Arizona really was the best of the west for both new and long-standing compliance connections this year! We had over 750 attendees, including 53 regulators. Almost 30% of attendees were first timers plus we had 25 Solutions Providers!
Starting Sunday afternoon, there were over 63 sessions held over the next few days. All levels of compliance professionals were able to pick the seminars that worked best for them. A plethora of insurance topics were covered including product development, market conduct issues, business-line-specific hot topic areas and regulator roundtables. Sunday evening activities included a Welcome Reception in the Solutions Showcase.
Our Keynote speaker for our Monday breakfast was Scott Friedman. He did a great job jumpstarting our day on a positive note! He is a highly motivational speaker who showed us how to celebrate and better use our GPS (Gratitude, Play & Surprise). Scott also joined us for our Volunteer Recognition Luncheon and held an afternoon session — "The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create It."
Monday night brought great excitement as we grooved and danced with friends under the stars in the desert. The locale was exceptional and the food fantastic, but The Hamptons stole the show, along with an extraterrestrial who danced the night away with many compliance professionals donning glow sticks and showing their moves. Luckily there were no injuries to speak of!
On Tuesday we resumed with our numerous seminars and enjoyed the evening catching up with Chapter friends at offsite events. Wednesday continued with seminars, and final goodbyes for many, but for others it turned into the beginning of a journey through Sedona and the Grand Canyon.
Over 750 compliance professionals connected to discuss, learn about and present a variety of topics in our ever-changing industry and regulatory environment. As always, our Regulator Roundtables were a big success!
Program goals were to:
Compliance professionals, trade association representatives and 53 regulators were on hand to present relevant, hot topics in all lines of insurance compliance that were of interest to both industry and regulatory communities, to those seasoned compliance professionals and those recently introduced to insurance compliance, and to everyone in between.
The ever-popular View from the Top included Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner, John Doak, Louisiana Insurance Commissioner James Donelon, New Jersey Commissioner Ken Kobylowski, John G. Franchini, Superintendent of the New Mexico Insurance Office, Deputy Commissioner Joel Laucher of the California Department of Insurance and Germaine Marks, the Director of the Arizona Department of Insurance.
In our industry there is never a shortage of topics for discussion and luckily these experts were able to provide invaluable information for not only property and casualty, but also life, annuity and health.
Thank you to our regulatory leaders for making time to meet with the AICP at our Conference. We truly appreciate your support and time.
This year we re-dedicated our exhibitor hall, so to speak, and better described the amazing vendors who support us by re-naming it the Solutions Showcase. The AICP is always pleased to welcome back many companies who have supported us through the years, but we are also excited to welcome new folks as well and see what they have to offer. In our ever-changing industry, we need the continued support, knowledge and enthusiasm of those who showcase their products and services to help us gain efficiency, effectiveness and bring valuable information to help with our jobs.
We kicked off Sunday evening with our usual fun adventure that took us through the 25 Solutions Providers showcases. Attendees were able to check out the latest products and services plus win fabulous prizes and have a lot of fun along the way, all while listening to Native American Music and enjoying great food!
A big "THANK YOU" to our exhibitors and sponsors for their continued support of the AICP!
This year the proceeds of our Silent Auction and conference pins, plus individual donations, were dedicated to Gabriel's Angels. This Arizona organization delivers healing pet therapy to at-risk children, nurturing their emotional development and enhancing the quality of their lives through the many Therapy Teams (owners and pets) who volunteer for this worthy initiative. Auction items were on display in our Solutions Showcase area and bidding continued through Tuesday.
Not only did we have fabulous conference pins, but we were introduced to Snickers, one of Gabriel's Angels and so super cute! He won the hearts of many.
Thank you to those who provided auction items in support of our Silent Auction, to those who took part and bid on items or purchased pins, and to those who donated by way of our donation jar. Due to your generosity we were able to provide a check for $6,000!
A big THANK YOU to all those who helped us "give back to the community."
We had the pleasure of having Scott Friedman as this year's Keynote Speaker to jumpstart Conference during our Monday morning opening general session. Scott has a special way of getting to the heart of important issues while also entertaining us with his enthusiasm and humor. Scott's topic was on how to engage Celebration as part of our everyday work activities, and we will be using our "GPS." Scott is a highly motivational speaker, and we were also treated to additional opportunities to hear him at the Volunteer Recognition Luncheon and his afternoon session on "The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create It." A big "YAHOO PARTNER" to Scott for his time and support!
We had 216 first timers at Conference this year! The First-timers' Orientation is designed to provide our first timers with some background on our organization, to give them an idea of how Conference will go, and to furnish an opportunity to meet other first timers' to make them feel more comfortable being at Conference. This is always a nice way to break the ice, make new friends and feel more comfortable navigating through the maze. Thank you to Steve LeHew and Ginny McHugh for all their efforts to plan and lead this session!
We held a special luncheon for our many, many volunteers who make the AICP work. The strength of the AICP resides in our volunteers, and our Volunteer Lunch is just one of the many ways we recognize our volunteers' efforts and say "thank you." A big yeehaw to Doug Simino and the Committee Fair!
Scott Friedman, our Keynote Speaker, also gave a presentation to our volunteers on the rewards of volunteering for worthwhile organizations and the value of volunteers to those organizations. A big THANK YOU to our AICP volunteers.
Providing learning opportunities is one of our Association's keystones and is embedded within our Mission Statement. Recognition of those of our members who participate and guide their continuing education to become more informed and more equipped to face the challenges within our community is natural to us.
