N.Y.: A look at the Agents Advocacy Coalition—great advocacy continues

February 18, 2022

A little over a year ago, your political action committee adopted a new name and look. What is now known as the Agents Advocacy Coalition, the Official PAC of PIANY was once the Professional Insurance Agents of New York Political Action Committee (PIANYPAC).

With the upcoming elections, now is a good time to remind PIANY members of how important the Agents Advocacy Coalition is to the interests of independent insurance agents and the insurance industry. At the time of the rebranding, I sat down with the then chair of the Agents Advocacy Coalition Committee, Richard A. Savino CIC, CPIA, to talk about the rebranding initiative.

Q. Why did PIANY Political Action Committee undergo a rebranding?

A. Our political action committee was founded in 1981—and it has had the same name ever since. We never really had an official logo, and the committee thought it was time to look at our overall brand and messaging to see if we could make improvements and bring the organization into the 21st century.

A. Our committee of nine PIANY members put together a subcommittee to work with the PIA Northeast Government Affairs and Communications teams. We brainstormed messages we wanted to convey in our imagery, thinking about what would resonate with our membership and stand the test of time.

Additionally, we wanted to communicate what we do in our name—advocate—and that we are an agent-driven, coalition-building organization. I think the new name and logo communicate all of this. Additionally, it shows that we are a coalition of agents from across New York state working toward a common purpose—making sure the professional insurance agent’s voice is heard in the political process.

Q. Why did you choose the colors tangerine and blue?

A. The subcommittee reviewed multiple versions of the logo with different color schemes, and with the guidance of the PIA Northeast Communications team, it landed on these colors because they stand out and are different. We wanted to bring a fresh prospective and feel.

Q. Why is having a political action committee important for New York agents?

A. In short, we do the political work for you. Monitoring legislation and knowing which political candidates are supportive of the professional agent can be difficult and time consuming for an agency or individual. The Agents Advocacy Coalition ensures our members know about important legislation that can affect our industry and their businesses, and it makes contributions to legislative candidates who are supportive of the industry and the professional agent.

Q. If people ask why they should support the Agents Advocacy Coalition, what would you tell them?

A. I can only speak for myself, but there are a few reasons why I support the Agents Advocacy Coalition. Simply put, I donate because I know I am getting expertise. I know that when I contribute to our PAC the money is going to go to candidates who are supportive of my business and industry; it takes the work off my shoulders to determine to whom I should send donations.

Another reason is I know that in politics larger donations are better than smaller ones in many instances, and the Agents Advocacy Coalition can consolidate many small donations from agents and donate a large amount to a candidate.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like to share?

A. I want to assure our members that while the name and look of our political action committee has changed, our work has not. Our committee still is run by a group of professional, PIANY agents. We still are donating to candidates who support the professional agent and our industry. And, we still are looking out for the best interests of our members.

Get involved

If you want to get involved with PIANY’s legislative and advocacy work, there are many ways to engage with the association:

About the author…

Katherine “Kat” Slye-Hernandez, Ph.D.

Katherine “Kat” Slye-Hernandez, Ph.D., joined PIA’s Government & Industry Affairs team in 2018 as government and industry affairs specialist. Now, as the PAC coordinator & public policy analyst, she is responsible for managing political action committees in New York and New Jersey; tracking legislation and regulations; helping manage the association’s advocacy initiatives throughout the Northeast states; and drafting position statements and testimonies. Kat previously worked as a Senate fellow for the New York State Senate Fellowship Program; as well as an instructor of public policy at the State University of Albany, Albany, N.Y. She also worked as a senior research aid and assistant for the SUNY Research Foundation, Albany, N.Y. She received her Ph.D. in political science from the State University of Albany, Albany, N.Y., in May 2020. She also has her Master of Arts from SUNY Albany and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from Elmira College, Elmira, N.Y.

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