October 12-14, 2021 | Virtual


Agenda subject to change without notice. All times listed are in Eastern Time.

Tuesday, October 12
12:30 – 1:00 p.m.

Pre-Event Networking in the Meeting Hub

1:00 – 1:45 p.m.

NAMIC Welcome and A Look at the Business and Insurance Climate Coming Out of COVID-19
Erin Collins, NAMIC’s senior vice president of state and policy affairs, will give a high-level overview of some emerging trends impacting the property/casualty insurance industry.

Erin Collins
Senior Vice President, State and Policy Affairs

1:45 – 2:00 p.m.

Networking and Stretch Break
Take this opportunity to connect with fellow attendees in the Meeting Hub. Send a chat, make a call, or schedule a meeting with someone new. Need to stretch your legs? This is your chance to step away for a moment before diving back into sessions.

2:00 – 2:45 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

  1. M&A Trends in the Independent Insurance Industry
    This session will explore current trends and economic conditions driving agency mergers and acquisitions in the property/casualty insurance industry. Attend this session to understand how M&A activity can be impacted by internal and external factors such as an aging workforce, a lack of planning, increased interest rates, and capital gains taxes. Attendees will leave understanding the risks this activity presents to carriers and ways carriers can support agencies to mitigate that risk.

    Carey Wallace
    Agency Focus, LLC

  2. How to Be a Better Partner to Agents and Insureds
    Now more than ever, agents and insureds are expecting a value-add relationship from their carrier partners. The modern-day marketing representative should be seen as a partner, consultant, friend of the agency, resource, and wealth of knowledge, not just another meeting on a calendar. Through personal anecdotes from his time as a marketing rep, agency professional, and now host of the “InsuranceTown” podcast, Heath Shearon will share with attendees how they can be better partners and create value for their agents and insureds.

    Heath Shearon
    Podcast Host
    Insurance Town Podcast

2:45 – 3:00 p.m.

Networking and Stretch Break

3:00 – 3:45 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

  1. How Marketing Changed During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Panel Discussion
    As the pandemic forced businesses to make rapid shifts, marketing followed suit – and, in some cases, led the initiatives – aiming to meet the evolving needs of the consumer. Hear from marketing professionals in and outside the insurance industry during this interactive panel discussion.

    Tom Young
    Founder and CEO
    Intuitive Websites

    Anthony Payne
    Senior Vice President, External Affairs
    The MEMIC Group

    Kasey Connors, MBA, CAE
    Vice President of Marketing Operations
    Trusted Choice, Inc., Big “I”

  2. Design Tips and Utilization
    Attend this session to learn how to get the most out of your design software. Featuring an insurance marketer with a graphic design background, this session will provide easy tips and tricks for software such as the Adobe Suite and Canva that will help elevate and polish your design skills.

    Sandra Taylor
    Marketing Communications Specialist
    Harford Mutual Insurance Group

Wednesday, October 13
12:30 – 1:00 p.m.

Pre-Event Networking in the Meeting Hub

1:00 – 1:45 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

  1. Building a Better Partnership: How to Improve Buy-in and Alignment Between Marketing and Sales
    Are your marketing/communications and sales teams siloed or not communicating as regularly as your company needs to be most effective? Communications professionals must be deliberate about how they build and maintain the marketing/communications and sales partnership to meet their mutual goals, especially in the era of hybrid or virtual/remote work. This session will focus on providing specific tactics and real-world examples for earning buy-in and delivering mutual benefits that help your marketing/communications and sales teams achieve better alignment and success.

    Session attendees will hear real-life examples of how Western National’s cross-departmental teams have worked together to build buy-in and deliver mutual benefit to the organization’s bottom line. Attendees will leave this session with actionable takeaways for building influential peer-like relationships with colleagues at all levels in the sales department – as well as stakeholders in other key departments – to support the ease with which they accomplish goals together.

    Steve Norman, CPCU, M.A., AIT
    Vice President – Communications and Customer Experience
    Western National Insurance Group

  2. Metrics That Matter: Improving Your Analytics Strategy (Beginner Level)
    The metrics you get from your various analytics tools are only effective markers of business success if they're able to connect to your organization's goals. How do we make that leap from metrics to goals? And what should we be measuring in the first place? During this session, Dana DiTomaso will lead attendees through the process for a fictional insurance company, explaining how metrics, goals, and key performance indicators work together to help you determine marketing’s return on investment.

    Dana DiTomaso
    President and Partner
    Kick Point

1:45 – 2:05 p.m.