The Education Committee reviews our Professional Designation Program each year to ensure that it is current and remains viable. Each year we award those who've earned their ACP, CCP and CE designations during the course of the year at our Professional Designation Breakfast. We understand the challenge to find time to pursue continuing education in our daily lives, and those who are able to work this into their schedules deserve to be recognized.
Congratulations to each of our new designees and CE recipients — 40 in total — almost a record! 14 ACP; 6 CCP; 6 ACP & CCP and 14 CE
A hearty CONGRATULATIONS to those who have dedicated their time to study and to increase career growth opportunity through the attainment of our ACP, CCP and CE designations.
Each year it is important to spend time with new chapter officers and ensure we properly pass the torch, so to speak. This is a critical component of what keeps our organization moving forward and again, it is thanks to so many volunteers. A huge "thank you partners" goes to Elaine Douglas, Sue Eckler-Kerns, Rich Fidei, Jim Morgan and Doris Jackson!
The Sunday Solutions Showcase was expanded to include a formalized Welcome Reception this year. Aside from great food and fabulous desserts, we were entertained by local Native American music. Additionally, we could still visit our Solutions Providers during the course of the Welcome Reception. After what had been a long travel day for many of us, plus our Sunday seminars, the Welcome Reception was a nice way to end the day with friends.
We spent a wonderful, warm evening under the stars on Monday for our Gala Event. We listened to dinner music provided by The Hamptons while we ate, and then the band "kicked it up a notch" for dancing beneath the moonlight. Delicious food, great time with friends and colleagues, dancing music, and being surrounded by the magnificent grounds of the JW Marriott Desert Ridge provided a wonderful Twilight in the Desert.
Each year the current and incoming Presidents hold a reception to recognize the outgoing members of the Board of Directors and outgoing Committee Co-chairs, as well as say "Welcome!" to the incoming members of the Board of Directors and Committee Co-chairs. The strength and success of the AICP resides with our volunteers, and this is especially true for those volunteers who step up to leadership positions within our organization. The Incoming/Outgoing Board of Directors/Committee Chair reception is one way we say thank you to those who have been national leaders and to welcome those who are coming on in various national leadership roles.
The current President also holds a small, informal reception for Past Presidents of the AICP. This year we had Past Presidents going back to 2000, and most were able to attend our Past President reception.
A big THANK YOU to our national leaders who give their time and efforts to the activities and initiatives of the AICP!
We held our Annual AICP Business Meeting during Tuesday's lunch. This was an excellent opportunity for us to get up to speed on some of the AICP's significant initiatives, activities, and achievements. Karen Pollitt provided the Secretary's report regarding the Board meetings held throughout the year. Jim Morgan provided the Treasurer's report and informed us of our organization's strong financial position. Doug Simino gave the Communications Committee report regarding the updated e-mail policy as well as next year's goal of developing our social media policy. Rich Fidei provided the ByLaws Committee report regarding revisions to the AICP ByLaws. Additionally, Matt Brasch and Sean Cox provided information about the AICP Website Refresh initiative — and we love our refreshed website and are looking forward to utilizing the enhanced technology it provides. The 2013-2014 Board of Directors was recognized, and we were then introduced to our 2014-2015 Board of Directors. We very much appreciate the time each member of our Board of Directors devotes to the business of the AICP. The President's gavel was passed from Elaine Douglas to Sue Eckler-Kerns. Elaine spoke about our activities and achievements of this past year, and Sue gave us a summary of this next year's focus and top priorities for the AICP. A huge THANKS to all our Board of Directors members and Committee Co-chairs who give of their time to the AICP so generously throughout the year. Thank you, Elaine, for your leadership as our President this past year, and congratulations and best wishes to Sue Eckler-Kerns as she assumes the President's role this next year.
The Robert W. Lennon Award is the AICP's most prestigious award. The Lennon Award was named after one of our founding fathers who was not only instrumental in the initial development of our organization but contributed years of service. This year it was an honor and pleasure to present the Lennon Award to Carole Deschambault at our Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.
Carole has served the AICP in numerous roles and capacities through the years. She is one out of only two individuals who has chaired the Conference Planning Committee three times. Carole was a key contributor in the development of the overall internal organization and structure of the conference program — much of which is still used by the Conference Planning Committee today.
The inscription on Carole's award reads:
Your undaunted spirit and outstanding service to the Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals are the embodiment of the spirit and character of the person for whom this award is named. Your vision and leadership as National President, National Secretary, and Conference Planning Chair, as well as the numerous national and chapter committees you have served demonstrates your long standing commitment and dedication to the AICP. Thank you for the countless volunteer hours you have given to the AICP, upholding its values, and truly MAKING A DIFFERENCE!
The President of the AICP has the honor of presenting the AICP's President's Award. This award is presented to a member or members who exemplify volunteerism through their dedication, hard work, and service to the AICP. This year the President's Award was presented to two individuals.
The President's Award recipients were Sean Cox and Matt Brasch, both new Co-Chairs to the Website Committee this year. Through their leadership, problem-solving, and attention to detail they lead their committee to the recent successful launch of our redesigned AICP website. They both brought many insightful ideas and creative solutions to the table during the process of turning this two year vision into a reality. We are fortunate to have them both returning as Website Committee Co-Chairs for next year as they continue to explore and refine all of the new features our redesigned website has to offer.
Please join in congratulating Sean and Matt, the 2014 President's Award recipients!
The 2015 Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA, October 11-14. Plan to be there — Laissez les bons temps rouler!!! Here's a sample of what New Orleans has to offer!