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NAMIC Communications + Marketing Workshop, October 12-14, 2015, Indianapolis, Ind.

Event Contact

Amy Thornburg

Amy Thornburg
Meetings & Exhibits Manager

General Information

A strategically focused workshop designed by and for members to educate company representatives about the important aspects of marketing and advertising, corporate communications, media and public relations, and branding a mutual insurance company. This two-day workshop consists of informative keynote speakers, small-group discussions facilitated by experts, and interactive concurrent sessions. This workshop offers lasting value for all insurance company communications and marketing professionals, as well as those who have a vested interest in the policyholder, agent, or other customer relationship.

We specifically develop our educational programming with our members in mind. NAMIC is comprised of a diverse membership and there are a variety of events to meet your needs. This workshop is designed for marketing and communications executives from property/casualty insurance companies.

This Event is Designed For:

Mid-to-upper Level Marketing Professionals
Corporate Communications Professionals
Public Relations Specialists

Advertising Professionals
Online/Social Media Specialists
Company Managers or professional staffers who have responsibility for the marketing of their company

Communications + Marketing Workshop Committee Members

Kate Stull
Marketing/Communications Specialist
Columbia Insurance Group

Kristin Bullock
Manager, Promotion and Events

Melissa S. Boyer
Marketing Specialist
Mutual Boiler Re

Andy Flanagan
Administrator, Corporate Communications
Auto-Owners Insurance

Hannah Jacobs
Communications Specialist
Ohio Mutual Insurance Group

Larry Johnson, CPCU, AIC, AIM, AAI, AIS
Vice President Agency/Support Services
North Star Mutual Insurance Company

Dan McCue
Online Marketing Specialist
Grinnell Mutual

Randy Owens
Corporate Business Development Manager
The Portage La Prairie Mutual Insurance Company

Stacey Rebbert
Marketing Manager
Harford Mutual Insurance Company

Bruce C. Trethewy
Communications Manager
CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company

Follow us on Twitter @NAMICevents, and tweet using the Communications + Marketing Workshop hashtag #NAMICcmw.

Workshop Registration Fees

Registrations received on or before Wednesday, August 12, 2015 are applicable to receive the early bird discount.


On or before
August 12

After August 12







Non Member



Mutual Brand Program Participant Rate



Alliance (AFA) Rate






Optional Activity



*To qualify for the PFMM Designates registration rate, you must have earned the Professional Farm Mutual Manager (PFMM) designation and be current in the program. This discount only applies to individuals with the PFMM designation and is not transferable to others within your company.

First Time Attendees

We want to know if this is your first time to participate in the NAMIC Communications + Marketing Workshop so we can get to know you and provide you with some valuable networking opportunities. Don’t be shy; please indicate on your registration form if you are a first-time attendee. We are excited to meet you!

Registration Confirmation

You will receive a detailed email confirmation upon successful completion of the registration process for this event; please make sure to enter a valid email address on the registration form. If you have any questions regarding your registration, please email or call (800) 336-2642.

Registration Cancellations

All registration cancellations and transfers MUST be made in writing. Cancellations received on or before Friday, September 11, 2015, are 100 percent refundable. After September 11, 2015, a $25 processing fee will be deducted. Refunds will be issued within 15 business days after receipt of the cancellation notice. No refunds are available after September 18, 2015, so please plan accordingly. Please note: Optional Dinners/Activities follow the NAMIC Cancellation Policy. You may substitute a participant at no additional charge. Please forward all requests to or fax (317) 876-6213. Cancelling a workshop registration with NAMIC does not cancel a hotel reservation.


In accordance with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we invite all registrants to advise us of any disability and any requests for accommodation to that disability. Please submit your request as far in advance of the program as possible.

What to Wear

The suggested attire for this meeting is business casual.


If you have any questions regarding your registration, email or call (800) 336-2642. If you have any questions regarding the workshop, email or call (800) 336-2642 ext. 1026.

