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OIA Welcomes Ashley Fitzsimmons to Customer Experience Role

GAHANNA, OH - Ohio Insurance Agents Association is excited to announce that Ashley Fitzsimmons has joined the association as their Customer Experience Manager.

Growing OIA’s vision to be a “change agent for agent change,” Fitzsimmons has a goal to lead the association’s initiatives to build and develop networks among agents, specifically the OIA’s new Peer Exchange Groups.

“Ashley is a connector. She has an energy and aura about her that will bring agencies together in our peer exchange groups to help them grow and improve their performance,” says OIA CEO Jeff Smith, JD, CIC, CAE.

“It truly takes a special breed to be an independent agent. Independent Agents are superheroes. They protect. They save. Look no further than the many natural disasters we are experiencing across this country and you see how independent agents help put people’s lives back together” Fitzsimmons says.  

”Having been an independent agent for nine years, I have a deep understanding for the speed bumps and roadblocks they can typically run into. I’d like to think there is no such thing as a problem, only an opportunity. And I am so excited to have the opportunity to work with independent agents in Ohio and help them strengthen their superhero powers and tear down those roadblocks.”

Fitzsimmons shares OIA’s passion and vision for independent agents and the IA system. Her experience working as a Producer with Fitzsimmons Insurance, a small independent insurance agency in Forest City, Pennsylvania, will equip her with the background and knowledge to make a big impact on the broader IA system. In her role with the agency, she implemented many technology features to modernize the customer experience and create relationships with other Next Generation agency leaders.

“One of the biggest things I’m hoping to accomplish with OIA is attracting new talent into the industry. Insurance is affectionately referred to as pale, male and stale. That changes now” Fitzsimmons says. “With the help of the OIA team, I know we can change this stereotype and show younger generations why insurance is the place to be and how you can make a difference in people’s lives in this profession. I’m looking forward to integrating into an incredible team that is changing this amazing industry for the better one day at a time.”

Fitzsimmons will join the OIA team at the beginning of 2019.


About Ohio Insurance Agents Association

Ohio Insurance Agents Association (OIA) is the collective voice of 1,300 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. OIA helps agents grow their agencies and improve their performance by providing agency valuation, succession planning, generational health, operational benchmarking reports, peer exchange groups, other business solutions and industry thought leadership.


OIA targets independent agency valuation

Gahanna, OH - Independent agency succession planning can be a touchy subject, regardless if you’re considering an internal transfer or external sale.

Giving up your agency for any reason can be a bittersweet process, but placing the proper value on your agency is an extremely important part of the process and not something you should take lightly.

It’s important to work with a valuation partner who understands that valuing and perpetuating an agency is about more than a number.

Why OIA?

This is why Ohio Insurance Agents Association (OIA) has stepped in to the agency valuation arena.

We bring a compassionate team of experts to guide you through the steps to perpetuate internally or externally. We understand that your agency is your lifeblood, your reputation and your legacy.

OIA Chief Operations Officer Carey Wallace said it best:

“We’re not interested in trying to drive agents toward one particular solution for their agency. We just want to make sure that agents have all of the information they need in order to make the best decision.”

Time moves fast, and whether the time to sell or exit your agency is now or in 10 years, you should be thinking about this day well before it occurs.

Simply passing your agency on to a family member? That may seem easy, but there is a lot of work involved to ensure your future family get-togethers aren’t ruined by the resentment of a (perceived) bad business deal.

It’s just as important when selling your agency externally to another retail agent, a large broker or even private equity. If you’re simply taking their offer without conducting your own valuation, how do you know you’re getting the best value for your agency?

That’s why gaining an unbiased understanding of your agency’s value from OIA can help you make the most informed decisions about the future of your business.

OIA represents agencies of every size, from small, family-owned businesses to large agencies with multiple locations.

Our valuation services are specifically tailored to small- to mid-sized agencies that are often overlooked by the incumbent valuation providers.

Whether you’re perpetuating internally, selling your agency to a third party, or even purchasing another agency – OIA is here to be your trusted advisor.

Our valuation services were exclusively developed to empower you with the tools you need to plan your agency’s perpetuation.

Take Action

Do you know the value of your agency? We’re here to help. Contact OIA today at (800) 555-1742 or visit our Valuation Assistance page to get started!

Learn more


About Ohio Insurance Agents Association

Ohio Insurance Agents Association (OIA) is the collective voice of 1,300 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. OIA helps agents by providing agency valuation, succession planning, generational health, operational benchmarking reports, other business solutions and industry thought leadership.


‘Tis the season for holiday office closures

OIA’s office will be closed on the following days for the holidays: Dec. 25, Dec. 26, Jan. 1 and Jan. 2. Normal business hours will resume on Jan. 3.

We wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season!

oia

Need perpetuation help? OIA to launch agency valuation services in 2018

2018 start button

With a median agency principal age of 59 years in Ohio, it’s time to buckle up and ride the wave of ownership change coming down the pike in the next five to 10 years.

Agency Owner Age: Frequency Distribution graph dataTo ensure small- to mid-sized retail agency owners are empowered with tools to make the best decisions when considering succession planning for their agency, OIA is building a robust offering of valuation and operational consulting services scheduled to roll out in 2018.

Craig Niess, business planning and valuation manager at OIA, will lead the initiatives.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to develop and manage the consulting practice within OIA and bring much needed services and solutions to Ohio’s independent agencies,” Niess says.

“In 2018, we want to offer high-quality business consulting to as many agencies as possible.”

Niess shares OIA’s passion for independent agents and the IA channel. He has more than seven years of financial and operational consulting experience with independent agents through his tenure at Marsh, Berry & Company.

Interested in being the first to know when the new services are available? Sign up to receive notifications.


OIA Welcomes Craig Niess to Agency Valuation Role

GAHANNA, OH - Ohio Insurance Agents Association is excited to announce that Craig Niess has joined the association as Business Planning and Valuation Manager.

Craig Niess headshotGrowing OIA’s vision to be a “change agent for agent change,” Niess will lead the association’s initiatives to build and develop business solutions in the areas of agency valuation, succession planning and business planning. As an expert advisor, he will help independent agents set up a plan for long-term success.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to develop and manage the consulting practice within OIA and bring much needed services and solutions to Ohio’s independent agencies,” Niess says. “In 2018, we want to offer high-quality business consulting to as many agencies as possible.”

Niess shares OIA’s passion for independent agents and the IA channel. He has more than seven years of financial and operational consulting experience with independent agents through his tenure at Marsh, Berry & Company. In this role, he launched new products, provided customized consulting services, developed and implemented business plans, and created financial models.

“Independent agents are pillars of the communities they serve,” Niess says. “We want to empower them so they continue to thrive in an ever-changing insurance landscape.  We want to help these agencies and provide them with solutions that will keep them viable for generations to come.”

Recently, Niess also worked for a startup in Cleveland and brings his entrepreneurial spirit cultivated from that experience to his new role at OIA. He holds an MBA from the University of Iowa and a Bachelor of Arts from Ohio Wesleyan University.


Ohio Insurance Agents Association

Ohio Insurance Agents Association (OIA) is the collective voice of 1,300 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. OIA helps agents by providing agency valuation, succession planning, generational health, operational benchmarking reports, other business solutions and industry thought leadership.

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