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A Message From PIA's President

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Richie Clements Presidents Message PicOctober 2014

One of the things learned from being a lifelong resident of the great state of Louisiana has been the importance of community. Every state in the nation values community, but when you live below sea level in the path of periodic killer hurricanes, the bonds between neighbors grow even stronger in the face of adversity. No matter where that is.

The same is true for PIA. Despite the fact that as agents we compete with each other, we are drawn together by common purposes. We need better markets. We need quality carriers. We want to be sure that legislation and regulation doesn't hurt our agencies or give our direct writer competitors an unfair advantage.

Those are just a few of the reasons why we join PIA: to make things better by helping each other and by giving back to our communities. PIA is a grassroots, volunteer-driven association bonded by our affiliates. There are no "ruling elites" here—it is literally "all for one, one for all."

We have been called to bring value to all of PIA—to all PIA affiliates, to all PIA member agents and also to our industry brethren. Our PIA Family has the vision to bring us to new heights. To be relevant in the products and services we offer; to always be unabashed advocates of professional insurance agents, the agency system and the American free enterprise system; and to be of service to our neighbors and our communities.

It is with a sense of purpose that we embark on a year of carrying forward the many initiatives that provide our members with the excellent value that keeps them renewing their PIA membership. With my colleague Johnny Lee before me and Rob Hansen, Gary Blackwell and Tim Russell who will follow me, we are a team, called to lead PIA to even greater things.

Being a Professional Insurance Agent is a noble calling. Every day, we should thank our lucky stars that we are members of a profession in which we can make a good living helping our neighbors protect their property, their assets and their lives. It doesn't get any better than that.

So as I humbly but proudly accept the baton of the PIA presidency, having been chosen by my peers to serve PIA and our profession for the next year, I look for inspiration and perspective to a quote from Pope Francis, who said, "Being elected is not a reward or honor, but a call to service," Amen to that!

Richard A. Clements
President