InVEST® has appointed Deborah Pickford, who previously served as Allstate Insurance Company’s senior field corporate relations manager, as executive director.
As Allstate’s chief communication officer, Pickford was responsible for overseeing regional business growth strategy as part of the senior leadership team in the Capital Region. She also led the regional advisory board that counsels Allstate’s more than 600 independent small business owners on growth strategies and received an Allstate Innovation Award for developing and implementing an integrated national business community involvement program.
“We are excited work with Deborah Pickford as InVEST continues to grow in its mission to educate students about the insurance industry and provide financial literacy,” says Cindy Hower, InVEST board chair and president of Kellerman Insurance in Holton, Kansas.
Pickford served as chair of the board for DriveSmart Virginia for five years and won a traffic safety champion’s award last September for her work on highway safety. She recently graduated from the University of Virginia’s Sorenson Institute for Political Leadership and led FEMA’s FloodSmart program including overseeing projects, budgets, staff and communication.
Pickford will replace Diane Mattis, who served as InVEST executive director since 2010 and will retire effective April 1.
“The future of the independent insurance agency system and the industry as a whole depends on attracting new talent, and InVEST plays a huge role in this development,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “In order for the program to continue succeeding, we must count on a strong leadership team and staff. We are excited to welcome Deborah on board and grateful to Diane Mattis for her service to the association at the state and national levels. We congratulate Diane on her retirement.”