Session Title: "Conquering Kryptonite: How to Beat Fear, Leverage Change, and Achieve Your Best Results"
Time: 1:15pm-2:45pm, - Thursday, April 16
Kevin's unconventional path to business and personal success has taught him that winning in business and in life requires anything but conventional thinking.
He grew up in Muskegon, Michigan where his blue collar roots taught him the value of hard work and determination. His resume includes an eclectic mix of career stops that ultimately led him to the purchase of a franchise at the age of seventeen.
With a street-wise aptitude and a never quit attitude, he worked his way from the front lines in business to the executive boardroom. For nearly two decades Kevin was a sales and marketing executive that helped grow a little known family business into an industry giant with annual revenues reaching two billion dollars.
After a career in franchising that spanned 30 years, Kevin decided to retire from corporate America and pursue his passion for bringing "The HERO Effect" message to as many people and organizations as possible.
Kevin is on a mission to help people and organizations embrace the simple philosophy that separates world class organizations and high performance people from everybody else. He is passionate about helping people expand their vision, develop their potential and grow their results. And, as the father of an autistic child he knows firsthand how the principles of true success reach beyond the boardroom and into the lives of real people facing the challenges of everyday life.
Kevin entertains, inspires and challenges people to show up every day and make a positive difference at work and in life!
Session Title: "We Were Promised Jetpacks"
Time: 10:15am-11:45am - Thursday, April 16
Thank you bad shoulders! I was the happiest steel fitter in Northeast Ohio building 1000 ton steel bases for the extrusion industry. I loved building big, expensive, heavy….stuff. Three shoulder surgeries by the age of 28 meant that I would need a job pushing paper, not steel. For a guy who had never set foot in college class room I needed an industry and profession with no barrier of entry where no pedigree and hard work would be rewarded….enter insurance!
I joined the insurance Industry in 1999 working in every area of the Independent agency world. Starting as a producer and eventually Agency Vice President for a local independent agency. Eventually that agency sold out to a national enterprise, one I would not fit with, and left in 2008 to start my own agency Zinc, from scratch. Serving as the initial employee for the first three year I can truly say, being the salesperson, the service person, and the owner all at the same time gave me a unique perspective and understanding of the agency world. Most importantly, it made me give valuable insight on how I would build a team.
The greatest reward now comes from growing a successful agency of 20 employees and taking care of the customers we serve in 48 states.
In 2019, b atomic launched. neon its first product, is a community of indie agents platforming critical functions of their agencies around the modern customer. neon turns the related consumer, agent and carrier platformed behaviors and interactions into data, and that data into insights for agents and carriers to inform customer focused strategy and behaviors for the indie agent channel.
- "Social Media: Your Road Map to Success in 2020" (3:45pm-5:00pm - Thursday, April 16)
- "The Evolution of the Agent" (8:45am-10:00am - Friday, April 17)
- "The Brand Messaging Playbook" (11:00am-12:15pm - Friday, April 17)
An agency owner for over 15 years, Chris Paradiso has learned that there is one thing that breeds success: passion. Running an insurance agency can be challenging and it will continue to be that way as today’s world evolves and becomes more competitive.
Faced with the same challenges as independent insurance agents around the country, Chris sought to make a difference and challenge the status quo of agency ownership and management.
Using the power behind digital marketing, social media, and agency management focused on business first and sales second, Chris has been able to help his Connecticut community and his insurance agency.
NOW, HE CHALLENGES YOU: ARE YOU READY TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT? With passion, the right attitude, and belief in what you are doing, you will be successful.
Session Title: "ACA Notices and Penalties... Now What?"
Time: 3:00pm-4:00pm - Friday, April 17 (at the Marriott)
Jennifer LaTour is Vice President, Client Engagement of MZQ Consulting, LLC. She handles a broad range of ACA, compliance, human resources and employee benefits matters. Jen is a compliance expert in such complex laws as ERISA, HIPAA, COBRA, IRC, and FMLA and is regarded as a subject-matter expert on the Affordable Care Act and related topics. Jen regularly counsels MZQ clients and team members regarding ongoing benefits compliance issues.
Jen has spent most of her career working in compliance and human resource roles. Early in her career, she served as Assistant Public Defender and Judicial Staff Attorney for the Seventh Judicial Circuit in Daytona Beach, Florida. Since then, Jen has served in a compliance capacity at organizations such as the Schaumburg, IL Police Department, Allstate Insurance and Pepsi Bottling Group. Before coming to the MZQ Consulting, LLC, Jennifer was Compliance and HR Technology Manager at The Insurance Exchange in their Employee Benefits Division.
