The 2023 NCIGF Annual Conference took place in Seattle, Washington on April 20-21. Well attended by many members, it was a fine picture of the “N” in NCIGF with representatives in attendance from all corners of the continental United States, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Alaska! Day one of the conference included the Annual Meeting of the Members where representatives or proxies from the membership voted on NCIGF business matters including financials, the NCIGF board of directors, and a new bylaw, allowing NCIGF to engage in direct lobbying in partnership with the national P&C trades and member state guaranty funds.
Day one emcee, John Wells, chair of the NCIGF Education Committee, opened the conference by encouraging everyone to come to the educational portion of the event with their minds open and ready to learn. “Step into the messiness of life and decide to get better: for our shops, for ourselves, and for our community.” The first day of the conference also included remarks by outgoing chairman, Chad Anderson, who likened the insurance system to the intricate inner workings of a time piece noting, “Our little piece of the insurance ‘watch’ is extremely important.” Other highlights from the day included presentations on natural catastrophes, running guaranty funds like a small business, a diversity, equity and inclusion panel, as well as the presidents report from Roger Schmelzer, where he once again congratulated Mr. Anderson on two exceptional years as chairman of the organization, which was met with a standing ovation from the audience.
That evening, the membership congregated for a reception where NCIGF recognized the 2023 Gates Marchman Award winner, the late Steve Uhrynowycz, former Arkansas guaranty fund manager who passed in 2022. In an emotional and beautiful acceptance speech, his wife Cindy recognized Steve and his memory as well as his love of the insurance industry and community. Mike Surguine, Ron Hope, and Jim Winskowicz (winner of the first Gates Marchman Award in 2015 and a close friend of Steve’s) were all in attendance at the award ceremony to honor Steve’s memory.
Barry Miller emceed day two of the conference which was kicked off by on intimate interview with NAIC President, Chlora Lindley-Myers (the Missouri Director of Insurance), with Lorrie Brouse serving as the interviewer. Lorrie asked thoughtful and poignant questions about Director Lindley-Myers’ career and trajectory within state insurance regulation. The director highlighted the hurdles she overcame coming from a diverse background and representing minority groups in the industry. The day also included a financial panel from Wells Fargo and a deep dive into understanding NCIGF’s subsidiary, GSI.
Overall, a palpable sense of community and excitement was evident throughout the conference as many opportunities for connection and networking were baked into the program. The NCIGF DEI Subcommittee created an interactive NCIGF “Bingo” game to encourage members to get to know one another. The subcommittee hosted a Networking Breakfast on day two where new members and people who want to be engaged on a higher level had an opportunity to come together with a table leader and have guided discussion to get to know one another. The agenda also included an interactive game, Fact or Fiction, with Tamara Kopp from Missouri serving as the lovely game show host. Much positive feedback was given for all of the connection and interactive events and NCIGF plans to include more things like these in future programs. One new initiative in particular was highlighted several times at the conference: a mentorship program spearheaded by the DEI Subcommittee. A question was included on the post-event survey to further glean the level of interest from the community. Look for more on that initiative in the coming months.
NCIGF will host their Legal Seminar on June 21-22 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, followed by a stand-alone board meeting in Indianapolis in August. For more information on future NCIGF events, click here.