Ohio Insurance Agents announces new CEO Jeff Smith


GAHANNA, OH – Ohio Insurance Agents Association, Inc. (OIA) has announced that Jeff Smith, JD, will transition to CEO effective Jan. 1, 2017. With 16 years of experience working for statewide associations, Smith is passionate about leveraging OIA’s resources to make Ohio independent insurance agents more successful in an ever-changing marketplace.

OIA is the leading advocate for insurance consumers, independent agents and a competitive insurance marketplace. Smith has the experience and passion to help OIA educate consumers on the complexity of insurance decisions and the importance of having the professional advice of an independent insurance agent.

“Jeff is dedicated to OIA’s mission to promote, progress and protect the professional advice and guidance only independent insurance agents provide,” says OIA Board Chair Perk Reichley. “He has extensive knowledge of the association, members, volunteer leaders, partners and emerging trends of the industry. As a result, he is well positioned to help our association tell the story about our noble profession.”

Most recently, Smith led OIA’s advocacy, legal, human resources and membership activities. As CEO, his top priorities include inspiring the next generation of insurance leaders and developing business solutions to strengthen the relationships between independent agents and their clients.

Smith will replace long-time CEO George Haenszel. Leading the association for 32 years, Haenszel dedicated his life’s work to independent agents. Under his leadership, Ohio’s independent agents realized their aspirations of coming together to form one organization – OIA – as the leading voice for insurance consumers and independent agents. Haenszel will transition into the role of Senior Director to mentor Smith and the senior leadership team.

“OIA is an industry leader – our focus must be on knowing where the insurance industry is headed and then helping to lead our member agents there,” Smith says. “My goal is to develop business solutions to make independent agents more competitive in the modern insurance marketplace to ensure our industry is strong for generations to come.”

Ohio Insurance Agents Association

Ohio Insurance Agents Association (OIA) is the collective voice of 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 agencies protect consumers and employers by offering them access to the best resources, tools and professional development programs available. OIA serves our members in four key areas: advocacy, professional development, business solutions and industry thought leadership.

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