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PIA's 75th Anniversary

The year 2006 marks an auspicious milestone for PIA. It is our association's 75th anniversary. In 1931, a group of independent insurance agents gathered...
January 3, 2006

Ray L. Peretti, President, PIA NationalBy Ray L. Peretti
President
PIA National

The year 2006 marks an auspicious milestone for PIA.  It is our association's 75th anniversary.  In 1931, a group of independent insurance agents gathered together in Washington, D.C. and held the first meeting of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Agents.

NAMIA's name was changed to the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents in the bicentennial year of 1976. PIA's name was changed, but the mission remains the same.

The mission statement of PIA National is: "To promote, protect and defend the integrity of our members, the value of their profession and the success of their businesses."

And while it is great to make note the past, PIA's focus is always on the future success of PIA member agencies. That's why the PIA National Board of Directors decided that the best way to celebrate our association's 75th anniversary is to invest in PIA's future - not throw a party.

PIA's 75th anniversary provides our association with a unique opportunity to let all the players in our industry, as well as policymakers and industry colleagues, know that PIA is strong, active, influential and committed to growth and success for many years to come.

PIA National staff has developed a coordinated strategy of enhanced promotion and engagement that will occur throughout 2006. Beginning in January and continuing throughout the year, you will be seeing an aggressive national ad campaign by PIA in many industry publications, including the National Underwriter and Rough Notes. PIA affiliates will have the opportunity to participate in coordination with this campaign.

The other elements of this strategy will be announced as the year progresses.

All activities under the umbrella of the 75th Anniversary will be leveraged to build the PIA brand and increase membership, making PIA a stronger organization that is better equipped to directly benefit its members.  We will do this by substantially raising PIA's profile among independent insurance agents, the insurance industry generally and those policymakers we need to influence.

Advocating for Agents

Advocacy by an association is comprised of the positions it takes on key legislative and regulatory issues and its effectiveness at pursuing its agenda.  It encompasses grassroots advocacy as well as lobbying on Capitol Hill, in the state legislatures, at the NAIC, NCOIL and NCSL - and, when necessary, in the court of public opinion.

PIA members must continue this long heritage of personal, direct engagement in the state and federal political process. This involves knowing your state representatives, commissioners and other officials. It involves knowing your Members of Congress, and sharing those contacts with your state and national PIA, so that we can work with you and get those leaders to "get things done!"

It is sharing with policymakers on a regular basis what is important to your agency and how that affects you and your clients in your community. It is being a visible part of their campaign efforts. This is especially important to PIA members' individual interests on federal issues, because it take the votes of a majority in both the House and Senate - all coming from various states - to achieve the federal legislative victories that you need!

PIA's ability to engage in detailed policy analysis at the NAIC, as well as in the various states, assures that PIA members' interests are being protected.

Carrier advocacy is another hallmark of PIA. Our cooperative efforts with our PIA-CCEO carriers are combined when needed with advocacy in opposition to such things as carrier-specific disclosure requirements, which PIA respectfully - and firmly - opposed.

Member Action

PIA is an aggressive, activist organization that is never afraid to speak up - and speak out - on behalf of our members. That's why nationally PIA's membership is growing.  But promoting our many recent accomplishments must always be viewed along with what PIA has always excelled at for the past 75 years: delivering daily, desktop value to agents in a cost-effective, efficient and timely manner.  That's the name of the game.

PIA provides you with what you need to succeed:

  • Advocacy on issues, in Congress, at the NAIC, in state legislatures - and, importantly, advocacy with our carrier partners.
  • Legal and technical expertise that you can draw on.
  • Products and services that protect your business assets, help you to make more money, and give your agency a competitive edge.
  • Education you need to improve your skills, and those of your employees.
  • And the kind of networking that opens up new opportunities.

PIA is not a member-passive organization. PIA will always encourage PIA members to be on alert, be visible, speak up, get active and remain involved -- working for your interests together with a staff that understands the issues, knows how to positively affect them and realizes that member involvement every step of the way is always crucial to success.

But the key to PIA's success is your involvement.  It is the working relationship among PIA members and PIA affiliates, together with PIA National, that brings about the best opportunities for our desired outcomes.

So, happy birthday, PIA members. 2006 is going to be another great year.

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