Jeffrey M. Yates is the new executive director of the Agents Council for Tech-nology (ACT), announces Independent Insurance Agents of America (IIAA) Chief Exec-utive Officer Robert A. Rusbuldt.
Yates, who will begin his new role as the head of ACT immediately, also will be responsible for handling IIAA’s liaison with external technologygroups such as ACORD, the insurance industry’s nonprofit standards developer, IVANS and the agency automation users groups as well as the many insurance companies and automation vendors that have been working cooperatively with IIAA on technology issues. He also will be working to build consensus among ACT members for moving forward with several projects that will improve agent education on technology issues and create technology solutions to industry data communications challenges.
“ACT has many significant accomplishments to its credit, but has the potential to do so much more to enhance the position of the independent agency system,” says Yates. “I am truly excited about the promise that new technologies offer to improve communications, heighten efficiencies, remove redundancies, and enhance customer experiences. I am rejoining IIAA because ACT offers a unique forum to take advantage of these opportunities through the active participation of agents and brokers, insurance companies, user groups and automation vendors cooperatively seeking solutions that reflect the needs of each of the parties.”
“Jeff needs no introduction to the key players and organizations in ACT or to independent agents and brokers,” says Rusbuldt. “He will bring a proven record of accomplishment on technology issues to bear in his new role as the next ACT leader. We are highly confident that Jeff, through his keen insight and understanding of the insurance industry and his relationships with many key industry leaders, will make ACT even more successful for agents and brokers and companies alike. This action underscores the priority that IIAA puts on promoting effective use of technology within the independent agency system and on the need for independent agents to be actively involved in those efforts.”
ACT was created in 1999 by IIAA in response to the needs expressed by agents and brokers for leadership and education in the field of technology. The agent-company cooperative group already has made significant contributions in the technology area, creating the ACT Blueprintfor Electronic Commerce, an important tool that agent and brokers, carriers and vendors can use to apply today’s information technology to improve business operations efficiency.
ACT, working through ACORD, also provided leadership in the development of extensible markup language (XML technology standards), which facilitates the real-time exchange of data among independent agents, insurance companies, rating bureaus, service providers and others without the need for duplicate entry of the data.
Yates replaces Len Brevik, who left IIAA and the ACT post to become the chief marketing officer and vice president of business development for the National Assoc-iation of Insurance and Financial Advisors. Bill Jenkins continues as a consultant to ACT.
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