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photoThis meeting a way to say thank you to Jeff Yates for not only his outstanding efforts with ACT, but also for his time in helping the independent insurance agency avenue prosper and thrive under his tutelage. As numerous people stood up and thanked Jeff for all of his efforts, it was interesting to sit back and listen to each and every person personally speak from the experience that they’ve had with Jeff. However the most profound part of this moment what not what the people had to say, but instead the emotion in which they spoke of their respected and admired friend.

Jeff Yates has made a huge difference not only to ACT but to the industry as a whole. Many individuals spoke to Jeff’s work ethic, passion, and love for independent insurance agencies, while also touching on his ability to handle every matter he faced with pose and professionalism. Jeff was more than just a director of ACT, he was a person who truly cared and made a difference in so many of our lives. I must admit, I feel bad for Ron who is stepping in to replace Jeff, because those are some mighty big shoes to fill. However I have full confidence that Ron will succeed in his new role running ACT.

photo 1Aside from wishing Jeff well, I’d like to touch on some other events that took place last week at the conference. Our session on leadership was extremely helpful and can be so for all agency owners. My biggest take away from this session is simple: change is good so embrace it. Furthermore, I also enjoyed the session on personality tests because this can act as a great way to gauge the differences in your agency’s staff personalities and preferences.  These results will provide you with valuable information that may improve the working efficiencies of your office, such as which staff members may work better in certain areas of the office with other people similar to their personality.  Another significant take away occurred from the ‘customer’s experience’ session. It’s incredibly important for agency owners to realize that we have to give legendary customer service, and the only way we can do that is by taking the time to understand what our prospects and clients are experiencing when they do business with our agency. If we do not take the time to do this, it will help legitimize the McKinsey report theory, and I am never going to stop the fight against direct writers.

photo 5I am proud to be an independent insurance agency owner, and I am proud to invest and be a part of my community. I can assure you that every agent who was in the meetings last week is an agent who loves their community and is willing to make a difference. We as independent agents need to stick together and work with each other for the betterment of our industry and our communities. I hope others read this article and take the time to think about attending the next ACT-AUGIE-AIMS meeting because the takeaways far out outweigh the cost to attend.