Workshop Agenda

“Best conference yet -- by far! Content was top-notch.”

-Andy Flanagan
Administrator, Corporate Communications
Auto-Owners Insurance

Subject to change

Monday, October 12

3 – 5 p.m.


4:30 p.m.

NAMIC’s Mutual Brand Program Show + Tell Bonus Workshop
Join this workshop to discover more about a marketing program developed specifically by and for NAMIC members. John Natale, Vice President of Marketing at Concord Mutual Insurance Company will be providing a case study that demonstrates how his company uses the program. Learn how mutual companies of all sizes are using research and development efforts to distinguish themselves in the marketplace.

5:40 p.m.

Optional Activity: Lucas Oil Stadium Tour & Dinner
Absorb the energy of Indianapolis with a behind-the-scenes tour of a state-of-the-art sports mecca, Lucas Oil Stadium, and dinner at a local hot spot.

Home of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, Lucas Oil Stadium features a retractable roof and spectacular views of the downtown Indianapolis skyline, all of which participants will get to see during this 60-minute tour. Please be sure to wear comfortable shoes.

After the tour, the group will dine at Harry & Izzy's, an Indianapolis hot spot opened by the two high school friends who opened the landmark St. Elmo’s Steakhouse. Diners will enjoy a pre-set, four-course menu, which includes the world famous St. Elmo shrimp cocktail as an appetizer and three choices of entrees.

Attendees will gather in the lobby of the Conrad at 5:40 p.m. for the 10-minute walk to the stadium.

Please note that gratuity and nonalcoholic beverages are included in the activity fee of $93. Alcoholic beverages will be paid for individually by diners. The walk to the arena is approximately one-half mile. Because the activity will commence rain or shine, it might be good to pack an umbrella. Optional Dinners/Activities follow the NAMIC Cancellation Policy.

Tuesday, October 13

7:30 a.m. - 4:40 p.m.


7:30 - 8 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

8 - 9:10 a.m.

Welcome and Keynote Session: Servant Leadership
A lot has been written about leadership over the years, but have you considered a life of service instead? Gary Thompson, a lifelong student of leadership and the president and CEO of Columbia Insurance Group, leads a 140-year-old organization using the Servant Leadership philosophy with great success.

The framework of Servant Leadership is more than 2,000 years old, but it may be more relevant than ever in today’s workplace with new generations of insurance professionals entering the workforce. This presentation will leave you with not only a greater understanding of what it is, but its practice might just transform both your professional and personal life.

Gary Thompson
President & Chief Executive Officer
Columbia Insurance Group
Columbia, Mo.

9:10 - 9:30 a.m.

Networking Break

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Concurrent Sessions

  1. Selling the Executive Suite on Your Marketing Plan
    Join this session to hear the lessons learned from a discussion panel between insurance company marketing professionals and CEOs held just two weeks ago at the NAMIC’s 2015 Annual Convention. Apply the insights to get the buy-in from your leadership to put your marketing plans into action.

  2. Maximizing Your Advertising Budget
    Insurance is the only industry to increase advertising spending each of the past 20 years. Today, 40 percent of the top insurance advertisers are mutual insurance companies. Join this session to discuss why insurers should advertise, what marketing should say, how much the budget should be, and what results to expect. Discover strategies, tactics and tools used by direct and agency channels and how to cost-effectively generate results while supporting distribution channels. You will learn the importance of your brand, your story, your reputation and relationships and how you share it with your audiences.

    Richard Look
    West Chester, Pa.

10:30 - 10:50 a.m.

Networking Break

10:50 - 11:50 a.m.

