NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 21—Further maximizing its effort to foster a profitable independent agency force that reflects, represents, and capitalizes on the opportunities of the diverse U.S. population, IIABA’s joint-industry Diversity Task Force unveiled its Diversity Professional Development Series today at the New Orleans InfoXchange.
“IIABA is the industry leader on diversity,” said Joe Hernandez, vice president of HMBD Insurance, Inc., in Long Beach, Calif., and chairman of the task force. “The creation of the Diversity Professional Development Series is the first step in moving the diversity initiative forward.
“The series provides valuable opportunities for minority and urban agents to obtain the training necessary to move farther and faster as an independent agent, and offers innovative ways for them to boost their business, increase their sales and strengthen their careers,” Hernandez added.
The Diversity Professional Development Series will first be offered in January.
IIABA’s Diversity Agents Professional Practice Curriculum was developed to help minority and urban agents increase their skills as business leaders by continually challenging them as students to develop leadership skills, sales and service acumen, business management expertise, proactive attitudes and the confidence to excel as a professional in the agency system. Using expert content from highly regarded insurance agency management and sales programs and quality educators, the program is intended for both prospective and practicing agents and will require 64 hours of study during a 12-month period.
The Diversity Professional Development Series preview was preceded by the IIABA Diversity Luncheon, where agents and company representatives from across the country shared experiences, insights and ideas about how to deal with the issues and challenges they face everyday.
The Diversity Task Force is a cooperative industry group comprising IIABA agents, seven leading insurance companies—CNA, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, Encompass Insurance, MetLife Auto & Home, Prudential Property & Casualty, SAFECO Insurance Company, and Travelers Insurance—and members of organizations representing Latin American, African-American, and Asian-American agents.
The task force is committed to promoting diversity within the agent community as well as the company ranks, and to increasing market presence in emerging urban and minority communities. Task force participants have created a strategic plan that will position urban and minority-owned agencies for company appointments and ultimate success while also aligning insurance companies with greater business opportunities in emerging urban markets.
The New Orleans InfoXchange, IIABA’s showcase meeting, features an exclusive reception and lunch for Trusted ChoiceSM agencies and company/strategic partners; a compelling company CEO panel; a wide variety of innovative continuing-education (CE) classes offering 19 CE credits; several prominent guest speakers; one of the largest exhibit halls in the insurance industry; numerous networking opportunities; and many other exciting events. The event runs through Tuesday.
Founded in 1896, IIABA is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 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 and health—as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.