PIANJ/PIANY Joint Conference Posts Record Attendance

June 17, 2003

Some 1,500 insurance professionals, the highest number ever, attended the recently concluded PIANJ/PIANY Joint Conference at Bally’s Atlantic City, making it “the highest attended show ever in the associations’ histories,” and the “industry’s biggest show in the Northeast,” said a joint announcement.

“Independent insurance agents from across New York state and New Jersey continue to flock to this conference every year,” stated PIANY president David Isenberg. “It’s definitely the premier insurance event in the region and we expect the momentum this conference has created to continue its growth for next year.”

This year’s highlights included the Young Insurance Professionals’ luncheon, where New Jersey Department of Insurance and Banking Commissioner Holly Bakke gave a keynote address just hours before Gov. James McGreevey was scheduled to sign bill S.63/A.2625, legislation—which PIANJ lobbied for and includes measures to provide certain exemptions to companies and phase out the take-all-comers law.

“The current law is a victory for the association and small business owners throughout the state,” commented John D’Agostino Jr., CIC, newly elected president of PIANJ. “The reforms should increase competition and attract additional insurance companies to write policies in New Jersey.” Kenneth Bull, AU, received the prestigious New Jersey Young Insurance Professional of the Year honor and Patricia Smith, CIC, was awarded the NJYIP Director of the Year at the luncheon.

On Monday June 9 at a gala celebration attended by more than more than 350 guests, Marshall Rubenstein, CIC, received the PIANY Distinguished Insurance Service award; Steven Reichman, CIC, the PIANJ Distinguished Insurance Service award and Frank Christiano the PIANJ Director of the Year award. The PIANJ also hailed Jeanne M. Cosentino of E&K Agency with its Community Service award and Gerry Wilson CEO of Palisades Safety and Insurance Management Corporation as Company Person of the Year.

The conference also gave Independent insurance professionals the opportunity to earn necessary continuing education credits, choosing from ten classes that offered a total of 32 CE credits. The courses were given by the “industry’s most renowned instructors,” said the announcement, and “offered provocative insight topics.” They included: utilizing non-admitted markets and new commercial coverages; tapping the annuities market; insuring wealthy clients and in-home businesses; toxic mold; and the ethical and legal responsibilities agents bear.

The bulletin also noted that “The twice-expanded trade show brought accolades from exhibitors and conference attendees alike, featuring businesses from both New York and New Jersey and chances to win valuable prizes. More than 160 vendors showed off the industry’s newest innovations, products and markets from Sunday through Monday. The exhibition was crowned with the ever-popular annual wine and cheese reception for exhibitors and conference goers.”

On Tuesday the two organizations held the “19th annual Fun Run” for charity. 100 runners raced down the boardwalk, collecting $92,000 for Special Olympics New Jersey, bringing PIANJ’s total contribution to SONJ to more than $1.6 million over its nearly 20-year relationship. Brian McMahon represented the McMahon Agency with the winning time of 18.30. Christine Schalaffer of Franklin Mutual Insurance Co. won for the women with a time of 23.27. “It’s a record year for the Fun Run,” observed Charles Caruso, CPIA, president NJYIP. “It’s great that so many people pulled together and contributed to such a worthy cause such as the Special Olympics.”

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