OIA Awards – an 80 Year Tradition

What does an award mean to you?  Have you received an award?  Has a colleague or family member of yours received one?  Have you been nominated for an award?  Is it just something that society does, or could there be more behind it?

Well from my standpoint, I can tell it you it’s something special.  I’ve seen the emotions behind those receiving an award and those that are giving one.  After all, who doesn’t want to be recognized for their dedication and hard work for trying to make their community, association and/or the independent agency system a better place.  Countless hours of our lives go towards this endeavor.  It’s a token of our legacy.

OIA boasts seven prestigious awards with varying criteria to recognize the standouts in the industry:

  • Excellence in Leadership – honors an OIA volunteer.
  • Independence Bell Award – honors an individual who has significantly contributed to the betterment of the independent agency system and/or OIA.
  • Community Service Award – honors an independent insurance agent or agency that has provided extraordinary service within their local community.
  • Eagle Award – honors a company that has demonstrated outstanding achievement and superior performance in a specific area for the betterment of the independent agency system.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – honors an individual for their outstanding leadership contributions to the association, the independent agency system and their community.
  • OIA Citations – honors others who have made contributions to the association or have other outstanding attributes deserving of recognition.
  • Best Agency Video Award – honors an agency who has succinctly shared the agency’s “why” and explains the value of an independent agent.

OIA is a family of independent insurance professionals who care about the public and clients they serve.  The OIA awards program inspires our members and elevates the public appreciation of how professional and essential independent agents are. Many see our request for nominations and don’t look at it in that light. It might be seen as individual recognition instead of something that can enhance the standing of all IA’s in the consumer’s eye, and within the companies they represent.  Awards promote the knowledge, integrity, professionalism, and community service of the independent agent.

OIA awards set independent agents and companies apart from their competitors. They position them as leaders in Ohio’s insurance industry, instilling pride in our members, and they serve as a reminder to our members and Ohio communities of independent agents’ commitment to excellence.

You don’t have to wait until you see the call for nominations to submit an award nomination.  They are accepted year-round.  Whenever you hear about or witness an agent doing great things in their community, or are impressed by an agent’s volunteer leadership within OIA, write down a paragraph or two about why they inspire you and send it to me at shawna@ohioinsuranceagents.com.  Perhaps it’s a company who is working hard to help you be the best agent that you can be for your clients or an individual who is leading an initiative on the political front to protect our great industry.  Send me your testimony and I’ll add it to the nomination applications for the Governance Committee to review next time around.

The goal of the OIA annual awards ceremony is to let our members know that what they do matters, and their work is valued. The ceremony is a representation of approval and gratitude for each person’s individual and outstanding accomplishment.

You can read about all of the excellent nominations in OIA’s Year in Review magazine, which will be coming out in the next couple weeks.  2022 award winners will be announced on December 8, 2022 during the OIA Holiday Dinner and Awards Ceremony. Would you like to attend the next awards ceremony?  Drop me an email and I’ll add you to the invitation list.  We would love for you to participate and help us celebrate the best of the best.

So who received the first OIA award?  Harry T. Minister received the Excellence in Leadership Award 80 years ago in 1942.

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