October 24, 2019
New IIAN Officers & Directors Elected At 112th Annual Convention in Kearney
IIAN members elected new officers and directors at the association's annual member meeting on Thursday, October 10 in Kearney, held during the Big "I" Leadership luncheon at IIAN's 112th  annual convention. IIAN's new president is   Todd Anderson, Todd Anderson Insurance, York.   Also elected were Peggy McDonald, CIC, Gary Thompson Agency, Trenton - Vice President, and Vincent Christensen, Christensen Insurance, St. Paul - Secretary-Treasurer.   Three new IIAN directors were also elected:  Jon Damkroger - First State Insurance, Lincoln; Derek Wright -  A.J. Gallagher, Omaha, and Sarah Zimmer - Jones Group, Ansley.  Read more about them. 

Member Advocacy Is Presidential Focus
At the convention President's Luncheon on October 11, President Anderson talked to IIAN members about his personal involvement and role in advocating for the interests of IIAN members who sell crop insurance and advise ag producers - both with RMA officials in Washington, D.C., and with insurance regulators in Nebraska.  He has served on the National Big "I" Crop Insurance task force since 2011, and formed a new Nebraska Big "I"  task force in 2015.  While the Big "I" has many business and professional development solutions to help members, it is effective advocacy on behalf of members that distinguishes the Big "I", he said.  
Working With The Nebraska Insurance Department - Crop-Hail Rates
The most recent example of how the Big "I" can make a difference - after meeting with then-Vice President Anderson and IIAN Crop Insurance task force members this summer, on October 8 the Nebraska Insurance Department issued updated filing procedures for Crop-Hail rates, which extend existing rate filing guidelines for the 2020 growing season until further notice, rather than accelerating rate increases.   The extension is intended to further ease the transition of premium increases for ag producers and agents.
Bob Hoppe, right, accepts IIAN's Distinguished Service Award
Annual IIAN Awards Presented October 10
Outgoing IIAN president  Sandra Ryks, CISR, presented IIAN's annual agent and company awards at the Big"I" Leadership Luncheon on October 10 in Kearney, assisted by IIAN CEO Carol McClelland. 
   Member agents honored were:  Distinguished Service - Robert Hoppe, CPCU, AFIS, Columbus; Committee Chairman of the Year - Douglas Brummels, Kearney; and  Young Agent of the Year - Zachary Morken, Ogallala.
Western Trails Insurance, Oshkosh, and Kaup's Insurance, Stuart, were recognized for 10 years' membership and support.    
   Member company representatives honored were:   Company Representative of the Year - Jeffrey Ewen, Safeco ; and Five Star Company of the Year - Nationwide , Steve Mitchell, Brad Forsberg, Brooke Jeffus , Brian Rakers, and Dave Appleget.         

"Where Our Paths Meet" 
112th Annual IIAN Convention Draws 350 To Kearney, October 9-11
Just over 350 IIAN members and company representatives attended IIAN's 112 th annual convention held at the Younes Conference Center in Kearney, October 9-11.   "It was great to see so many IIAN members from all over Nebraska - especially our 55 young agents," commented  Todd Anderson  of York, who was elected and installed as IIAN's new president during the convention.  "Thanks to Annual Convention committee co-chairs  Doug Brummels, and Katie Bohrer, and all of our Convention committee members,  for putting together such a fun and educational event."
  In addition to great networking at the 50-booth trade fair, and learning from a total of 14 industry experts presenting in three tracks, everyone enjoyed the "Nebraska Strong" silent and live auctions to benefit Big "I" advocacy, and an inspiring dinner performance by motivational artist Sam Glenn.  

2019 IIAN Annual Convention Video
2-Minute Convention Highlights Video
Excellence In Education Recognized October 10
42 New CISR Designees Honored
IIAN held the 2018-19 CISR Conferment Ceremony on October 10 in Kearney, during the annual Big "I" Leadership Luncheon.  IIAN past president Katie Kochenower conducted the ceremony, recognizing 42 insurance professionals who achieved the Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) professional designation or the CISR Elite professional distinction during the last two years.

