A new local North Shore-focused chapter of the statewide Louisiana Claims Association (LCA) is set to host its first event and establish itself as a competitor to other local chapters. Louisiana Comp Blog spoke to Matthew Monson, Secretary of the North Shore chapter and immediate past-President of LCA, and Randy Jackson, President of the North Shore chapter, to learn about the organization’s genesis and goals.
Like many similar projects, Monson cites a real need as the driving force behind the new association. “I’ve been involved with LCA for the last fifteen years and I’ve been practicing law in this area for eighteen years. LCA was first created by local independent organizations with the goal of providing continuing education and networking opportunities,” Monson explained. “About seven years ago, the state board decided to urge local spin-offs of LCA and there really hasn’t been anyone serving the North Shore.”
According to Monson, the back and forth to New Orleans and Baton Rouge chapter meetings was a problem for some potential members, and the presence of individual adjusters, firms and carriers on the North Shore was and is significant. “One of my major goals as president last year was to get the North Shore chapter off the ground. There are as many licensed claims adjusters between Hammond and Slidell as on the South Shore in New Orleans and the surrounding areas there. It’s a huge community,” he said.
Further, Monson sees a friendly competitive spirit as part of the founding. “I’m throwing down the gauntlet here. I think we can be bigger and better than the New Orleans and Baton Rouge associations.”
Aside from the future, Monson gives the ultimate credit for the overall project and its founding to a trusted colleague in the claims community. “We had spoken about [starting a local affiliate on the North Shore] for years, but it never really got off of the ground until recently,” explained Monson. “It’s my vision but the credit really goes to Randy Jackson with Abercrombie, Simmons and Gillette. He came to me and said, ‘You know we’ve been talking about this and it hasn’t been happening, let’s do it.’ Randy is now serving as our president for the North Shore organization.”
Jackson, who began the logistical planning and marketing back in October 2014 and also sits on the board of the New Orleans Claims Association, has bright ideas for the social and professional potential of the association and is especially interested in continuing education.
“The main goal is to try and make it a central organization where people can exchange ideas and network at the hyper-local level, put faces to names, and grow together,” Jackson explained. “We aren’t doing CE for the first meeting because we’d like to give people a chance to introduce themselves but, in the future, we’re going to make continuing education a key point for the luncheons and events and offer as much as possible.”
Jackson also believes that cultivating a family atmosphere with the North Shore members will be a boon to the claims scene in the coming years. “We’re planning to do events that will be family friendly and fun for everyone. Summer events are in the works, as is a Christmas party,” he said.
Both Monson and Jackson encourage all members of the claims community to become members of the state organization and the North Shore Claims Association, citing the importance of community. “We’re most interested in providing a place for people in claims to network, compare notes and get to know each other – that’s how business gets done,” said Monson.
Ultimately, Jackson has faith that the project’s benefits to members will speak for themselves: “We’d like to get a good following and I think our priorities are in the right place to do that.”
The North Shore Claims Association will hold its inaugural luncheon meeting at The Chimes in Covington (19130 Rogers Lane) starting at 11:30 AM on Tuesday, March 10th, lunch will be served at noon. The fee for the lunch is $30 for members and $35 for non-members (cash or check.) To RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org and/or call The Monson Law Firm at (985) 778-0678. More information about meetings and happenings related to this chapter will be posted on the LCA website here.