Displaying articles from 2014 | Clear Filter

Lanese receives Independence Bell/Industry Person of the Year Award

COLUMBUS, OH - Kathy Lanese, CIC, owner of Affinity Insurance Group in Lyndhurst, OH, received the Independence Bell/Industry Person of the Year Award at the 2014 Professional Independent Agents Association of Ohio, Inc. (PIAA) Conference, held Oct. 2-3. The conference celebrated independent insurance agents and their commitment to their clients, their communities and the profession. The award honors someone who has made a significant impact on Ohio’s independent agency system.

Lanese is an established leader in the insurance industry, volunteering her time to serve on various boards and promoting professional development as an important priority for agents. She serves on two company advisory councils using feedback she receives from independent agents in Northeast Ohio to create a dialogue with insurance companies. She then advocates for the issues to be addressed.

“I’m passionate about being a voice for independent agents and their clients,” said Lanese. “The carriers listen and come back with solutions and improvements. It’s exciting to be a part of that process.”

Lanese, an independent insurance agent, began working at her agency in 1996 and acquired it with her husband in 2005. She is currently a trustee for the Insurance Board of Northern Ohio (IBNO) and serves on its Education Committee. Lanese is also a member of State Auto’s Central Region Agency Council and Motorists Mutual President’s Advisory Council.

Serving the community and educating younger generations is also important to Lanese. She is a member of the VFW Post #6768 Ladies Auxiliary and her local Chamber of Commerce. She has co-chaired the Nordonia High School “Kick for the Cure” event and has taught a Junior Achievement class about the insurance industry to grade school students.

“Being an independent agent is a very noble profession. I’m thankful to be part of this industry,” said Lanese. “When someone asks what I do, I am proud to tell them that I offer protection for what people value most – life, health, personal and business assets.”


Ohio Insurance Agents Association

Ohio Insurance Agents Association (OIA) is the collective voice of nearly 1,400 independent agencies that employ nearly 10,000 Ohioans. We promote, progress and protect the professional advice and guidance only independent insurance agents provide. OIA members write 82 percent of the commercial insurance policies and 44 percent of personal insurance policies in Ohio. Our purpose is to help our member agents thrive in a modern insurance marketplace by offering them resources and content in four areas critical for success: digital marketing, recruiting and training, perpetuation and improving the customer experience.


State Auto's PaceSetter Program receives Outstanding Achievement Award

COLUMBUS, OH – The PaceSetter Program offered by State Auto Insurance Companies received the Eagle/Outstanding Company Achievement of the Year Award at the 2014 Professional Independent Agents Association of Ohio, Inc. (PIAA) Conference, held Oct. 2-3. The conference celebrated independent agents and their commitment to their clients, their communities and the profession. The award is presented to a company that has demonstrated outstanding achievement and superior performance in a specific area for the betterment of the independent agency system.

Developed in 1997 by State Auto’s sales development director, Ken Fields, CIC, CPCU, CLU, ChFC, and PaceSetter regional sales manager Diane Masterson, CIC, CPCU, the PaceSetter Program is an intensive educational program that helps agencies recruit, train and develop high-performing producers. More than 1,000 new producers have completed the one-year program and have written more than $400 million in new premium.

“In an industry where as few as one of three new producers survive the second year in business, the documented success rate of the PaceSetter Program is nearly 70 percent,” said Fields. “State Auto is proud of the program and how it prepares new agents for a solid career.”

Seth Zaremba of Zinc Insurance and PIAA’s president-elect, said his career took off after graduating from the PaceSetter Program. “Fast forward 11 years, and I still use the techniques I learned in the program. Not just for selling, but for making decisions about my business and personal life. It’s a disciplined approach to business,” he said.

A key component of the PaceSetter Program is follow-up. Each producer is assigned a State Auto sales coach who conducts weekly phone meetings and quarterly sales conferences. The coach monitors the producer’s progress and performance, making necessary adjustments as needed.

PaceSetter teamDiane Masterson, CIC, CPCU accepted the award on behalf of State Auto and recognized the hard work of the PaceSetter team and independent agents.

“PaceSetter is truly a team effort, and we acknowledge the contributions of the independent agent,” said Masterson.

“State Auto is committed to the independent agency system and to helping agencies develop new producers.”

The PaceSetter team includes (from left): Sales Manager Pam Kusma, CIC; Coordinator Luanna Matthews, CPCU, CISR (Retired); Coordinator Bridgette Brodbeck, CISR; Sales Manager Diane Masterson, CIC, CPCU; Coordinator Michelle Eckert. PIAA President Jeannine A. Giesler, CISR, CPIA (right) presented the award to the team. (Not pictured: Director Ken Fields, CIC, CPCU, CLU, CHFC.)


Ohio Insurance Agents Association

Ohio Insurance Agents Association (OIA) is the collective voice of nearly 1,400 independent agencies that employ nearly 10,000 Ohioans. We promote, progress and protect the professional advice and guidance only independent insurance agents provide. OIA members write 82 percent of the commercial insurance policies and 44 percent of personal insurance policies in Ohio. Our purpose is to help our member agents thrive in a modern insurance marketplace by offering them resources and content in four areas critical for success: digital marketing, recruiting and training, perpetuation and improving the customer experience.