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May 04
Big ‘I’ Recognizes Nebraska, North Dakota for Outstanding Membership Efforts

At the annual issues briefing yesterday during the Big "I" Legislative Conference, Spencer Houldin, Big "I" chairman, presented two new awards to recognize state associations that have gone above and beyond in their membership initiatives.

The Big "I" created the Big "I" Membership Growth Award to recognize the state association that gained the highest percentage of net new members in the previous year. The first-ever recipient is the Independent Insurance Agents of North Dakota (IIAND) for increasing membership by 14.8% in 2016.

Last year, IIAND started a new Young Agents program spearheaded by a motivated young agent leader and gained 10 new agency members as a direct result of Young Agents events. IIAND also recruited younger members to serve on the state's board of directors and, thanks to a renewed focus on member service, even "poached" former members of competing associations.

Similarly, the new Big "I" Membership Champion Award recognizes a state association for exemplary membership recruitment and retention initiatives. The 2016 recipient is the Independent Insurance Agents of Nebraska (IIAN) for increasing membership by 12.9% in 2016.

Last year, IIAN worked with national and Swiss Re Corporate Solutions to launch an email marketing campaign around prospective members' errors & omissions expiration dates, then followed up with office visits and applications. The process resulted in IIAN gaining the business of about 20% of the prospects they contacted. All IIAN staff members are involved in onboarding members.

"Member recruitment and retention has been a big focus during my chairmanship," Houldin said before presenting the awards. "I'm happy to report that our renewed focus on membership at the state and national levels is yielding results."

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