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PIWA Midyear Conference
Diverse programs, events accentuate industry gathering

PIWA President Gary Hollederer welcomes attendees to the conference at the opening dinner.

The Professional Insurance Wholesalers Association 2007 Mid-Year Conference, held May 2-3 at the Pearl River Hilton, was attended by more than 80 wholesalers and company representatives who participated in diverse programs and networking events.

Golf outing
The conference began with the popular golf outing at River Vale Country Club the afternoon of May 2. Awards were presented to Richard Krouner for Closest-to-the-Pin; Tim Hochkeppel for Longest Drive; and Richard J. Verdi, Steve Guarino, Michael Murray and Patrick Bethel for Best Team Score.

Patricia Roberts, president and chief executive officer of General Star Management Co., accepts the Service to the Industry award at the opening dinner.

Opening reception and dinner
That evening, members attended a networking reception, followed by the opening dinner at which PIWA President Gary Hollederer had the honor of presenting the association's Service to the Industry award to Patricia Roberts, president and chief executive officer of General Star Management Co. Hollederer noted that Roberts was selected by the PIWA board for this award based on her strong commitment to and support of the excess and surplus line industry.

Roberts began her career in 1977 with GRC as a casualty facultative underwriter, and in 1978 transferred to General Star Management Co. (North Star Reinsurance). She earned her Certified Property/Casualty Underwriter designation in 1985 and held a variety of positions prior to her appointment as president and chief executive officer at General Star in 2001. In 2004, her role was expanded to include the position as president and CEO for Genesis Management Co. She is active with the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices Ltd., and served in a variety of committee positions and served on the board of that organization for the 2002-04 term.

At Thursday morning's keynote breakfast NAPSLO President William Newton shares the organization's priorities for the coming year.

Keynote breakfast
William Newton, NAPSLO President, was the mid-year keynote speaker at a breakfast meeting May 3. Newton shared with the attendees NAPSLO's priorities for the coming year which includes an increased client focus, improving communication with NAPSLO members, review of the strategic plan for the organization, and seeking new ways to bring new staff into the industry. Part of that initiative includes "Project Youngblood," an internship program which has proved successful since its inception; he noted that 70 percent of the interns since 1999 are now working in the excess and surplus lines business. Newton also reported on NAPSLO's positions on state and federal legislative and regulatory proposals.

Education sessions
The first of two education sessions was conducted by John DeMartini, principal, senior vice president and catastrophe risk management practice leader with Towers Perrin Reinsurance. DeMartini's presentation focused on the latest happenings in the catastrophe reinsurance market, trends in the market, and how those trends affect other reinsurance treaties as well as the trickle-down effect for "Main Street" insurance.

John DeMartini, principal, senior vice president and catastophe risk management practice leader with Towers Perrin Reinsurance, conducts the first education session, focusing on trends in the catastrophe reinsurance market. Catherine Trischan, commercial lines manager with E&K Agency Inc., leads a discussion about errors and omissions for wholesalers.

The subsequent education program was led by Catherine Trischan, CPCU, CIC, AU, AAI, CRM, commercial lines manager with E&K Agency Inc. in Eatontown, N.J.. Trischan outlined the specific measures participants could take to help reduce the probability of a successful errors and omissions claim against their agencies, and what agents should and should not do in an E&O situation. She led participants through the relationship with the retailer-including contract and documentation issues-and discussed problem areas such as certificates of insurance. She also discussed the E&O claim process.

Attendees also received a legislative/regulatory update from 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 such as the National Insurance Act of 2006; the Non-Admitted and Reinsurance Reform Act of 2007; an E&S interstate tax compact for multi-state risks; and the McCarron-Ferguson repeal legislation. They also reported on the New York Legislature's mandatory public vessel liability insurance; workers' compensation reform; the possibility of expansion of the excess line export list; and state and local agency specifications for E&S policies.

PIWA's legislative representative, Robert Pastel, of Pastel and Rosen, and Daniel Maher, executive director of the Excess Line Association of New York, provide an update on legislative and regulatory activities in New York.

Maher announced that ELANY is replacing its current internal data processing legacy system with a robust application built with state-of-the-art technology. He said that this deployment initially may not appear to have a direct impact on the broker community, but members will soon realize its many benefits as it enhances ELANY 's internal workflow and improves its efficiency. This is a preliminary implementation as ELANY prepares to unveil a fully integrated system that will support programmatic filing and a newly-designed, completely electronic web-based Online Affidavit Generation System to be released in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Thanks, sponsors
Many thanks to our sponsors, whose support made this conference possible:

First tee
Atlantic Casualty Insurance Co.
Green sponsorship
Burlington Insurance Group
Opening reception
Cowles & Connell of
New Jersey and Connecticut
Golf prizes
Cowles & Connell of New York
Tee and green
Crum & Forster
Tee sponsorship
The Demetriou Group
Excess Line Association of New York
Platinum host
First State Management Group Inc.
Golf tournament
General Star Management Co.
Keynote breakfast
GLN Worldwide Ltd.
Table programs
Global Facilities Inc.
Telephone message pads
Gremesco of Hudson Valley
Tee sponsorship
Guilford Specialty Group
Registration portfolios, longest drive
Hermitage Insurance Co.
Education session,
memo pads
Inter-Reco Inc.
Opening dinner, tee sponsorship
Jimcor Agencies
LoVullo Associates Inc.
Gold conference host
Pacific Pro Intermediaries
Conference badges
Russell Bond & Co. Inc.
Tee and green
Rutgers Casualty Insurance Cos.
Gold conference host
Stone Insurance Agencies
Golf box lunches
Tower Group Cos.
Gold conference host
United America Insurance Group
Registration list folders
United States Liability Insurance Group
Morning education sessions
Western World Insurance Group Gold conference host

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