Volunteer Spotlight: Christina M. Bernard, CISR, Cobos Insurance Center Inc, Elyria

Christina Bernard was elected to OIA’s 501(c)3 organization, the Foundation for the Advancement of Insurance Professionals, on January 1, 2023.  She is replacing long-time director, Jeannine Giesler.

The mission of the Foundation for the Advancement of Insurance Professionals is to support the development and implementation of internships, model programs, and grants that promote the independent agency system. Click to read more about the Foundation here.

Christina joined Cobos Insurance Center in 2005, a family-owned agency with three locations in Ohio.  Specialties include medium and small business insurance, not for profit, excavation companies, directors and officers, and errors and omissions coverage.

Before joining the Foundation Board, Christina served as a member of OIA’s Agents Resource Committee, the Next Gen Agents Committee, served as a 2020 webinar panelist, and participated in the 2021 Board Retreat.

Why did you choose to follow a career as an independent insurance agent?

 “I wanted to help my father to continue to grow and expand his business. In addition, it is a career path that I believe will offer continuous growth and profitability providing, one can adapt to the changing marketplace. I feel that there will always be a need for insurance professionals. I want to be part of a team that creates a positive long term economic & social footprint.”

Why do you enjoy being an insurance agent?

“I enjoy being in control of my own affairs and receive the most satisfaction when acting as a consultant for others.”

Who do you credit for your success in the independent agency system, and why?

 “I credit my father for my success in the independent agency. He teaches us that hard work, ethics and education is the recipe for continuity.”

What are the interests and strengths that have made you a successful agent?

“My interest in education, networking, reading and traveling has provided me with a strong background to adequately speak with a diverse population. My greatest strength is my ability to listen and ask pertinent questions in order to uncover the concerns, questions and values of my customers.”

What can we do to engage more young agents?

“Offer entrepreneurial classes at the high school and college level, with supporting financial scholarships and mentorship programs, as well as expanding the next gen agents’ program.”

What do you see as the future for the independent agency system?

“I see independent agencies leaving the brick-and-mortar channels of the past to become desk free, online risk professionals.”

What’s one thing that others would be surprised to learn about you?

“I have hiked the Grand Canyon; white water rafted and completed a four-day Appalachian survival trip.”

Christina’s insurance industry experience:

  • Grange Insurance Agents Advisory Board, 2021 to the present
  • Grange Young Agents Committee
  • Ohio Mutual Insurance Group Personal Lines Council since 2020
  • Founding committee members of the Users Group for HawkSoft Agency Management.

Christina is also active in her community:

  • Co-Chair of the Women’s Fund
  • Served on The Community Foundation of Lorain County – Economic Empowerment, 2010-2014
  • Served as a Board Member for Family Haven – Social Services, 2009-2014
  • And was Co-Leader of Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio Troop #375

Christina received a BSBA in Management with a concentration in entrepreneurship and her MBA in Business Management from John Carroll University.

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