRIA, Va.InVEST Abate.png, Sept. 3, 2013 – InVEST, the insurance industry’s premier classroom to career education program, recently announced that Mike J. Abate and Patricia A. Browne have joined its national board. Abate is MetLife Retail P&C Division assistant vice president. Browne is MetLife Property and Casualty Retail Division senior national sales manager.
 
“InVEST is pleased to announce that Mike J. Abate and Patricia A. Browne have joined our distinguished board of directors,” says Heather Minkler, InVEST board immediate past chair and CEO of Clark-Mortenson Agency, an independent agency in Keene, N.H. “Together, Mike and Patricia bring more than 40 years of experience in the industry to our board and we look forward to drawing from their expertise to improve and grow this wonderful program.”
 
Abate currently heads MetLife’s National Agency Sales Division, an industry leading virtual operation that delivers consultative sales and marketing support for more than 4,000 independent agencies as primary source of distribution. He started his MetLife career in 1993 in underwriting and has climbed through the ranks in various positions including product and project management. He was promoted to assistant vice president in 2011. The Cleveland, Ohio native earned his bachelor of business administration in marketing and management from The University of INVEST Browne.pngCincinnati.
 
Browne oversees a national independent agency distribution operation for MetLife where she is responsible for leadership development, coaching, consultative sales skills, as well as new business development, marketing and long-term growth strategies. She also facilitates workshops and has delivered keynote messages on insurance and economic empowerment issues to audiences around the country. Browne is a licensed financial professional registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. and serves on the boards for Junior Achievement of Central Maryland and the National Association of African American Insurance Advisors, D.C. Chapter. She also chairs the Henry McNeal Turner Scholarship Fund at her church.  Browne earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and a MBA with a concentration in organization development from Johns Hopkins University.
  
“InVEST is critically important not just to the future of the independent agency system, but to the insurance industry as a whole,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) president & CEO. “Educators, volunteers, agents and industry leaders, like Mike J. Abate and Patricia A. Browne, are key to the success of this program. We applaud and thank them for their commitment to this critical program.”
 
As a 501(c)(3) educational trust, InVEST benefits from the support of numerous insurance organizations, hundreds of agencies, brokers and volunteers. The program provides the insurance industry with motivated, talented and intelligent professionals through a support structure of state associations, board members, national staff, teachers and the many industry professionals who work in the field as classroom liaisons.
 
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 colleges. The high school curriculum is a business-education program that utilizes a hands-on approach which simulates an insurance agency and company operations to prepare students for various business careers and create more knowledgeable insurance consumers. At the college level, InVEST is an information-intensive curriculum of risk management and financial services. These courses provide students with a working knowledge of the basics needed to pursue careers in the insurance industry. For more information, go to www.investprogram.org.
 
Founded in 1896, the Big “I” is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of approximately a quarter of a million agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.
 
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