Jen graduated from Stetson University College of Law in 2000 and completed her graduate studies at the Pennsylvania State University, graduating with a Master’s of Professional Studies and Human Resources and Employee Relations in 2012. Jennifer is also a Certified Health Reform Specialist.
Session Title: "Single Payer Systems"
Time: 2:00pm-3:00pm - Friday, April 17 (at the Marriott)
DAVID C. SMITH, JD REBC is Vice President for Compliance and Risk
Management of EbenConcepts, an insurance agency and benefits consulting firm headquartered in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
He began his career in the early 1990’s as policy and research advisor to
Lieutenant Governor Dennis A. Wicker, where he was responsible for drafting North Carolina’s Small Group Health Insurance Reform laws. He also served as policy director for the State Health Plan Purchasing Alliance Board, coordinating relations with numerous health insurers, agent associations and other major constituencies during the start-up of the Caroliance program, North Carolina’s experiment in small employer health insurance purchasing cooperatives. He remains actively involved with the NC Department of Insurance on issues effecting employers and agents within the state.
From 1997 until 2002, David worked with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, the state’s largest health insurer, in numerous capacities in the sales and marketing division. During his last three years, David coordinated relationships with producers throughout the state and developed one of the best-in-class agency performance management tools for the insurer. David practiced law on a full-time basis from 2002 until 2009. While practicing, he focused on employee benefits and insurance related matters as well as employment law defense work and civil litigation. His clients included a number of North Carolina’s largest health insurance agencies and employers.
Moving away from billing on an hourly-basis for his work, David moved to the retail side of benefits when he became Vice President of EbenConcepts in 2009. Today, he directs all compliance matters for the agency, its agents and their clients, as well as serves as the primary sales director for its technology and risk management strategies for larger clients. In addition, he spearheads strategy and data analysis for the agency’s self-funded clients.
David has made educating employers and agents a priority throughout his professional career. He is widely acknowledged as a national authority on employee benefits, including ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA Privacy, Wellness, and the Affordable Care Act. David has written numerous articles for national publications on the impact of new and evolving federal laws and regulations on employers and employee benefit plans and is frequently quoted in numerous media outlets on these topics. David authors opinion and compliance articles and blog posts frequently for Employee Benefit Advisor.
David also speaks across the country, consistently receiving very positive reviews from attendees since his speaking style and knowledge allows him to take complex compliance topics that are otherwise boring and difficult into an opportunity to understand in a more interesting and fun approach. He has been recognized nationally for his public
speaking, winning the William G. Wetzel Excellence in Public Speaking Award for 2011.
David is a very active member of the National Association of Health Underwriters, serving in leadership positions at the local, state and national levels for the organization. David was President of the North Carolina Association of Health Underwriters from 2008-09 and State Legislative Chair from 2012-2014. For the national association, David served Chair of the Bylaws Committee, Wellness Task Force and the Professional Development Committee, and as a member of the Legislative Council, and numerous other working groups and task forces. He serves today as Chair of the NAHU Governance Committee and as a member of the Membership Council.
Session Title: "Panel Discussion: The Price of Pills - How Can the US Keep Up with Rising Prescription Drug Costs?"
Time: 1:00pm-2:00pm - Friday, April 17 (at the Marriott)
Greg Stancil serves as a Senior Account Executive at Scott Benefit Services with over 17 years of experience in the healthcare industry, working with PPO networks, carriers and as a consultant. Also, as Director of Legislative Affairs, he oversees Scott’s client healthcare reform plan actuarial validation and affordability custom modeling, healthcare client checklist, due diligence process and client HCR monthly webinar series. Additionally, Greg conducts healthcare legislative affairs workshops across the country and frequently authors blog posts related to healthcare reform on the Scott Performance Thinking blog. Greg attended Luther Rice University and has his Registered Health Underwriter (RHU), Chartered Healthcare Consultant (ChHC) and Certificate of Studies in Healthcare Reform designations from the American College.
