N.Y. Big ‘I’ Celebrates 125th Year; Zogby Installed as President

The newly elected chair of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York, Inc. believes the same standards that first established IIABNY 125 years ago are still evident today. Advancing business interests while promoting a “closer fraternal relationship” of IIABNY’s members are principles that Stephen R. Zogby called, “right on then, and are right on now.”

The New Hartford, New York insurance executive was inducted chair of the IIABNY board of directors last week, during its annual business meeting at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in nearby Verona.

Prior to his installation, the association received accolades for 125 years of service from U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., the New York State Senate and Assembly and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. In a letter, Sen. Clinton wrote that the only match to IIABNY’s “impressive longevity” is its “commitment to strengthening and uplifting the communities which it serves.”

A cousin of the recently installed leader and Zogby International president and CEO served as keynote speaker. John Zogby is convinced that the 2008 presidential choice will be “the most important election…in two generations.”

According to the noted pollster, nearly three out of four likely American voters feel the U.S. is in “a serious crisis. That is an astounding figure, the largest figure I have ever seen.”

The political analyst defined the four groups that comprise the new American Consumer: the new American spiritualist (however, not in religious terms)-or those searching for personal fulfillment, the investor class, the Wal-Mart shopper and those who are working-for-less.

Zogby, who is also executive vice president of Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig, Inc., was one of three officers elected during the meeting. Officers elected to one-year terms included:

Neal L. Sullivan, president of Sullivan Financial Group in Mahopac, elected chair-elect.

John G. Berger, Jr. won election as secretary-treasurer.

Elected to their first two-year terms were three member-agents. David M. Gelia, executive vice president of United Insurance Agency Inc. in Amherst and William J. Oliver, of The Partners Insurance & Financial Services Agency in Vestal, won two-year terms. Gelia and Oliver will represent the West-Central region of the state.

Also elected to a two-year term was Sean L. Hickey, senior vice president of Rose & Kiernan, Inc. in East Greenbush. Hickey’s appointment to the IIABNY board last November from the East-North was to complete the term of another director.

Two agents have retained their regional director positions. Russell C. Vollmer, president of the Vollmer-Adair Agency Inc. in Greenlawn and Russell B. Grant, of Pearl River’s Grant, Smith & Dassler, Inc. were re-elected to second two-year terms. Both men will represent IIABNY members in the Metropolitan-Suburban Region.

In addition to its directors and officers, the IIABNY board also re-elected its three director-at-large representatives. Charles R. Daniels III, senior vice president of Rose & Kiernan Inc., in Pawling and Robert Hartwig, Ph.D., president and chief economist of Manhattan-based Insurance Information Institute will each serve a third one-year term. Sharon A. Koches, marketing director of the American Institute for CPCU/Insurance Institute of America, was re-elected by the IIABNY board to a second one-year term as an at-large director.

The association’s board also elected Richard Longueira, vice president of Petrocelli Group, Inc. in Flushing to its Nominating Committee. Longueria, a past president of the Downstate Insurance Association Council, will serve a one-year term.

Source: IIABNY