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A Message From PIA's President

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Johnny Lee President's Message PicSeptember 2014

It has indeed been an honor and a privilege to serve as your president this past year. As my term comes to an end, I feel confident that PIA National is continuing to provide our members with the excellent value they need.

The value that PIA provides is convincing more agents to join us. In a time when many associations are experiencing declines, we had a net growth in membership. My predecessor, Andy Harris, challenged us to grow, and I continued that challenge. I want to thank the PIA affiliates, as well as the Membership Committee led by Stan Logan, for their help in this achievement.

PIA is firmly committed to continuing to expand the full range of services that we provide on behalf of our members.

PIA's agent-owned captive PIAPRO is closing in on the $1 million mark in written premium. The success of this program demonstrates that it fulfills a need of more and more PIA agents for quality, affordable E&O coverage from their own association.

The advocacy that PIA engages in on behalf of all of our members is a key part of the value that PIA delivers. We will continue to speak up for our agent members and be a strong voice for them. Of course, there will always be external threats to our success. That's why PIA devotes so much to advocacy.

We lobby Congress, regulatory agencies like the National association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), federal regulators, state regulators and state lawmakers. As advocates of our American free enterprise system, we must guard against those who would legislate or regulate our agencies and our carrier partners out of business.

Our agency-company council, The PIA Partnership, provides agents with business-building tools and conducts cutting-edge research on our issues; and we greatly appreciate the commitment of our carrier partners.

PIA is highly respected as a major player in our industry. When we speak, people listen. We have credibility. It is no accident that PIA members are regularly featured on the cover of the National Underwriter and in Rough Notes, Insurance Journal and other leading industry publications.

We now have a new executive leader at the helm. Mike Becker has been energetic and dynamic since taking over as CEO of PIA National in December 2013. His efforts will help us make our organization stronger while also providing additional value to our affiliates and members. He has been a joy to work with, and I know he was the right person for the job.

I also can't say enough about our staff at PIA's National headquarters. They have really come together as a unit to help us better serve our affiliates and members. We will truly need to depend on all of them as we look toward the future.

I have the utmost respect for the job Andy Harris did in leading our association last year. It was a joy to work with him and learn from him. As I pass the reins of the PIA presidency over to my good friend and colleague Richie Clements, I know our association will be in good hands. I know that Rob Hansen and Gary Blackwell will also provide excellent leadership.

As I always say, I can't think of a better time to be a Professional Insurance Agent. Ours is a great business. I am thankful that I chose it. We have a bright future because customers continue to value what we, as agents, provide. It is really that simple.

It has been my privilege and honor to serve you as president of PIA.

John G. Lee
President