Blogs

YAC RE-introduction

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Hey again everyone! My name is Heather Belanger and I am the Vice Chair of the Young Agent’s Committee, serving my 3 rd year as a YAC member. In my spare time – ha! I am the Operations Manger/Commercial Lines Account Manager at TCA Insurance on beautiful Tawas Bay, where I have worked for the last 18 years. My favorite job title, however, is Mom. I have two crazy kiddos, Alex – who is 12 and just finished 7 th grade, and Grace- who is 8 and just finished 2 nd grade. I play Sports Mom to Alex, who plays hockey, soccer, and football as well as Gracie, who enjoys soccer, ballet, and gymnastics. Like many of us in the industry, I found my home here accidentally ...
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Hey guys! My name is Daniel Kunkel, I'm in my rookie year of serving on the Young Agents Committee! I do home/auto/commercial lines at Barrett Insurance in Jonesville. I'm one of (only) 8 kids, I graduated from a college that I've never been on the campus of, and I fully believe the conspiracy theory that COI's are pointless. In college, I had a customer (who was an insurance agent) tell me that I shouldn't follow my career plan and I should go into insurance instead! I ignored him at first, but after looking into the industry, I was hooked. I love the mix of sales skills and technical knowledge that being an agent requires, and I love helping customers understand ...
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Hello!! My name is Katelyn Aitken Meyer and I am the Past Chair of the Michigan Young Agents. This year, each member of our committee will be taking 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.  I grew up and currently live in Grosse Pointe, ...
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Happy November! Can’t believe it’s almost Christmas already… I’m Dan Conner from Conner Insurance Group. Our office is located in Walled Lake, and I live a short drive away in Waterford with my wife Lauren. I’ve served on the Young Agents Committee for just over two years now. I started my career in insurance back in 2011. As of this year, It's neat to be able to say that my journey into insurance officially started a decade ago. There’s a couple of gaps in that span, but I've been back at the agency since 2015. I currently work as a commercial lines producer and being a member of the second generation in our family business, I’ve had the opportunity to wear ...
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Greetings everyone – welcome to the Michigan Young Agent community! I am so excited to introduce myself to you as Chair of the Big “I” Michigan Young Agent Committee! This is my fourth year with the committee, and I am excited to be in a leadership role where I can have an impact on Michigan’s insurance industry. Here is a real quick synopsis of my path into insurance and the Young Agent Committee: I started studying insurance courses during my senior year of high school (fall 2012) through the Eaton RESA program I continued to Olivet College where I majored in Insurance & Risk Management and Financial Planning While attending Olivet College I was ...
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2021 is upon us! This first month of the new year I will be taking over YAC’s social media accounts to share the agency world from my perspective. Hopefully my name and face are becoming familiar to some of you as this is my third year as a member of the Michigan Young Agent’s Committee. If you are new to our group or social media pages, welcome! This year I am serving as the committee’s Vice Chair. I am thrilled to be helping Chair Katelyn Aitken Meyer with her goals for Young Agents across the state as well as with her chosen charity, Empowerment Plan’s coat initiative! A bit about my path into the insurance industry: I started studying insurance courses ...
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I am sure we are all handling this pandemic in our own way so, I thought that this week I would share with you the steps that I took to work remotely and stay somehow “sane”. It all started in the middle of April when my co-worker and I were just returning from and Underwriting Trucking Class in FL. In our return to the office we made the decision to move all operations remotely to keep the team and our families safe. The owner of the agency, Jill Rogala, made sure each of us had everything we needed for what we then thought might be a two-week quarantine. As we now know, that quarantine has turned out to be a little longer than two weeks!                 ...
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Hello everyone, My name is Naomi from Bridge Insurance Group out of Mackinaw City and I am taking over social media for the month of December. I am going to take this time to share a little bit about myself and my experience with the Young Agents. I am fairly new in the insurance industry and this is my first year as part of the Young Agents Committee. I was born in Paraguay, raised in Lima Peru and I now live in the Upper Peninsula of MI. I went to the University of Lima where I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. While I was a student, I participated in an exchange program called “Work & Travel” and flew to WA where I met my husband. We both ...
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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 is almost ...
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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 degree ...
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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 odd ...
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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 a little ...
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