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Travelers Sales Executive Presented with Dach Award

John Gist volunteers with program which helps attract talent to insurance industry.

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 25, 2011 – The InVEST program awarded John Gist, Travelers of Florida sales executive, with the Dach Award which honors an insurance industry volunteer who has made tremendous contributions in fostering the growth and development of InVEST. The program is a key driver to attract new talent to the insurance industry.

Gist has been involved with the InVEST Program at St. Petersburg Catholic High School in St. Petersburg, Fla. for more than 10 years. He assists with two InVEST classes that have a total of 60 students each year and his work has improved and grown the program. Gist has also served as a local InVEST committee member for the past 10 years.

“InVEST is a group effort and great mentors and volunteers, like John Gist, are the backbone of this wonderful program which is so critical for the success of the industry,” says Heather Minkler, chair of the National InVEST board of directors and CEO of Clark-Mortenson Agency, an independent insurance agency in Keene, N.H. “We are so grateful for John’s contributions as a Florida InVEST committee member and classroom volunteer. His presentations on marketing and sales to the students at St. Petersburg Catholic High School are a highlight of the program.  His lessons cultivate intellectual curiosity and result in students pursuing careers in the field and becoming better educated insurance consumers.”

Gist plays a critical role in St. Petersburg Catholic High School’s InVEST program, which is presented as a simulation course where students run mock agencies. He primarily works with the marketing and sales portion of the course where he helps students create names, logos and slogans for their mock agencies. In addition to his classroom volunteer work, Gist volunteers as a judge for local scholarship awards.

The Dach award is named in memory of the program’s founder, Stephen Dach, and the honoree receives a $1,000 cash prize to be used in his or her InVEST classroom.

“I firmly believe that the future of our industry depends on attracting new talent and InVEST is a major part of this development,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “We need InVEST industry professionals like John Gist to continue stepping up to train, inspire and teach the next generation of industry leaders.”

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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