Concurrent Sessions

  1. How to Tap the Power of Storytelling in an Industry with Left-Brained Leaders
    Stories are the most powerful tool for engaging and inspiring insurance industry stakeholders--policyholders, employees, agents and others. Mutual insurance companies, with their mission of restoring people and their lives at their moment of greatest need, have access to the most emotionally resonant stories. Yet, since most insurance leaders are left-brained--rational, data-driven and numbers-oriented--companies often fail to effectively tell their stories. In this session, industry professionals will learn how to mine their organizations, cultures and personal experiences for great stories; how to convince their analytical leaders of the benefits of being a storytelling organization; and how to convey powerful, engaging narratives through speech and content distribution.

    John C. Millen
    Chief Strategist
    The Reputation Group
    Columbus, Ohio

  2. More than Branding: A Rebranding Journey
    If you’ve recently rebranded, if you’re considering rebranding, or if you’re just not sure if you’re current brand is working for you, attend this session to learn tips and pitfalls to avoid when rebranding your organization. We’ll discuss using research to identify opportunities, how to use personas to understand your target audience, and how to make a splash when launching a brand internally and with customers. You’ll walk away with a plan on getting started as well as a few easy to implement practical ideas.

    Cristina Hatem, AIS
    Corporate Communications Manager
    Preferred Mutual Insurance Company
    New Berlin, N.Y.

11:50 a.m. – 1 p.m.


1 - 2 p.m.

General Session: C-Suite Perspective Discussion Panel
Listen and interact with a NAMIC-member leaders gathered to discuss topics that are significant to marketing and communication professionals. Discussion will include issues such as media and budget allocation, insight on how to earn internal commitment for a branding campaign and the importance of measuring marketing results.

Mark Hara
Vice President, Brand Marketing
Columbus, Ohio

Kim Smith
President & CEO
Indiana Farmers Mutual Insurance Company
Indianapolis, Ind.

Rick W. Parks, CPCU
President & CEO
Society Insurance
Fond du Lac, Wis.

Moderator: Gary Thompson
President & Chief Executive Officer
Columbia Insurance Group
Columbia, Mo.

2 - 2:20 p.m.

Networking Break

2:20 - 3:20 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

  1. Bridging the Generational Gap
    In order to effectively target multiple generations, brands must understand how consumers see themselves, how policyholders are re-evaluating traditional insurance needs, and how to market to various generations without alienating others. This session will review how consumer attitudes and behaviors relate to insurance purchasing, discuss best practices to reach multiple generations, and explore innovations and opportunities within digital trends.

    Willow Marketing
    Indianapolis, Ind.

  2. Internal Communications Roundtable
    Here’s an opportunity for you to share ideas and learn from peers regarding internal communications at our companies. This peer-led discussion will include topics such as:

    • How we communicate information and its purpose.

    • How formal communications can gain or lose relevance.

    • What types of news can and can’t be shared?

    • What impedes internal communication?

    • Best practices and what gets the most results.

    Attendees should be prepared to discuss these and other topics relevant to how we keep employees “in the loop.”

3:20 - 3:40 p.m.

Networking Break

3:40 - 4:40 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

  1. Moving from Social Media to Social Marketing
    The world of marketing has shifted from just traditional marketing to a world where social media is integrated into every marketing activity. When looking at every traditional advertising and marketing medium, one can see that social media is prevalent with icons and requests to connect and share. Join this session to discuss strategies on how make the shift from social media to social marketing.

    Vicki Cannon
    Cannon Social Media Solutions

  2. Changing Insurance Landscape
    Join this discussion for a revealing look at how policy issues, such as drones and cybersecurity, are shaping the insurance industry. Attendees will learn how these topics will be affecting the insurance landscape in the years to come.

    Jimi Grande

    Senior Vice President - Federal and Political Affairs
    Washington, D.C.