Networking and Stretch Break

2:05 – 2:50 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

  1. The Importance of Promoting Your Financial Strength
    AM Best’s BestMark program is designed to help insurance companies, marketers, agents, and brokers build brand awareness and drive engagement by immediately amplifying and promoting their financial strength level and brand to their audiences. The free BestMark program provides valuable content from an independent and trusted third party to help rated insurers/agents distinguish themselves from non-rated competitors and shows target markets that the rated insurer has undergone AM Best's rigorous rating process, promoting credibility, confidence, and trust in their services and capabilities.

    This session’s attendees will learn what insurance credit ratings are, why they are important, the benefits of leveraging their company’s financial strength in marketing and sales efforts, and how to feature the concept in marketing and sales materials.

    Mary Marzano
    Director of Strategy and Communications
    AM Best

  2. Marketing Attribution in 2021 – More Important Than Ever or a Waste of Time? (Advanced Level)
    Identifying digital marketing channels that provide the best return on investment and hit your key performance indicators has never been more challenging. While there isn't one tried and true approach, this session will remove some of the blurred lines and provide actionable takeaways to make better sense of your data. By reviewing various ways to approach digital marketing ROI and delineating when one channel makes more sense, you'll be able to make informed marketing decisions about what works, what doesn't, and how to pivot when necessary.

    Sam Kessenich
    Chief Digital Officer
    RyTech, LLC

2:50 – 3:10 p.m.

Networking and Stretch Break

3:10 – 3:30 p.m.

Roundtable Discussions – Part 1
Join fellow communications and marketing professionals for roundtable discussions during which you can share knowledge, brainstorm solutions, and offer advice. Attendees will be asked to self-select either communication or marketing as their topic. Prompts for the discussions will include what’s keeping you up at night, the most difficult challenges you’re currently faced with in your role, and impacts of the pandemic on communications and marketing. Participants will be assigned to small groups and are encouraged to turn on their cameras during these discussions. Advance registration is required to attend roundtables. To sign up, complete the survey in the pre-event communication or email events@namic.org.

Thursday, October 14
12:30 – 1:00 p.m.

Pre-Event Networking in the Meeting Hub

1:00 – 1:20 p.m.

Roundtable Discussions – Part 2
This session of roundtable discussions will be broken down into attendees from small companies and large companies. Small-company discussions will focus on how to juggle wearing many hats and helpful tips for others who work for small companies. Participants from large companies will be prompted to discuss challenges such as working cross-departmentally in a larger organization. Participants are encouraged to turn on their cameras and actively participate in these discussions. Advance sign up is required to attend roundtables. To sign up, complete the survey in the pre-event communication or email events@namic.org.

1:20 – 1:40 p.m.

Networking and Stretch Break

1:40 – 2:25 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

  1. Who Are Your Customers and What Do They Want?
    Join Thomas Pytel, vice president and chief marketing and corporate communications officer with CopperPoint Insurance Companies, for a candid conversation on how best to understand who your customers are and what they need and want from you. Thomas is a nationally recognized and award-winning marketing and communications professional. His years of experience in the property/casualty mutual insurance industry mean he understands B2B and B2C customer relationships and can share insights and actionable strategies with insurance marketing professionals looking to understand their customers, no matter who that may be.

    Thomas Pytel
    Vice President, Chief Marketing and Corporate Communications Officer
    CopperPoint Insurance Companies

  2. Case Study: Grinnell Mutual COVID Communication Campaign
    Join Grinnell Mutual for a case study session on the communication campaign it developed during the COVID-19 pandemic and the lessons learned along the way.

    Barb Baker, CPCU
    Director of Advertising and Community Relations
    Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company

    Danielle Fengel
    Assistant Vice President, Marketing and Customer Experience
    Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company

    Dan McCue, AINS
    Digital Marketing Strategist
    Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company

2:25 – 2:45 p.m.

Networking and Stretch Break

2:45 – 3:30 p.m.

Agent Panel Discussion and Closing Remarks
The success of the company/agency relationship is an integral part to our industry, so it is important to be tuned into what agents want and need to create successful partnerships. This candid discussion will allow participants to hear directly from a diverse panel of agents about what they look for in carrier partners and how to improve relationships with direct and independent agents.

Carey Wallace
Agency Focus, LLC

Tom Burrall
C.S. Burrall & Son, Inc.

Kate Ferri Dawson, CPIA
Ferri Dawson Insurance Group

John Magliocca
Agency Owner
Tri State Insurance Solutions LLC

Chance Sowers, AFIS
Chief Marketing Officer
Metzger Insurance Agency


Julianna Gorman
Webinar & Customer Service Coordinator



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