Nebraska's Outstanding CSR of the Year award went to 
Katie Bohrer, CISR,  with Dodge Partners Insurance in Omaha, who was also one of five regional finalists in the 2019 national competition sponsored by The National Alliance.
24th Annual IIAN Foundation Golf Tournaments Raises $20,000
For Big "I" College Outreach Program
This year's tournament was another big success, supporting IIAN's continuing program to promote independent agency system jobs and careers to college students across Nebraska, and create scholarships.  Mild - if windy - fall weather held out just long enough on October 9, for  105 golfers, 30 hole sponsors and 8 hot-spot and pin sponsors, to enjoy the links-style   Awarii Dunes course near Kearney.  The tournament was h eld for the 24th consecutive year, in memory of IIAN member Jay Jacupke of Hastings. 

Special thanks to our Tournament Sponsors and volunteers!
Thanks to Tournament steering committee co-chairs  Mike Glaser and  Tom Greco, along with the many IIAN and  Foundation directors who contacted industry friends for sponsorship - as well as tournament corporate sponsor Nebraska Agency Services Corporation - for another successful fundraising event.
And thanks to all of our Hole, HotSpot & Pin Sponsors!

Big "I" Members Connect With College 
Students At UNK & Wayne State Career Fairs 
IIAN Is Now A UNK Career Center Partner
IIAN members have been busy this fall, visiting with upper-level college students at UNK on October 1, and Wayne State College on October 23.  "Members told us in our online survey conducted this past February that it's important to keep promoting job and career opportunities to college students,"  commented IIAN immediate past president Sandra Ryks.  "So our New Talent Task Force decided to become a UNK Career Center Partner, which will give us many more opportunities to showcase the independent agency system and current local job openings to UNK students.  We're also focusing on working with Wayne State College, and Southeast Community College this fall, and looking to expand in 2020.  It's a long-term investment in our future." 
Maria Janata, Abby Hansen, and Britney Schleppenbach visit with students at Wayne State Career Fair
IIAN president Todd Anderson also participated in UNK's Agribusiness Showcase on October 1, along with Johnie Kamery with Gary Thompson Agency and IIAN Marketing Director Kevin Kraft.  President Anderson will be speaking to UNK students in the  classroom on November 13 about crop insurance and ag risk management job opportunities.  Zak Morken with Adams Insurance Advisors also met with several potential job applicants during the afternoon all-student career fair, and promoted current job openings posted by IIAN members.
Zak Morken and Tony Purvis visit with students at UNK Career Fair
At the Wayne State Career Fair on October 23, Cole Williams with Insurance Associates, Maria Janata with F & M Insurance, and Abby Hansen and Britney Schleppenbach with Inspro, visited with students about insurance agency job opportunities in northeast Nebraska.  
 IIAN members who want to publicize their job openings to college students can contact IIAN's Kevin Kraft  at 
402-476-2951, kevin.kraft@biginebraska.org.
"For members looking for more experienced job candidates," says Ryks, "
IIAN's Task Force highly recommends trying the new National Big "I" online hiring resource - Big "I" Hires.  
Many Big "I" members across the country are getting great results!" 
Big "I" Hires is a comprehensive online solution for independent insurance agencies to finding and recruiting new talent, then on-boarding them with ease.  It's a one-stop resource for independent insurance agencies to attract, assess and train top performing Producers and CSRs. 
View IIAN overview webinar.
"Prior to Big I Hires and Ideal Traits, hiring people was a complete gamble. No more wasting hours interviewing unfit candidates. Thank you for a wonderful product!"  Brad Kaplan, President, Kaplan Insurance

Free Webinar on the New Overtime Rules
October 30 - 1:00 PM CST

Learn the basics about the major regulatory changes on overtime pay. These changes go into effect January 1, 2020 and  will impact your agency    This one-hour session will be co-hosted by Affinity HR Group, a national HR consulting service and  Big "I" Hires   partner.   In addition to the webinar, IIABA's Government Affairs team has published a three-page  primer   available to help your agency prepare for these changes.
Thank You!
For sponsoring IIAN's Kansas City-Green Bay Getaway Raffle - helping us raise over $11,000 for Big "I" Advocacy during the 112th Annual Convention!
Contact Mike Keegan for more information - 913.461.7594

Independent Insurance Agents of Nebraska
(402) 476-2951