WESTFIELD CENTER, Ohio, July 1, 2009 – The InVEST program awarded Gary Barcher of Bloomfield High School in Bloomfield, Conn. 2009 Teacher of the Year.
“Educators like Gary Barcher are key to the success of the InVEST program but most importantly, the future of our industry,” says Brett Nilsson, Big “I” chairman. “InVEST is the top priority of my chairmanship and crucial to attracting new talent to our industry. With the average age of an insurance professional at 54, we’re counting on Gary’s students and InVEST scholars across the country for our next generation of leaders.”
Barcher earned his bachelor’s degree in business education at American International College and a master’s degree in secondary education at Central Connecticut State University. He is also a graduate of the St. John’s University Griffith Institute’s summer insurance teacher program where he now conducts presentations on InVEST. He is a member of the InVEST Teacher Task Force, volunteering time to write a new InVEST curriculum and has mentored other teachers through the process of setting up INVEST programs. Barcher has taught at Bloomfield High School since 1980. He also coaches the Bloomfield varsity boys basketball team and the co-ed varsity golf team.
“The enthusiasm and creativity Gary brings to the InVEST experience is reflected in the success Bloomfield High School has enjoyed in recruiting students for the program,” says Thomas “Tom” Minkler, Big “I” executive committee member and president of the Clark-Mortenson Agency in Keene, N.H. “Gary has placed great emphasis not only on mastery of insurance principles but on the merits of practical application through a simulation curriculum that includes the various industry occupational roles of agent, underwriter, sales and other professionals.”
The Bloomfield High School insurance simulation program Barcher started has students create business cards, set appointments and overcome objections to sell their insurance product by explaining the benefits of insurance as one means of financial protection and responsibility. Students also price policies and adjust claims to experience the complete sales cycle. Barcher partners with Travelers Insurance and local agents to provide speakers, resources and internships.
Minkler presented at the InVEST State Champion Workshop June 30, 2009 at the Westfield Insurance campus in Westfield Center, Ohio.
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. More information about the InVEST program is available at www.investprogram.org.
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 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, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.