5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Reception at Tastings Wine Bar in the Indianapolis Conrad
Tastings is truly about creating a wonderful and unique wine experience. With more than 100 wines in stock, Tastings boasts one of the largest selections in the world for wines-by-the-taste. Its unique method makes learning about a wine easy and fun. Guest are invited to read the brief description of the wines at the tasting stations and when you find a wine that intrigues you use your Tastings Card to select for yourself a taste of that wine, also called a “pour.” Please join us on Tuesday from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Tastings in the lobby of the Conrad for a casual reception. Thanks to our sponsor, Willow Marketing, you will receive a gift card at the reception that will allow you to enjoy a few “pours” to get you started. Light hors d’oeuvres will also be served.

6:30 p.m.

Optional Activity: Meet to Eat
Interested in gathering for dinner and friendly discussion with fellow attendees? Join us for a Meet to Eat. Choose between Pearl Street Pizzeria and Palomino Restaurant & Bar, two downtown Indy favorites.

Groups will meet in the hotel lobby at 6:30 p.m. and walk to their pre-selected restaurant. Each individual will be responsible for his or her own bill at the conclusion of dinner.

Please note that the groups will be limited to 10 people. Please note the dinner will commence rain or shine, you might want to pack an umbrella.

Registration will be available soon.

Wednesday, October 14

6:45 - 7:45 a.m.

Optional Activity: Breakfast Connections - Capital Grille in the Indianapolis Conrad
For this year’s workshop, we wanted to provide attendees with every opportunity to enhance connections with peers and expand networks. Join this causal breakfast to power up before a day filled with the deep-dive sessions and to chat with fellow workshop attendees.

The group will gather at 6:45 a.m. at the Capital Grille, which is in the lobby of the Indianapolis Conrad, for a delicious breakfast. Each individual will be responsible for his or her own bill at the conclusion of breakfast.

8 a.m. - 12 p.m.


8 - 12 p.m.

Deep Dive Sessions
Breakfast and breaks are within the sessions

  1. Reimagine Insurance from Insight to Action
    With more than $200 billion in premiums available during the next 12 months due to changing customer expectations and decreased producer loyalty, leading insurers will compete by pursuing five strategic imperatives:

    • Do more through digital

    • Create effortless experiences

    • Break down silos

    • Create a culture of innovation

    • Supercharge employees and producers

    The foundations of these imperatives are informed decisions in the planning and executing stages. In this Deep Dive session, attendees will learn how to prioritize “big data” initiatives based on their value to stakeholders and to explore how to design solutions based on an understanding of stakeholders’ goals. Attendees also will discuss the dependency among data, business rules, dashboards, and other tools when planning a deployment. The session will introduce you to an innovative methodology called “Ignite,” which allows data to transform customer, employee, and producer experiences. Roll up your sleeves and be ready to take what you learn to make changes the first day you return to the office.

    Jeffery To
    Senior Director, Insurance Sector
    New York, N.Y.

  2. Deep Dive: Branding Boot Camp - Discovering Your Authenticity and Building an Audience
    Join this Deep Dive session to uncover what makes your brand special and how to translate that message across your marketing and advertising media. Discover how to build narratives around your target audience members that will help you tailor your brand messaging. Gain insight on how to frame your brand's differentiation, goals, and your competitors. By the end of this Deep Dive session, participants will have a completed workbook that will help steer the next brand campaign – whether the work with an ad agency or completed it in-house. Also, included in the discussion will be an opportunity for peer review of marketing campaigns.

    Shannon Carrus
    Partner/Creative Director
    Orlando, Fla.

12 p.m.

Workshop Concludes

12:30 p.m.

Optional Activity: Look Back Lunch
You don’t have to rush to the airport after the workshop concludes. Join your fellow attendees for a casual lunch to make lasting connections before you leave Indianapolis. Chat about the workshop, discuss lessons learned, and make plans to implement new ideas with peers who understand the struggles and pressures that you may face when return to the office. Be sure to take advantage of this last opportunity to expand your network.

The group will gather in the hotel lobby at 12:30 p.m. and walk together to the Colts Grille, a favorite downtown Indianapolis gathering place for sports fans and non-sports fans alike. Each individual will be responsible for his or her own bill at the conclusion of lunch.

