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PIWA 2008 Midyear Conference
Diverse programs highlight event

The Professional Insurance Wholesalers Association’s 2008 Midyear Conference, held May 7-8, at the Pearl River Hilton, was attended by almost 80 wholesalers and company representatives who participated in diverse programs and networking events.

Golf outing
The conference began with the popular golf outing at Blue Hill Golf Course in Pearl River, May 7. Awards were presented to Craig Shapiro for closest to the pin; Chris Donlan for longest drive; and Larry Clark, Tim Hochkeppel, Dean Huntzinger and Jo Ann Peri for best team score.


PIWA President Gary Ricker.
 

Opening reception and dinner
That evening, members enjoyed a networking reception followed by the opening dinner, at which PIWA President Gary Ricker had the honor of presenting the association’s Service to the Industry award to Thomas Mulligan. Ricker noted Mulligan was selected by the PIWA board for this award based on his strong commitment to and support of the excess and surplus-lines industry.

Mulligan began his career in 1971 with Chase Manhattan Bank, and in 1973 became an officer of Yegan Associates, a bank servicing companies specializing in lender-related insurance products. He joined the Western World Insurance Group in 1981 as marketing administrator, and was named an officer of the company in January 1983. He held several underwriting and marketing positions within Western World, and was elected executive vice president for Underwriting and Marketing in January 2004.

 
Ricker presents Thomas Mulligan, executive vice president for Underwriting and Marketing for Western World Insurance Group, with PIWA’s Service to the Industry award.

Mulligan serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices and chairs its Legislative committee. Prior to being elected to the NAPSLO board, he served on the Internship and Information & Technology committees. He was recognized by NAPSLO for his contributions with the Past President’s Award for Committee Service in 1990 and 1993.

Keynote breakfast
Mary Ellen Rozzell, NAPSLO president, was the keynote speaker at a breakfast meeting May 8. Rozzell shared with the attendees NAPSLO’s priorities for the coming year, which includes an emphasis on improving the image of the wholesaler in the industry,
enhancing working relationships with retailers and promoting the industry to college students through outreach and the NAPSLO internship program. Rozzell reported on NAPSLO’s positions on state and federal legislative and regulatory proposals.


Bernrd Heinze, Esq., executive director of the American Association of Managing General Agents presents Ethics: Utmost Good Faith.
 

Education sessions
The first education session May 8, was the annual legislative/regulatory update conducted by Dan Maher, Esq., executive director of the Excess Line Association of New York, and Robert Pastel, Esq., PIWA’s legislative representative. They provided a status report on federal legislative proposals including the Interstate Compact for Excess Lines Tax Collection, the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act and optional federal charter. On the state level, they reported on late notice of claim and public vessel liability legislative initiatives; and, on the regulatory front, they discussed principles-based regulation, producer compensation, electronic filing and the New York State Insurance Department’s June 13 hearing on the possibility of expanding the export list.

The next education session, Ethics: Utmost Good Faith, was given by Bernrd Heinze, Esq., executive director of the American Association of Managing General Agents. Among the issues discussed on this topic were unethical actions by competitors, clients, insurance companies and industry vendors; the motivation for unethical behavior; defining ethics; application for the risk-management and insurance industry; and creating a code of conduct/ethics and the implementation and enforcement of this in the workplace.

 
(Left to right) Regis Coccia, managing editor of Business Insurance magazine; David Sheiffer, Esq., partner and chairman of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP; and John Volanski, vice president and wholesale underwriting manager with Chubb Specialty Insurance take part in the Subprime Implications to the Insurance Industry panel discussion, moderated by PIWA board
member Michael Defeo.

The third session of the day was entitled Subprime Implications to the Insurance Industry, a panel discussion facilitated by PIWA board member Michael DeFeo of the NIF Group. Panelists included: Regis Coccia, managing editor of Business Insurance magazine; David Sheiffer, Esq., partner and chairman of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP; and John Volanski, vice president and wholesale underwriting manager with Chubb Specialty Insurance. During this program the group discussed the effects of the subprime mortgage crisis on property/casualty insurers; the types of coverages affected and types of claims; and the classes of business where insurance availability has or may be affected.

Be sure to mark your calendars for the next big PIWA event—a dinner celebration Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008, at Battery Gardens in New York, celebrating PIWA’s 30th anniversary.

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