Thursday, June 5, 2014

My trip to the CHAIR…

I was treated like royalty upon arrival. 
It’s not as bad as it sounds, people. It was really fun seeing where our CHAIR John Funkhouser goes to work every day. I traveled with Nikki, our new Communications Director, to Danville and JohnsonPohlmann Insurance. I got to shake hooves with John… or as I like to say “Funk”, Ray Whitehouse and Scott Burks. 
We sat down with Funk and asked him a bunch of questions about his time as our fearless leader. You can check it out in the latest issue of Kentucky IA magazine.

Check out the fun we had and there is a fun QUIZ at the end. 

Tee Cee and the Gang!
The Gang NERF ready. 
Patricia Lucas and me. 

Megan Allen and me. 
Me and Stephanie Gentry.
Check me out with Keeley Young & Melissa Baxter 


Can you spot John Funkhouser and Ray Whitehouse
in this old photo?
Straight from the horse's mouth, 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tee Cee Goes WEST!

Michael Martin and Me.
A wise cowboy once said, “If you climb in the saddle, be ready for the ride.” So, that is exactly what I did. I rode for 507 miles to the western part of the state. Tara and Kristie went with me and we stopped by Benton to visit our old friends at Morgan Trevathan & Gunn Insurance. I say old… because the agency started more than 80 years ago. We lassoed Michael Martin and chatted about just some of the many benefits of membership. We talked about the importance of the independent agency system. It is important for consumers to have the CHOICE to select the insurance that is best for them. We also talked about our new money-saving product that concentrates on telecom services. Through SchooleyMitchell they can help save you thousands over three years on your phone, mobile, internet and fax services. Michael was also interested in our Cyber Liability product. We filled him in on the CRM course held February 25-28, 2015 in Louisville and will help him gain all of his updates for his CIC designation. He also mentioned that he has 2 young agents that he would like to get involved in the association. 

Shaking hooves with Ray Barga.
We moseyed on over to R. Barga and Company. Ray has been in the insurance business for 23 years. He specializes in Marine/Resort insurance. Prior to starting his insurance business he worked in the marine business for 13 years. So you could say that he knows his stuff. Ray played football for UK and was even the team captain in 1974. While attending UK he met Ches Riddle Jr (Riddle Insurance) and they are now business partners. Ray has 2 children (Stephen works in the agency) and his daughter lives in Lexington and is mother to his first grand baby! I promise there were no pictures in his officeJ Ray told us many fun facts about how the Kentucky Dam creates the largest manmade lake in the eastern United States. It backs up the Tennessee River for 184 miles and creates a lake that stretches south across the western tip of Kentucky. At maximum normal operating level, Kentucky Lake covers more than 160,000 acres. More important than the project's size are the jobs it performs. Kentucky Dam is the spigot that TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) uses to help control floods on the lower Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Pretty impressive if you ask me. We chatted about member benefits and let him know how much we appreciate his membership. We may even get his son, Stephen, to get involved with the Young Agents.

I got to pose with Heather Lynn and Crystal Reid
After a short gallop over to Paducah we “whoaed” at Western Rivers Insurance where we talked with Crystal Reid and Heather Lynn. Crystal was involved in the YAC and went to Washington D.C. in 2007. We talked about many member benefits and focused on Project CAP/ABEN/the new Cyber Liability laws. They were super excited to get involved and Heather may want to see what the Young Agents are up to. We chatted with them about Big “I” Markets and how to register. Tara and Kristie have some great material back at the office to help them register and find materials easier.

2517 Jackson Street, Paducah, KY 42002
Our final stop, before we hit the hay was at Insurance Inc. of Paducah. There we met with Greg Dorris. His dad started the biz in 1973 and Greg joined in 1985 after he graduated from EKU. Rumor has it that he and Board Member Allen Crawford went to college together. Greg is the proud father of three girls with a couple of pictures wallpapering his officeJ. We chatted with him about CyberLiability and he is interested in a quote from Kristie… do you want one too? Greg is also going to attend the 118th Annual Convention and Trade Show on November 12-14 at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY.

