The Professional Independent Agents of Oregon and Idaho held its annual conference last week. Agents and company representatives from around the Northwest and other parts of the country gathered at the Salishan Resort on the beautiful Oregon Coast.
The association gave out its annual agent of the year and company person of the year awards and the blinders award. The agent of the year award is the PIA’s way of recognizing a special individual whose accomplishments exemplify the best qualities an independent insurance agent can possess integrity, dedication and commitment to the members and goals of the PIA.
Dawn Roberts of LeDoux Insurance in Eugene possesses all those attributes and more. She was given the agent of the year award. Dawn has served on the Oregon/Idaho board for several years and is known for paying attention to trends and industry advances.
She has encouraged the PIA to do the same.
In her parting words as the PIA Oregon/Idaho Chairwoman last year, she looked deeply at the changes in the industry and said, “It occurred to me that the best service I have given the PIA Oregon/Idaho may be the advice I’m giving to this association as I step down.”
“We must grow younger,” she said. “To survive and to compete with online insurance purchasing and with a technology that grows ever faster, and ever more complex, we must reach out to a younger generation and share our love of insurance with them.”
The PIA Oregon/Idaho took her advice and with the creation of the Oregon Young Insurance Professionals. That group is now successfully sharing that love of insurance with an ever-growing group of young professionals.
The company person of the year award went to Frank Lukacs of Prime Insurance. It is given each year to a company representative that helps PIA members benefit from the contributions of time, money and expertise that come from our insurance company partners.
In giving the award, PIA Oregon/Idaho Chairman Rich Sorem told Frank Lukacs and the assembled membership, “We love your philosophy — and that of your company. That philosophy is to offer us opportunities to make more money. So rather than kick a hard to place risk to the curb, your company welcomes them into the marketplace. The goal of your company — and you — is to increase the value of our businesses.”
The annual blinders award is given to an underwriter or company person who does the opposite of what this award suggests. They take off the blinders and broaden their vision. The broadening of the vision makes it easier for the rest of us to serve our clients.
Our 2019 Blinder’s Award winner is Eric Vanderveer of Oregon Mutual Insurance. The person nominating him for the award said, “He’s very personable and very professional.”
And in this case professional entails being willing to talk about placing a risk and reviewing that risk and if it can’t be placed, going out of his way to find a way to help.
That’s what a good Blinder’s Award recipient does.
This year’s $500 grand prize winner — courtesy of Liberty Mutual and Safeco — is Joe Hatzel of Abel Insurance in Coos Bay. The Oregon Young Insurance Professionals Weekend Getaway winner is Ross Sturenfeldt, Berkshire Hathaway.
The PIA Oregon/Idaho encourages attendees to take photos with their mobile devices and post them to the event’s mobile app. Cash awards — courtesy of Progressive Insurance — are given for the best posts.
1st Place: Kim Hawkins — $100
2nd Place: Rich Hallock — $50
3rd Place: Wendy Joy — $25
Golf — as always — is a huge reason many attend. These are the winners of the annual Dave Iwata Golf Tournament:
Wolter Van Doorninck
Tied for 4th:
More information about the 2020 Conference will be coming soon.