ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 6, 2012 – InVEST, the insurance industry’s premier classroom to career education program, recently announced that Phil Swettenham has joined its national board. Swettenham is Westfield Insurance distribution leader.
“InVEST is proud to announce Phil Swettenham has joined our distinguished group of board members,” says Heather Minkler, InVEST board chair and CEO of Clark-Mortenson Agency, an independent agency in Keene, N.H. “Phil’s industry development expertise and diverse professional experience will be a huge asset to the InVEST board.”
Swettenham joined Westfield in 2001 as an information technology relationship manager, and spent two years leading central division claims before joining the Westfield marketing team in 2007. Prior to joining Westfield, he spent 12 years in the automotive manufacturing industry, and several years as a quality process and customer service consultant to the North American manufacturing and service industries. He earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and management from the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology. A native of Yorkshire, England, Phil relocated to the U.S. in 1988, and now resides in Richfield, Ohio.
“InVEST is critically important not just to the future of the independent agency system, but to the insurance industry as a whole,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) president & CEO. “Survey results from the Agency Universe Study by Future One (a collaboration of the Big ‘I’ and leading independent agency companies) pointed to InVEST as crucial to the future of the industry, with a majority of respondents stating the insurance industry should encourage high schools and community colleges to help students plan for insurance careers. Educators, volunteers, agents and industry leaders, like Philip Swettenham, are key to the success of this program.”
Swettenham replaced Pat Schiesswohl, Westfield group marketing leader, as the carrier’s representative on the InVEST board. Schiesswohl recently retired after a distinguished career in the industry that included almost 30 years with Westfield.
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 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 approximately a quarter of a million 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.