Day 2 of Going WEST young man! Today is my birthday and what a better way to spend it, but with Terry L. Ford Insurance Agency, Inc. I met with Terry Ford, Denise Byarley and Shelly Davidson. Denise and Shelly have been at the agency for 11 & 14 years respectively, so Terry must be a great guy to work for. Terry has been in the biz for 40 years/37 of which have been in Marion (he opened up on April 1, 1974). We went through our PowerPoint A Quick Guide to Membership – check it out. We also have some great E&O Checklists on our website. We also yakked about IIAK’s NEW Telecom Services product. These are great benefits that will make your life easier.
BJ Minton, Terry Ford, Shelly Davidson & Denise Byarley pose with Me in front of their Trusted Choice Sign

You can be reimbursed for a sign like this for your agency! Find out how by calling IIAK. 

411 N. Main St. Madisonville, KY 42431

It was a short dawdle over to Madisonville. It was a beautiful day and Kristie, Tara and I saw butterflies, turtles trying to cross the road (we dodged them), raccoons, buzzards, deer and the occasional tractor going very slow. We finally arrived at Rudd Insurance and spoke to Allen Rudd. His agency was started in 1925 by his grandfather. Allen was very active in IIAK Leadership… he started as a young agent in 1976 and was President of the “big” board in 1999. He even came back to help the association with the Strategic Plan in 2012. We are grateful for all that serve and dedicate their time to help our organization be a great success. Thanks ALLEN – High horseshoe to you!

We were nearing lunchtime on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend… hmm… But we took a wager on Riddle Insurance to see if we could catch them in the gate. No luck for us all agents were out for the holiday weekend… bummer. But no worries, we will catch them next time.

Straight from the horse's mouth,

It’s STORMing in Owensboro!

Jennifer Farmer and Melanie Hardesty with Storm Insurance
Hope Yager and Bobbi Coffman with River City Insurance
Not only did we go visit our NEW member Storm Insurance, Inc. but we drove through an actual storm to get there. Coincidence… I think not! Peggy, Tara and I visited with Melanie Hardesty and Jennifer Farmer to talk about all the benefits that you receive with membership. We went through our Quick Guide to Membership which is always helpful even for “seasoned” members. Storm has been in the business for 7 years and specializes in crop insurance. We talked about how attending events is a great way to meet other agents and really understand what this organization is about. We are a community of agents all after the same goal.

We trotted over to the Owensboro Board of Independent Insurance Agents (OBIIA)monthly meeting. We ate at the BriarPatch in the middle of town before the meeting began. Hope Yager, President of the board spoke to the group about the state of the organization. The board was able to give $500 to all the area schools and volunteer at the Pitino Shelter 1-1.5 hours a month. Each agency has been taking turns to volunteer their time. GO OBIIA!

Robert Palmer (KEMI), Michelle Love (Chair-Elect of IIAK). 
Will Higdon and Keith Hopgood with Van Meter Insurance
Robert Palmer with KEMI talked about their updated A- rating with AM Best. He also stated the market in Kentucky continues to be stable and they had a rate reduction in January. The company is doing well and was able to pay out dividends to their agents.

 Next out of the gate was Peggy, who spoke about the 2014 legislative session.
Here are some of the things she touched on:

  • Electronic Proof of Insurance – HB218
  • Limited lines licenses for self-storage space insurance – HB 357
  • Financial solvency requirements for domestic insurers – DOI priority bill – HB 126
  • Anticancer medications deductible no higher for patient administered treatment – HB 126
  • Ease filing requirements for partnerships and LLCs claiming exemption from WC – no more annual filing required – HB 349
  • Qualifying for Medicaid when entering nursing home; enter into life settlement agreement to get below threshold – HB 414
  • Data Breach for all businesses in KY – HB 232
Peggy also mentioned that they were able to avert the Sinkhole mandate that kept rearing its head during the session. She reminded everyone of the Big “I” Sales & LeadershipConference – June 11 & 12 at Marriott Griffin Gate in Lexington, KY and the 118th Annual Convention & Trade Show – Nov. 12-14 at The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Ky.

