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InVEST Introduces New Board Members

National financial literacy program key to attracting talent to insurance industry.

Alexandria, Va., Sept. 2, 2010 ‒ InVEST, the insurance industry’s premier classroom to career education program, recently announced the following three new members to its national board.

• Joey O’Connor, CIC, vice president of Insurance Underwriters Ltd.
• Richard E. Dinger, president of Crescenta Valley Insurance Agency
• Michael Emery, manager learning services for Liberty Mutual Agency Markets

  “InVEST is pleased to have Joey, Rick and Mike join our already distinguished group of board members,” says Heather Minkler, InVEST board chair and CEO of Clark-Mortenson Agency, an independent agency in Keene, N.H. “With more than 60% of the insurance industry’s employees over the age of 45 and the need to find new talent becoming more apparent each year, we are confident they will further assist in achieving and implementing InVEST’s mission.”

Joey O’Connor, III, CIC, is a Trusted Choice® insurance advisor for Insurance Underwriters, Ltd. in Metairie, La. He serves as treasurer of his local association, the Independent Insurance Agents of Greater New Orleans and was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Louisiana (IIABL). At the national level, he has served as the State of Louisiana Young Agents chairperson, on the National Young Agents Committee, and on the Best Practices Committee for the Big “I.” He holds a Bachelor of Science from Louisiana State University. 

Rick Dinger is the president of Crescenta Valley Insurance in La Crescenta, Calif. He has long been an active member of his community and in 1999 former U.S. Rep. James Rogan (R-Glendale) asked him to testify in Washington, D.C. before the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary in support of the Small Business Liability Reform Act. In April of 2003, the Big “I” presented Dinger with the InsurPac Young Agent of the Year Award. In February 2009, he was installed and served as president of the Independent Insurance Agent and Brokers of the West (IBA West). 

Mike Emery is manager of learning services for Liberty Mutual Agency Markets in Boston, Mass., and responsible for training and talent management initiatives for employees and agency partners. A major emphasis of his work is developing and implementing solutions to filling the talent pipeline for both the carrier and independent agency communities. Emery joined Liberty Mutual in 1998 and has held a variety of positions in management, organizational and professional development. He holds a Master of Education in psychology from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA from Boston University.

“Continuing growth and success of the InVEST program is critical not only to the future of the independent agency system, but to the insurance industry as a whole,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I’ president & CEO. “We are proud to announce that such talented and top professionals in our industry will be leading InVEST.”

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.

Founded in 1970 and based in Alexandria, Va., InVEST promotes insurance education in order to attract individuals to pursue a career in the insurance industry. Each year, the program prepares thousands of students for insurance-related careers with a hands-on curriculum taught in high schools, adult education centers and community colleges. 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

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:

​127 South Peyton Street
Alexandria VA 22314
​phone: 800.221.7917
fax: 703.683.7556

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