ALEXANDRIA, VA, Nov. 20 - Larry Acord, a seasoned industry veteran with 25 years of experience in company and agency branding and marketing, is the new vice president of Trusted ChoiceSM, announces Robert A. Rusbuldt, CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA), today.
Acord, who formerly was vice president of sales and communications for National Grange Mutual, a subsidiary of the Main Street America Group, assumed his new post this week.
Trusted ChoiceSM is the consumer marketing brand created by IIABA and independent agency companies to educate consumers that Trusted ChoiceSM agencies provide them with the qualities they value from an insurance provider—choice, customization and advocacy.
“Larry brings a wealth of unique experience to Trusted ChoiceSM that will be indispensable as he takes the branding program to its next level of achievement,” says Rusbuldt. “Larry was intimately involved in the development of Trusted ChoiceSM as an executive of an insurance company partner in the program and played a key advisory role with the brand since it was introduced to the industry and consumers. This knowledge will allow him to hit the ground running as we work to encourage more agencies and brokerages as well as companies to join the growing Trusted ChoiceSM branding movement.”
“We are very pleased to have someone of Larry’s industry stature taking the reins of the Trusted ChoiceSM branding program,” says IIABA Executive Vice President Debra L. Perkins. “Larry is highly regarded by his industry peers for his expertise on agency and brand management. He will be an invaluable contributor to our team and will do an outstanding job marketing Trusted ChoiceSM to IIABA members and their company partners and promoting the brand to consumers.”
In addition to his work for Main Street America Group, Acord served on several industry commissions and has received awards in recognition of his contributions to the future of the industry and the independent agency system. He also served as a member of IIABA’s Future One Board of Directors, Council for Best Practices and the Association’s former National Communications Program.
Acord began his career in insurance at Allstate as an agent and held several field- and home-office leadership positions at the company, including in its independent agency channel.
Acord joined National Grange Mutual in 1997 as vice president of marketing and was promoted to vice president of sales and communications in 2001. He is a seasoned professional with expertise in sales effectiveness, agency management/leadership and business planning.
Six national insurers have joined Trusted ChoiceSM: Encompass Insurance, Kemper Insurance, MetLife Auto & Home, Progressive, SAFECO and The Hartford.
Eleven regional companies are Trusted ChoiceSM partners: California Insurance Group, Cascade National Insurance, Central Insurance Companies, Kentucky National Insurance, MSA Group, Merchants Insurance Group, National Security Fire & Casualty, Ohio Casualty Insurance, Rutgers Casualty Insurance, Selective Insurance Group and Summit Insurance (R.I.). Also, InsurBanc, a federal thrift bank created by IIABA, is a Trusted ChoiceSM strategic partner.
The Trusted ChoiceSM brand will be promoted nationally in 2003 through a combination of advertising, insurance company as well as agent and broker ingredient branding, public relations, agency marketing and Internet communications. All national media will direct consumers to www.TrustedChoice.com , where they will find a cutting-edge Agency Locator and up-to-date consumer information on numerous insurance topics.
Trusted ChoiceSM is the consumer marketing identity for nearly 3,000 participating independent insurance agencies and brokerages and their branch locations. These firms offer a choice of insurance companies and policies, customization of policy coverage and advocacy. Trusted ChoiceSM was created by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA), the nation’s oldest and most-respected agent and broker association, and is supported by 18 partners—17 insurance companies and one strategic partner. www.TrustedChoice.com