Please note that because lunch will commence rain or shine, you might want to pack an umbrella.

Where to Stay

Chase Park Plaza

Conrad Indianapolis
50 West Washington Street
Indianapolis, Indiana, 46204

One of four Conrad Hotels in the United States, the Conrad Indianapolis, built in 2006, is the premier luxury hotel in Indianapolis. Featuring 243 guest rooms and 10 residential condominiums, the Conrad Indianapolis is in the heart of downtown within walking distance of hundreds of restaurants and shops in the area. The Conrad Indianapolis is also connected to the downtown skywalk system via the Indianapolis Artsgarden.

Event Hotel Rate And Cut Off Date

Rate: $194 plus taxes per night for single/double occupancy.

Communications + Marketing Workshop attendees are responsible for making their own travel and hotel arrangements. NAMIC has contracted a room block for attendees at the Conrad Indianapolis. A set number of rooms are available at the group rate until Monday, September 21, 2015, or until the group block is sold out, whichever comes first. While NAMIC studies past attendance trends and the needs of our members, we cannot guarantee rooms will be available. Please plan ahead and secure your reservation as soon as possible to receive the group rate. Refer to the NAMIC group rate when making your reservation at the hotel.

Hotel Reservations

To reserve your room by phone, contact the Conrad Indianapolis directly at 800-CONRADS and mention the group code NAMIC.

Please contact Julie Motyka if you encounter any problems with making hotel reservations.



Travel Information

Getting to the Conrad Indianapolis is Easy!

Airport Information

The Indianapolis International Airport offers many nonstop flights to destinations around the country through nine major airlines.

Ground Transportation from Indianapolis International Airport to the Conrad Indianapolis

Shuttle bus service is available through Go Express. The fare is $10 each way. The stops closest to the Conrad Indianapolis are the stops at Illinois & Market or Washington & Meridian. Reservations and additional information is available at

Taxi service is available on the lower level outside of baggage claim at Indianapolis International Airport. Estimated taxi service is $25 depending on traffic.

Rental car information is available at

Driving Directions:

From Indianapolis International Airport:
Follow the signs for I-70 East. Take exit 79B for McCarty Street. Make a slight left onto Madison Avenue and continue on to Meridian Street. Turn left on Washington Street; hotel will be on the right.

From the North:
Follow I-65 South to Indianapolis. Take exit 113 toward Meridian Street. Merge onto West 11th Street then right onto North Meridian Street. Continue around Monument Circle and continue on North Meridian. Turn right onto West. Washington Street; hotel will be on the right.

Follow I-69 South to exit 200. Merge onto I-465 South to exit 44 for I-70 East. Take exit 83A for East Ohio Street. Go approximately 2 miles on Ohio Street then turn left onto Pennsylvania Street. Turn right onto East Washington Street; hotel will be on the right.

From the South:
Take I-65 North to Indianapolis. Take exit 110B (left merge) onto I-70 West toward St. Louis. Take the first exit, 79B toward Meridian Street. Make a slight left onto Madison Avenue and continue on to Meridian Street. Turn left on Washington Street; hotel will be on the right.

From the West:
Follow I-70 East to Indianapolis. Take exit 79B for McCarty Street. Make a slight left onto Madison Avenue and continue on to Meridian Street. Turn left on Washington Street; hotel will be on the right.

From the East:
Follow I-70 West to Indianapolis. Take exit 83A for East Ohio Street. Go approximately 2 miles on Ohio Street and turn left onto Pennsylvania Street. Turn right onto East Washington Street; hotel will be on the right.

Convenient parking!

The Conrad Indianapolis offers valet parking at a rate of $37 per 24 hours with in and out privileges. There are also a variety of self-park complexes in the area that offer a variety of rates.

