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.
Attention, future industry leaders! Join us for OIA’s upcoming Next-Gen event, held in conjunction with IACON17, our all-new conference that is sure to blow your mind.
Check out the video message above to get all the details.
“Agency 2025: Forecasting the Future” will feature speaker Bobby Reagan, creator of the IIABA Best Practices Study, and an interactive team-building competition. You'll have the chance to design a business plan for what your agency would look like in 2025 -- and the winning team will be awarded a cash prize!
This event, held at the Grange Insurance Headquarters, is FREE with your IACON17 registration. Seats are limited, so register soon!
Learn more about IACON17
CLEVELAND, OH - Ohio Insurance Agents Association, Inc. (OIA) is taking bold steps to elevate, energize and empower the next generation of independent insurance agents.
Nearly 150 independent agents from across Ohio came together for the OIA Next-Gen Summit held June 22-23 at the trendy Metropolitan at The 9 Hotel in downtown Cleveland. The event featured two days of outside-the-box thinking, high-energy speakers and entertaining activities (risk-management tour of Progressive Field, anyone?). In other words, this unique event was not your typical insurance conference.
“I have been to at least 25 insurance conferences across the country over the last three years; none of them are similar to what I just experienced in Ohio,” says Sydney Roe, Next-Gen Summit speaker and digital content manager at Agency Nation. “There was an assumptive awareness about what’s happening in our industry shared across the whole crew, an unspoken drive that energized the entire event, a positivity about what can be grasped in the near future and a confidence in experimenting with creativity to stand out.”
OIA brought in insurance industry visionaries Ryan Hanley and Sydney Roe from Agency Nation (TrustedChoice.com) who are taking the IA channel by storm with their quirky approach, no-holds barred advice and genuine passion for the IA channel. Hanley shared his expertise on how to sell insurance to millennials while Sydney talked about the importance of using social media as a relationship-building platform.
“I learned so much from Ryan Hanley’s presentation on selling to millennials,” says Brian Miller, independent agent at Mathews Insurance in Athens, Ohio. “I liked how his presentation was positive toward millennials and shed light on the unique buying behavior of this generation. All of the conference content was very relevant since everything is going digital nowadays.”
Brandie Hinen, CEO and founder of Powerhouse Learning, inspired attendees with her passion for helping people break free of their comfort zones to create lasting, radical change. A former insurance agent, Hinen talked about critical factors for success, including learning how to say “no,” overcoming daily adversities and creating a powerful vision.
Mike Strakhov, Executive Director with Live Oak Bank, talked about a critical area for independent agents: Preparing for agency ownership During an interactive agent/carrier panel discussion, industry leaders discussed the latest technology impacting the industry. Panelists included: Robert Dodson of Liberty Mutual Insurance, Patrick Jackson of Central Insurance Companies, Craig Welsh of Westfield Insurance, Luke Shipp of First Insurance Group, Matt Simon of Hill & Hamilton Insurance and Katie Berry of Insurance Agencies of Ohio.
The OIA Next-Gen Summit concluded with a risk-management tour of Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians. Attendees, many of whom were Cleveland sports fans, experienced a behind-the-scenes tour of the potential risks of a Major League Baseball stadium and the many safety measures put into place to protect visitors.
“Content was absolutely phenomenal – I’m able to take so many new ideas back home with me and incorporate them at my agency,” says Seth Marana, independent agent at Ramsburg Insurance & Financial Services in Uniontown, Ohio. “I’ll definitely be back next year.”
The Next-Gen Summit is part of OIA’s larger mission to cultivate next-gen agents – those who aspire to be agency owners, industry thought leaders and have at least 20 years left in their career. OIA is committed to equipping Ohio’s independent agents with the skills and resources necessary to thrive in a rapidly changing insurance marketplace. We are keeping up the momentum our all-new conference – IACON17 – Oct. 19-20 in downtown Columbus.
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.