These beautiful people are from Neace Lukens
Larry Hayden and Neel Ford with E.M. Ford

Down the final stretch, Tara talked about the new Cyber Liability Program that began in December 2013. We already have 8 agents signed up. The program is great and the premiums are cheaper than you can find anywhere else. Also, you don’t have to be an expert or even be compliant. Arlington Roe will work with you to get you there. She also talked about the new Squirrel membership recruitment campaign! If you see someone that you think needs to be a member… simply give them a card and send their info to us! We will take it from there. Tara gave the board the lowdown on the newest IIAK endorsement, Telecom Services. You can save 28-40% on your phone, mobile and internet bills. Let Schooley Mitchell do the work. Also, don’t forget to contribute to KAPAC and InsurPac. You can now contribute to both at the same time!
The Owensboro board decided to have their annual golf outing on September 24th. Mark your calendars. 

Jennifer and Melanie from Storm Insurance
Steve Ford (E.M.Ford) and Doc Harris (Storm Ins.)

2803 Veach Road, Owensboro, Ky 42303
Peggy, Tara and I took to the streets of Owensboro before heading home. We galloped over to Baize Insurance where we talked to Ellis Belamy. He was super nice and said he would pass along the information to Bobbi Kenady.

2212 Frederica Street, Owensboro, Ky 42302

Then we sauntered over to Horn and France Insurance where we met with Karen Frasier. We gave her a packet of information and some fun goodies. Maybe next time we will chat with Tim France. 

2120 Frederica Street, Owensboro, Ky 42301

We were trying to beat the last string of storms and raced into Neely Insurance Agency, LLC. We spoke with the ladies and left some great information. Next time we will try to spend some quality time with John Neely. 

Straight from the horse's mouth,

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Come on Arlene!

That was the song that I often sung to our former Communications Director. Yes, yes, I know those aren’t the words… But I’m a stuffed horse, remember?We had a going away luncheon for Arlene to bid her farewell on her next adventure. 
Good Luck Arlene! We are gonna miss you. 

I'm helping Arlene open her presents!

L-R, Steve Ford, Denny Desmond, Jimmy England,
Arlene Hawkins, Tim Conder and John Funkhouser.

Nikki Petrowski, Peggy Porter, Arlene Hawkins, Katie Freshley,
Tara Purvis, Crystal Brown and Kristie Weyer.

Straight from the horse's mouth,

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tee Cee is a MOVIE STAR

Look what you may have missed at convention! Tee Cee is a movie star...
He may be stomping out autographs at a theatre near you.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Tee Cee has a Health Check-up!

When they said I was going to a meeting for a health check-up... I thought I was going to the VET. But to my relief, I was meeting with the Anthem Gals. Tara, Kristie and I met with Karen Hall and Debby Halstead from Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. They helped me learn more about our Group Health Plan. They were so nice and gave us lots of marketing materials to hand out on our agency visits. Check out the really great flyer below.

Get health insurance for you and your agency employees today!

Me, Karen Hall and Debby Halstead.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


We hit the trifecta with this class. It was very well received by all that attended. We enjoyed hosting the National Alliance and all of their peeps. We had 54 attendees for this two-day class. The class was on September 12-13 (sorry for being 'late' out of the gate) at the Hyatt Downtown Louisville. The National Alliance is revamping this class so we may see it in a different version soon!

"Loved the class. Days went fast because they were fairly interactive and a lot of information that went beyond insurance but was very practical to our businesses and managing people. Already have given my employee a personality test:) They enjoyed was fun. A lot of 'Ah Ha' moments as we are figuring out that some of our staff is task-oriented and others are people-oriented.  Should help us understand one another. All in all a great class."
-Jason Billington, The Murray Insurance Agency

Thanks Jason, It is always nice when we receive testimonials about our classes and events. They are always welcomed with open hooves. Take a look at some of my photos below.

