Connecticut Convention: Mock cyberattacks, networking

May 8, 2023

PIACT held its annual Connecticut Convention at the end of March—returning to the Hartford Marriott Downtown. The event featured hundreds of agents, company representatives, exhibitors, and more industry professionals from Connecticut. Excitingly, the Connecticut Convention attracted industry professionals from out of state—insurance professionals and company representatives based out of Georgia and Illinois were in attendance. Those who attended the two-day event visited the sold-out trade show, informational seminars, and various networking events.

To see photos from the event, visit the 2023 PIA Connecticut Convention photo album.

A mock cyber event

Convention goers were invited to attend Before the Attack: A Mock Cyber Event, presented by TAG Solutions at the start of the convention. It was an interactive and favored event that highlighted trending topics like cybercrime, data breach, ransomware attacks, and major IT outages. It walked attendees step-by-step through the days following a cyberattack. Those who attended the seminar received a comprehensive, step-by-step cyber security playbook and an agency self-assessment to take back to their agencies.

Additional educational opportunities

Attendees could earn up to 5 continuing-education credits if they attended both education sessions that were fresh and relevant, and offered at the convention. During Cannabis Insurance: 360 on the 420, John Fear, CISR, CPIA, seemed to strike the right chord with attendees particularly given that Connecticut’s recreational cannabis for adult-use legislation to grow cannabis will go into effect July 1, 2023. Fear offered a thorough and entertaining introduction to the insurance-issues related to national changes in marijuana possession and use laws. He and attendees examined the various risks in the cannabis supply-chain and how Connecticut’s Social Equity Council affects the establishment of those businesses. Other topics included what forms to use when applying for insurance coverage, a discussion of the supplemental applications needed, and the potential impact in risk assessment of this ever-growing cannabis industry segment.

Fear also lead Errors & Omissions–Avoiding Coverage Gaps. He gave insights into how to approach broad topics, such as the lack of customer awareness regarding how insurance coverage protects policyholders should a claim need to be filed. Recognizing this issue—and the opportunity it presents for agents to inform their clients, only adds value to accounts through thoughtful and methodical review processes. Fear discussed how it is critical to overcome this knowledge gap. Common exposures were highlighted, as well as possible solutions that meet clients’ needs.

Networking with insurance professionals

The Connecticut Convention offered numerous networking opportunities. During the networking luncheon, PIACT welcomed PIA National President Gerald F. Hemphill who spoke about the great things PIA is doing for its members. Additionally, CTYIP held a Welcome Reception the night before the event. On the first night of the convention, DJ Mike Nigretti, spun tunes and offered another quality networking opportunity for insurance professionals. Newly elected members of the PIACT and CTYIP officers and boards of directors were in attendance. Between the trade show and networking, to compelling education—the Connecticut Convention was an event that left attendees inspired.

Change of administration

The PIACT and CTYIP boards of directors held their annual business meetings on March 24, 2023, at which their 2023-24 officers and directors were elected.

During the meeting, newly elected President J. Kyle Dougherty, CIC, said: “When I joined the organization as a Young Insurance Professional, I recognized the incredible level of professionalism that existed in the organization. It made me step up my game. Now these individuals are my peers, and I am so proud to serve them. They continue to inspire me to be better—and I hope I do the same for them. Whatever our members need, it’s my goal to do what I can to provide it.”

PIACT 2023-24 officers

  • President: J. Kyle Dougherty, CIC
  • President-elect: Nicholas Ruickoldt, CPIA
  • Vice president: Kevin McKiernan, CIC, CPIA
  • Treasurer: Nathan Shippee
  • Secretary: Katie Bailey, ACSR, CLCS, CPIA
  • Immediate past President: Bud O’Neil, CPIA

PIACT directors

The association re-elected the following individuals to serve on its board of directors for a three-year term expiring in 2026:

  • Katie Bailey, CPIA, ACSR, CLCS
  • Nicholas Fanelli, CIC, CPCU, CLU
  • Kimberly Tompkins, CIC, AIS, AINS, PHM, CRIS, ACSR, CPIA

Newly elected for a three-year term, ending in 2026 are:

  • Ryan Kelly
  • Jeff Krar
  • Carlos Lithgow, TRA

CTYIP 2023-24 officers

  • President: Ryan Kelly
  • President-elect: Justin Sloan
  • Vice President: Robyn Ricciardone
  • Treasurer: James Kannengeiser
  • Secretary: Jacklyn Meeker
  • Immediate past President: Anthony DeSalva

CTYIP directors

Elected to serve on the CTYIP board of directors are:

  • Kieran Buttrick
  • Jeremy Card, ARM-P, CSRM, CISR
  • Christine DeFelice
  • Anthony DeSalva
  • Cathy Finlayson
  • James Kannengeiser
  • Ryan Keating
  • Ryan Kelly
  • Jacklyn Meeker
  • Robyn Ricciardone
  • Justin Sloan
  • Ryan Vivenzio

Thank you to everyone who helped make Connecticut Convention a success. Plans already are underway for next year’s convention. Watch your PIA publications for details.

Thanks to our sponsors

From PIA to the sponsors, exhibitors and advertisers who helped make Connecticut Convention possible and a success, thank you!

The Andover Cos.MAPFRE InsuranceRT Specialty
Arbella Insurance GroupNLC Insurance Cos.Safeco/Liberty Mutual
Business Risk PartnersOhio Mutual Insurance GroupSelective Insurance
Central Insurance Cos.Omaha NationalSERVPRO
ChubbPlymouth Rock AssuranceUnited Property Restoration Services
Hippo InsuranceProgressive Insurance 
Jencap GroupQuincy Mutual Group 
PIA Northeast | + posts

Jaye Czupryna is publications manager for PIA Northeast and editor-in-chief of PIA Magazine. She started her career in public relations, and she has been with PIA for more than 20 years. She has overseen PIA Northeast’s various publications, including the award-winning magazine since 2009. Jaye graduated cum laude from Siena College where she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Communications.

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