Area Attractions

While visiting the Circle City you will want to be sure to visit many of the area’s local attractions. There’s something for everyone in Indianapolis, whether you want to take in a show, visit the cultural districts, shop until you drop, or just explore the city. Check out for information on all of the things going on in Indianapolis.

Check out these links below for more information:

  • The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
    The largest children's museum in the world, the Children's Museum of Indianapolis is a five-level playground, where more than 1 million kids and parents each year come to enjoy science, history, art, and culture. Among the interactive, hands-on attractions are National Geographic Treasures of the Earth, the Dinosphere, Fireworks of Glass, and a fully restored, fully rideable antique carousel – plus constantly rotating touring national exhibits.
  • Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art
    Founded by collector Harrison Eiteljorg, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art contains one of the world's finest Native American and Western Art collections, and is one of only two such museums east of the Mississippi. Artwork includes traditional and contemporary pieces by such artists as T.C. Cannon, N.C. Wyeth, Andy Warhol, Georgia O'Keeffe, Allan Houser, Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, and Kay WalkingStick. When the weather is obliging, the museum's Sky City Cafe offers visitors an opportunity to dine al fresco, overlooking White River State Park's scenic Central Canal.
  • Indianapolis Zoo and White River State Park
    The Indianapolis Zoo includes more than 350 different animal species on its nearly 70 acres. The zoo's oceans exhibit features the world's largest shark touch tank, while the Dolphin Adventure offers the world's first totally submerged dolphin viewing experience (and, if you pre-register, an opportunity to climb into the tank). The Indianapolis Zoo complex also includes a 3.3-acre garden, which features hundreds of plant varieties, which, when you think about it, is just a zoo with more chlorophyll. In addition to exhibiting and breeding animals, the Indianapolis Zoo contributes to zoology by awarding an annual cash award of $100,000 to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to conservation efforts. Known as the Indianapolis Prize, it is the world's leading award for animal conservation.
  • Mass Ave Arts District
    Known affectionately as Mass Ave, this five-block area is ripe with theaters, restaurants, art galleries and, most attractively for shoppers, a number of eclectic, independent boutiques. You'll encounter unique finds on each block, from Stout's Shoes (the nation's oldest shoe store, established in 1886) to Silver In The City/At Home In The City offering silver jewelry and unique gift items to The Best Chocolate In Town, which is fairly self-descriptive.
  • The Fashion Mall, Keystone at the Crossing
    Located in one of the city's most prestigious areas, this mall is home to Crate & Barrel, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and many more high-end retailers.
  • Circle Centre
    Connected by skywalks to several downtown hotels and the Indiana Convention Center, Circle Centre offers 100+ stores for shopping and is anchored by Carson Prairie Scott.

Frequently Asked Questions

“Exceptional organization in website, registration and pre-conference materials.”

-Annie Rubens
Corporate Communications Manager
Wisconsin Reinsurance Corporation

What is the suggested attire for business and social gatherings?
Workshop Sessions – Business Casual
Meal Functions & Welcome Reception – Business Casual

What registration payment options are available?
The online registration system accepts credit card payments, check payments, and multiple registrations under the same payment method.

When and how is registration confirmation sent?
Confirmation is sent via email so please enter a valid email address. If registering more than one person at a time you will need to forward the confirmation email to each delegate. You will receive your confirmation the quickest if you are paying online. Confirmation will be sent immediately after you submit your credit card information.

Does my registration include a hotel reservation?
No, you will need to contact the Conrad Indianapolis to make a room reservation. Please read about the hotel reservation details here.

What does my registration include?
Registration fees include workshop resource materials and access to NAMIC-hosted meal functions. Please review the agenda for full meal details.





Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 9:25:47 AM. Modified: Tuesday, October 06, 2015 4:25:55 PM.

Our Event Sponsors

Mutual Boiler Re

Guy Carpenter

Priority Data

317.875.5250 - Indianapolis  |  202.628.1558 - Washington, D.C.

NAMIC | Where the future of insurance has its voice TM