I have been the chair of the Agents Advocacy Coalition for coming up on five years this September, at which time I will hand the reins over to PIANY past President Fred Holender, CLU, CPCU, ChFC, MSFS. During my time as chair, Agents Advocacy Coalition has done a lot of work of which I am proud to have been a part.
Since I became chair in 2016, each year Agents Advocacy Coalition has supported roughly 30 legislators and candidates in New York state elections. Because the PAC is nonpartisan, it gives to candidates from all political parties. The main criterion for the PAC’s contributions to political campaigns is that the candidate must support the insurance industry and he or she must be willing to work with professional agents on issues they are facing.
In addition to supporting state legislators, I am proud of some important committee changes that I spearheaded, which have helped ensure Agents Advocacy Coalition continues to have a highly engaged, thoughtful and dedicated group of agents governing the PAC. When some committee members did not wish to serve another term after their terms expired, I helped find new committee members who would give Agents Advocacy Coalition representation from across New York. This was my goal because it helped ensure that the PAC has perspectives from every area of the state—because professional agents across the state are affected by different insurance-related issues.
I am also proud of establishing a perpetuation plan and standard operating procedures for the committee. The perpetuation plan helps ensure some continuity among Agents Advocacy Coalitions’ officers year-to-year, and the SOP established regular expectations of the officers outside the committee’s bylaws. Agents Advocacy Coalition needed both a perpetuation plan and SOP to help ensure smooth transitions between leadership and a better understanding of what everyone does.
However, I am most proud of what the PAC launched in January 2021 in celebration of its 40th anniversary of working in Albany for professional agents in New York: a new name, a new brand and a new website for the organization. Originally, the PAC was named PIANYPAC when it was founded in 1981. But since then, there has been growing confusion between PIANYPAC and PIA National’s PAC, PIAPAC, so the committee decided it was time for a change. I helped lead the rebranding subcommittee through a year-long process to refresh and modernize not only the PAC’s name, but also its look, and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
I have enjoyed every moment of leading Agents Advocacy Coalition, but I think it’s time for new leadership. I know Fred will do an outstanding job—he has a lot of political, insurance industry and PIA experience in New York, which will serve the organization well. However, I will continue to serve on the committee as a source of institutional knowledge.
I am looking forward to a busy 2022 election year, and I can’t wait to see where Agents Advocacy Coalition goes next.