Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) of Louisiana’s Young Insurance Professionals (YIPs) were treated to several evenings of fun and festivities at this year’s 2015 Winter Conference at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center in downtown Baton Rouge last week. The theme of the conference was “Back to the Future,” and attendees gained the ability to see into the future of the insurance industry with networking events and continuing education seminars.
The conference evening activities kicked off on Thursday night with a “First Timer’s Reception” followed by the full opening reception. While agents and company representatives milled about enjoying the appetizers and drinks, first timer’s played an ice-breakers game that served a dual networking purpose between them and the exhibitors; each participant filled out a scavenger hunt game sheet with photos and fun facts about each company and the company reps.
The opening reception also featured an intimate speech by Tim Clements honoring his father Richie Clements (pictured at left) as the newly elected national president of PIA. The elder Clements identified the audience and his PIA community as “true friends” as his son noted that Richie Clements is one of several national PIA presidents from Louisiana so, “we must be doing something right!”
In addition to the social events, the conference included three, two-hour continuing education opportunities for attendees to brush up on their knowledge and learn about new exposures and ideas. The seminars were “Back to the Fraud” presented by Jeremy MacDonald of Mid-Michigan Agency and “Equipment Breakdown for Today’s Technology and Exposures” presented by the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company.
The PIA Annual Membership Meeting also offered another potential two hour credit. Ron Henderson, Deputy Commissioner of Consumer Advocacy for the Louisiana Department of Insurance spoke to the PIA/YIPs community about changes at the department that could affect the larger insurance community. Henderson cited a five percent budget cut currently, with a fifteen percent cut by July 1st, 2015. All together, that equals a $7 million shortfall that must be mitigated by eliminating employees and positions within the department. Henderson went on to warn that such cuts could result in a lack in service for agents with departmental inquiries but that the industry will weather the storm and is “always evolving.” He concluded his remarks by encouraging YIPs to “go forth and do great things.”