IIAOK > The Exec's Corner
With the 2014 Primary Election behind us I thought you should know that OKPAC is batting 1.000 for this election cycle! OKPAC endorsed and provided financial support for Insurance Commissioner John Doak and extends him our heartiest congratulations on a landslide victory! Two IIAO members made it through the first round - Darcy Jech from Kingfisher,who is running for Senate District #26, and Jeff Coody from Grandfield, who is running for House District #63. They both had tight races and it is so good to see them advance to the General Election in November. Runoff elections will be held for 12 legislative seats in late August - then the final sprint to November. In addition to those mentioned above, OKPAC has provided financial support to the re-election of Senator Mark Allen, Senator Brian Bingman, Senator Randy Bass, Representative Paul Wesselhoft, Representative Aaron Stiles, Representative David Dank, Representative Lewis Moore, and former Representative George Faught. It takes money to provide this sort of support. We have the Runoff and General Elections ahead of us and could use your help. Please go to the Government Affairs section of our website and click on the Political Action section to download your contributor statement - then send your check or credit card information. We welcome any contributions regardless of size - we need your help! Thanks.
Round 1 of the 2014 election cycle is upon us! Many races will be decided in the primary election next Tuesday, so it is important that you become informed and vote! Many times you can find yourselves in the voting booth without a clue as to which candidate to vote for (been there/done that), but there are some new tools available to help you. The REID report is a non-partisan, easy to understand scorecard, that helps inform voters on how legislators voted on issues that affect business. I have found this to be extremely helpful in the past - it sort of helps sort through all of the advertising.
As a citizen, it is your duty to vote. It is also your responsibility to be an informed voter.
I am pleased to report that yesterday, Denise Johnson reported aboard to begin the transition process to become the new leader for IIAO! I am very excited for her and look forward to working with her, the IIAO staff, and the IIAO Board of Directors during this transition period. Denise brings a wealth of knowledge and agency experience to the job. Her experience as an agency owner will serve her well as it gives her a clear understanding of the day to day challenges of IIAO members. She has a terrific understanding of the association, its mission, and our IIAO value proposition as she has been actively engaged as a Board member and has served as its former Chairman. I know that all IIAO members and associate members will enjoy working with Denise and welcome her to her new position. Congratulations, Denise! Welcome aboard!
Tornado sirens blasting, storm chasers speeding in harm's way, and weather crews keeping Oklahomans current with the latest in tornado information - that was life around here just one year ago.! May 19 and 20 of 2013 will certainly go down as momentus days in Oklahoma as storms ripped through central Oklahoma and lives were turned upside down. Last week I attended a celebration in Moore to recognize the progress that has been made. Around the affected communities houses are being rebuilt, neighborhoods are becoming occupied again, and people are moving on with their lives. This is certainly not a new story for Oklahomans - it is one we have become accustomed to, but I always amazed at our resiliency in times of crisis whether it be the aftermath of the bombing in 1995 or tornadoes of 1999 and 2013. Oklahomans have the ability to pick themselves up, brush themselves off, and press on.
Did you ever think about how much more difficult that would be if we hadn't been here to help them with the advice we gave or weren't here to provide the money needed ? The insurance industry is the ONLY one that can step forward during these lifechanging events and put them back on course. Oftentimes the media only reports the problems and never tells the amazing work that our industry does as it helps put lives back together. Be proud that you are in this incredible industry and have been provided an opportunity to make a difference in people's lives. I know I am. Thanks for all you do!
We should have seen it coming...Walmart is now your newest competitor! In a recent news story an agency in New Jersey has teamed with the nation's largest retailer to bring the sale of insurance products to Walmart shoppers. Oklahoma is one of the eight states where they have acquired a license to sell insurance.
There has been so much money spent on making consumers believe that insurance is a commodity that this should come as no big surprise that Walmart has decided to enter the picture. It has never been more important for Trusted Choice Independent Agents to seize the day and let their clients know the value you bring and the difference you provide. What's next? Surgery specials on aisle 13???
One of the biggest issues facing any small business, including yours, is what to do about Human Resources? Your agency probably doesn't have its own HR Department, but that doesn't relieve you of your duties and responsibilities to comply with the law. It doesn't mean you don't need an evaluation program to help hire the right person. It doesn't mean you don't need job descriptions for the different positions in your agency. The IIAO HR tool kit is being provided to help you with these matters. You will find it under the drop down menu for Resources on our website. Please take advantage of this IIAO member benefit that has been designed to help you with one of the biggest issues for any insurance agency.
I recently attended a forum that predicts by the year
2040, 75% of automobiles in the U.S. Will be driverless. I watched a video that
was very impressive and don't doubt the technology is that far away. I recently
saw a pilotless Navy jet land on an aircraft carrier. I would like your
feedback as to what you see will be the greatest industry changes and
challenges if this prediction becomes reality.
Click here to watch our new video. I am very excited about this recent video we have launched that will hopefully better explain the IIAO value proposition and how we are re-branding and re-making our communications efforts to help better inform you of the benefits you receive as an IIAO member agency. I have found that many of our members only think we do one thing - some think we are an agency that provides E & O; some think we are the place they receive education; and others think we are only interested in politics and government affairs. The fact is we do all of the above and much, much more! We bring income opportunities to your fingertips through the products available through IIAO and Big I Markets. We believe our networking opportunities events and activities have always been one of the strongest benefits as our members openly share success stories and ideas with one another. Our Young Agents Committee is one of the tops in the country through its FILO program, Lunch Bunch meetings, and community service projects. When you step back and look at IIAO, I think you will find that we are far more than an association - indeed we are a "Community of Agents". Join the conversation on Twitter, @IIAO, #communityofagents.
During the 2013 Legislative Session HB2201 was passed which changes CompSource Oklahoma (CSO) to a mutual insuance company beginning January 1, 2015. The law was challenged by Tulsa Stockyards Inc. which alleged that CSO is a state agency and its money and other assets are of the people of Oklahoma and conversion to a mutual company would be illegal. The Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously upheld the legislation, thus the change will become effective. I was a member of the interim study group that looked at this issue several years ago and believed, along with a majority of the members of the study, that the assets did not belong to the state of Oklahoma, as the Court has ruled. CSO has many challenges ahead of it as it prepares for this new chapter in its history of providing workers compensation insurance to Oklahoma businesses. IIAO will remain closely engaged in communicating with CSO leadership as they move forward with their conversion plans.
The Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma have named
Denise Johnson to become the IIAO President/CEO beginning 9/1/14. Denise will succeed me – as I will be
retiring on that date. She will join IIAO on 6/1 and will begin a period of transition
into her new position. She has served
IIAO in many capacities over the past few years as a volunteer and will be able
to capitalize on that experience as she prepares to lead the organization. The IIAO Succession Committee reviewed many
excellent candidates over the past year before making this selection. I offer Denise my congratulations and wish
her the very best and look forward to working with her to make the transition
go smoothly. I know she will do an
outstanding job of leading IIAO during these changing times for the industry.