Me & Josh Maldonado, National Alliance

Josh and all of his goodies

Me and "Hot Rod" a.k.a. Rod Rezac, Education Consultant!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Who left the BARNES door open?

...And guess who walked in, none other than Past President, Joe Barnes! Joe came into the position in 2007. He was very instrumental in the purchase and move into our "new/6 year old" office space. This of course, led to our new Training Center which Joe and I are standing in shown in the photo above.

His wife Peggy is also an agent and was very involved with our Education Committee and helped make it what it is today.

Joe says Peggy is under the weather and hopes to be back in the saddle soon.

Straight from the horse's mouth,

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Horse Capital of the World?!? Lexington?

Adam Young, Taylor Made Insurance Group and Me
I discovered a new place today, Lexington, Kentucky. Peggy, Tara and I galloped over to Taylor Made Insurance group and met with Adam Young. They are new members and we were able to walk Adam through our many products and services. He and the owner Jake Riordan recently registered and used Big "I" Markets. Adam was interested in getting involved with the Young Agents. He was considering meeting some other young agents at the Keeneland outing on Oct 18. We chatted about Project CAP and our Group Health Plan.

Check out my "Selfie" and Kentucky Insurance Group
Next we canterred over to Kentucky Insurance Group to pop in to see Joe Barnes. He wasn't in...(Which isn't uncommon, since we sometimes drop by unannounced.) But we did get a chance to talk to Elden Cox. It was nice to catch up. Elden attended our Super Management Class (Sept 12-13) facilitated by the National Alliance.

We kept the pace and hurdled over to Al Torstrick Insurance Agency Inc. We met with Sandra Blain, President of the agency. Her dad and brother preceded her as President's. They also preceded her in being President of the IIAK Board of Directors'. It was so fun to sit down and get to know Sandra. Did you know that she was our first female President? Yep... in 2010. She is very stylish and knows a thing or two about running an agency. Sandra has dedicated so much of her time to IIAK and is still serving on our Investment Advisory Committee.
Sandra Blain and Me

WOW! Three Past President's from one agency.

Next we pranced over to Neely Taylor Wade and spent some time with Danny Neely. They currently use our Errors & Omissions program and the Virtual Risk Consultant. We talked a little about Health Insurance and Project CAP and he was interested in becoming more involved with the Young Agents.
Danny Neely and Me
Neely Taylor Wade Insurance, LLC

Our finish line for the day was at Houlihan Insurance Agency. We talked with Marie Houlihan who was super nice. She is such a great member (she reads ALL her emails:)). She knew all the happenings of IIAK. She asked great questions about the Affordable Care Act. Her sister Susan Douglass works with her and her newest employee John Murphy (son of Past President Tim Murphy- 1992). We didn't get to meet him... but hopefully I will soon.

Straight from the Horse's Mouth,

Friday, October 4, 2013

It's not raining... but I need an Umbrella!

So happy to visit our friends at Arlington Roe. Peggy, Tara and I "raced" to Indianapolis to learn more about their IIAK-endorsed  RLI Personal Umbrella Policy and the RLI At-Home Business Policy.
Jim Roe is the president of Arlington/Roe. Jim’s father, Francis Roe, founded the managing general agency in 1964, processing mobile home policies from a small green metal desk nestled in the family kitchen. After Francis Roe’s death in 1987, Jim became the sole owner of the agency and began to expand the agency’s products and standing in the Midwest.
Today, Arlington/Roe maintains its headquarters in Indianapolis, IN, with underwriting offices in Louisville, KY, Geneva, IL and Grand Rapids, MI. Although key states are Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, Arlington/Roe insures a number of risks nationally. Already licensed in all 50 states, Arlington/Roe can conduct business nationwide.

John Immordino, Jennifer Hopper, Janet Phillips and Jim Roe 
Arlington/Roe is an Industry Partner with IIAK and a Gold Level Sponsor. You can enter the "Winner's Circle" too and be an Industry Partner! There are seven different levels to choose from.

Straight from the Horse's Mouth,