Session Title: "Swiping My Way to Success: How Dating and Customer Experience Go Hand in Hand"
Customer Experience Manager - Ohio Insurance Agents Association
A millennial in a risky business affectionally referred to as The Beyoncé of Insurance – it’s no secret that Ashley Fitzsimmons is an insurance nerd with a passion for this industry. She’s been in your shoes. After nearly a decade as the fourth generation in an independent agency near Scranton, PA, she’s taken a little detour to join the team at Ohio Insurance Agents in Columbus. Her love for her clients helped secure the 2018 National CSR of the Year award. You may have seen her speak in the past at Elevate or Gary Vaynerchuck’s Agent2021 or heard her on Agency Revolution, the Insurance Guys or the Insurance Nerds podcast. In traveling to different events and meeting hundreds of agents, she realized she can make an even bigger impact by helping independent agents thrive all over the country. Connect with her. Use her as a resource. Or just have a martini with her – whatever it is, she’s here to help!
Session Title: "Building a Culture and Employer Brand that Attracts and Retains Top Talent"
Dani Kimble is the Chief Marketing Officer at O’Neill Insurance in Wadsworth, Ohio. She began her career in the insurance industry in 2016 and has spent the past 3+ years transforming the agency brand to center around its culture, and has humanized the brand experience through the power of digital marketing.
Dani has spoken at Gary Vaynerchuk’s Agent2021 conference, Trusted Choice’s Elevate conference, and Westfield Insurance’s Small Business Speaker Series. She’s also spoke on culture, employer branding, and marketing for the American Marketing Association, Ohio Insurance Agents Association, and the Wayne County Economic Development Council. Dani resides outside of Akron, Ohio with her husband, Zach and their 3 children, Ava, Anderson, and Jesse.
Session Title: "Keys to Agency Prosperity"
Director of Agency Prosperity - IIANC
Michael “Mick” Hunt, an experienced Sales and Operations Executive, assists agents in utilizing data analytics in support of revenue growth for independent agencies. Prior to joining IIANC, Mick was an Sales Manager for an exclusive Nationwide agency, an independent agency owner, Executive Director of a large Florida-based MGA, and an Independent Consultant. Most recently, he has been instrumental in assisting a Nationwide Insurance Hall of Fame agent in preparing for future Independence.
Throughout his career, Mick has provided valuable expertise and consultancy to clients throughout diverse subjects, including Insurance Sales Operations, Workforce Management, Back Office Outsourcing, Lead Generation, Data Analytics, Strategic Planning, and P&L Results. Whether it has been a 5 employee Nationwide Agency, a 400 employee MGA, or anything in between, Mick has been successful at improving the bottom line, as well as improving efficiencies and workflows!
As a graduate of the University of North Carolina with a B.B.A., Mick has an in-depth understanding of business operations and development, as well as networking strategies to exceed goals and drive results.
Session Title: "2020 Legislative Preview"
Vice President of Governmental Affairs - IIANC
As Vice President for Governmental Affairs, Joe spearheads IIANC efforts on state legislative and regulatory matters involving the NC Department of Insurance and other state agencies, and the NC General Assembly; he also leads efforts to raise money for IIANC PAC and InsurPac (our state and federal political action committees), and coordinates with IIABA staff on getting IIANC members engaged on federal issues that impact independent agents. Working with the IIANC Board and Government Affairs committee, which he staffs, Joe shepherds the process of identifying, researching and creating proactive advocacy strategies on public policy issues of interest to IIANC members.
Joe is a Raleigh native and UNC alumnus, and has worked in politics in Washington, DC, and North Carolina for most of his adult life. In addition to being a lobbyist, he's run political campaigns and served in key positions in state government (was eligible for license plate 50 when serving as Chief Deputy State Treasurer, meaning that if the Governor and 48 other government officials all disappeared, he would have become North Carolina’s chief executive - slightly more than ‘a heartbeat away,’ but still). He’s a proud father to a wonderful teenaged daughter, an avid golfer, active in his church, and serves on several local non-profit boards.
Session Title: "Throw Me a Lifeline! Tools and Tips to Achieve a Healthy Work-Life Balance"
Vice President of Professional Development - IIANC
LuAnn oversees the professional development team and is responsible for selecting and developing content for IIANC’s continuing education and professional development programs. She serves as staff liaison to Technical Committee, CIC Advisory Council and Professional Development Committee. She serves on the North Carolina Property/Casualty Insurance Test Development Committee. A native of North Carolina, LuAnn Wooters has been in the insurance industry for over 30 years. During this time, she held multiple agency positions as personal and commercial lines CSR, office manager, personal lines manager, claims manager, small business sales manager, and education specialist.
LuAnn is a graduate of Peace College, attended North Carolina State University and is a Wolfpack fan. LuAnn has two children and a dog Bella. Outside the office, LuAnn loves going to the beach, mountains and movies.