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My Path to New Opportunity

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​I often ask other professionals how they found their way to our incredible industry and I absolutely love hearing all the different paths people have taken. I feel that this is perhaps one of the most amazing things about insurance and the careers that surround it. For some, it is a family legacy and for others a new beginning. For me is was completely by surprise. I have always been a part of the sales and service field in some shape or form. I was at a point in my life where I thought I had everything figured out but as you may know, life has a way of challenging us to adapt to something new when we least expect it. That is just what happened to me.   I found ...
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Hello friends-   Tim Curtis here from the Emil Rummel Agency in Frankenmuth. As a proud MAIA Young Agents Committee member I wanted to take this time to share a little more about myself, our agency, and my experience thus far in the insurance industry! My time in the insurance industry started in December of 2016 which means as of this month I have been in the “game” for just over 3 and ½ years. At the Rummel Agency I serve as a Commercial P&C Producer with a focus on targeting the hospitality industry-namely restaurants and Craft Breweries. Our agency created Michigan’s first brewery specific insurance program 20+ years ago and that area is something ...
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Ready to jump in! The Michigan Young Agents have been a busy group thus far in 2020. Between visiting college classes and high school classrooms and preparing for the upcoming MAIA Conference, a group of passionate Young Agents made the trek to the Sunrise Side of our lovely state to join me as we dipped into the icy waters of Lake Huron to take the Polar Plunge at the 70th Annual Perchville this past weekend.  The annual festival is held in my hometown of East Tawas each Winter and one of the feature attractions is the Polar Plunge, where a hole is cut into the ice of Lake Huron and hordes of people pay to jump in the water. As a local, it ...
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Happy February! I am Leah Robinson, Commercial Lines Producer from the My Member Insurance Agency in Saginaw, MI. I’m very excited to take over the YAC’s social media for the month! My path into the insurance industry began when I was a senior in high school in the fall of 2012. I attended Eaton County Career Preparation classes, located at Michigan Farm Bureau’s headquarters in Lansing, MI. The courses I studied were Principles of Insurance, Personal Insurance, and Commercial Insurance. These classes got me interested in the insurance industry and I decided to continue my education at Olivet College. I first heard about the Michigan Young Agents while I ...
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As Dorothy Gale once recited in the Wizard of Oz, “there is no place like home.” My name is Heather Belanger, Commercial Lines Account Executive at Tri-County Agency in my hometown of Tawas City on the beautiful shores of Lake Huron. I have been fortunate enough to have worked in my agency for the last 15 years.  Clearly, that means I must have started working here when I was 12. I grew up in Tawas and for most of my teenage years I could not wait to leave “Up North” for the “Big City”. After graduation and spending a year in Ypsilanti, I received a call from my Agency Owner asking if I would come back and work at the office for the summer. Fourteen summers ...
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T-15 days until Christmas! I’ll try and take your mind off of your #GiftAnxiety for a few minutes. My name is Courtney Howrigon, Personal Lines Account Executive at Ron Jackson Insurance . I am taking over the YAC’s social media this month! A little about my journey… I grew up in a small town called Plainwell, MI – we are about 20 miles north of Kalamazoo (yes, there really is a Kalamazoo!). Where are all my #WestSide agents?! I went to Plainwell High School, home of the Trojans, and graduated in 2007. From there, I studied at KVCC and transferred to Western Michigan University (Go Broncos!), where I graduated with a Biology/Chemistry ...
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My name is Shelly Biernacki and I have been serving on the Michigan Association of Insurance Agents Young Agent Committee for just over a year now. I live in Macomb County with my husband, daughter and two fur babies. I spend a lot of my time with my large family and working, but also enjoy bowling and crafting. You may find me out on an ATV trail somewhere in Michigan enjoying the great outdoors on my 4-wheeler. I started my working life in many different industries with a thirst to learn more. I considered myself a “job gypsy”. I worked jobs from fast food, podiatry office reception, country music expert at a record store, meter reading, valet and even ...
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The first time I attended a Young Agent event was at their conference in Frankenmuth in 2015 when my father, Dan, was President of the MAIA. I didn’t really know what to expect and did not know many of the agents that were in attendance besides my father and my sister, Kelly. What I did know was that I enjoyed my experience and had planned to attend the conference the following year. In 2016, I attended the Young Agents Conference at Otsego. A whole year later and I was able to recognize a lot more faces and felt more comfortable networking with everyone. At the end of the 2016 conference, I was approached to join the Young Agents Committee. I was ...
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As an agent in the insurance industry, it is possible that you will get wrapped up in the day to day tasks of working at an insurance agency. Things get busy and you rush from one client meeting to the next or one agency meeting to another. Your day is filled with tasks and trying to complete them seems impossible in the moment. You forget about what your ultimate purpose as an insurance agent is; to be a trusted insurance advisor to the customers you serve. How do you earn the trust of your customers? By connecting with them. Not over an email or a phone call but perhaps in person if physical location allows. In the last couple of months, I have listened ...
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On Friday, September 20, 2019, Lansing Community College became the first ever community college to join the Gamma Iota Sigma fraternity. Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS) is an academic insurance fraternity for students studying under an insurance, actuarial science, or risk management major. The fraternity promotes education and professional development among its members. The new Gamma Mu Chapter was chartered during a special ceremony on Lansing Community College’s campus. The ceremony paid great tribute to the roots of the insurance industry, all the way back to merchant traders crossing Asia with their goods and wares. It also explained the meaning behind Gamma ...
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Hello!! My name is Katelyn Aitken Meyer and I am the Vice Chair of the Michigan Young Agents. This year, we will be having each member of our committee take over the Young Agent Social Media for a whole month. We will be on Facebook (follow us at Michigan Young Agents), Instagram (follow us at yamichigan), and the Young Agent Community Blog on the MAIA website (miyac.org/communities/mycommunities). Make sure to follow us as we introduce ourselves, share some great information on insurance topics that affect us in our day to day life, and tell you more about why we got involved in the Young Agents in the first place. So for the month of October, stay tuned to ...
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Young Agents Charity Spotlight: Talons Out In September not only do the leaves change so does the fiscal year for MAIA and with that brings the passing of the leadership torch for MAIA’s task forces and committees.  The Young Agents Committee (YAC) is no different.  Giving back to our local communities is very important to the Young Agents. Every year YAC selects a charity to support and this year is no different! We have decided to support Talons Out which is a local nonprofit that provides FREE honor flights to DC to WWII, Vietnam and Korean war veterans. Our chair, Lisa Lemanski’s grandfather was a WWII veteran who donated to the building of the memorial ...
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