Building Relationships Key at NAAIA’s 2003 National Conference

October 9, 2003

In remarks at the recent National African-American Insurance Association’s 2003 National Conference and Empowerment Summit in Las Vegas, NAAIA Chairman Roosevelt Haywood III said that for insurance professionals to strengthen themselves, they must recognize and leverage their strengths but also reach out and build meaningful relationships.

“Image is everything. An individual or business concern must look the part before it can assume the part it desires to play,” said Haywood, who is president of Haywood and Fleming Associates, a commercial insurance and risk management firm located in Gary, Ind.

NAAIA’s annual summit attracted a wide range of insurance and risk management professionals from across the nation who attended seminars on leadership, professional development, and education courses on timely insurance topics. The conference also featured speakers such as author and motivator George Fraser and former National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ President, George Nichols, who is currently a vice president of New York Life Insurance Co.

Jerald Tillman, the NAAIA’s founder, said, “The workshops, keynote speakers, and panel discussions offered solutions to the challenges faced by minorities in the industry and provided a road map for companies looking to tap into the multicultural marketplace. Power networking and problem-solving discussions provided a great forum for corporate recruiters and others attending from many of the top U.S. insurance companies.”

In his address, Haywood commented, “This past year has been one of remarkable achievement and progress for the NAAIA, thanks to the tireless efforts of hardworking, talented and dedicated individuals of the Board and the general membership. The NAAIA is creating a powerful support system for African-American insurance professionals. Our purpose is to enhance the experience and perpetuate the existence of our people in the industry. This in turn allows us to better serve our communities and provides insurance companies a better means to link to the African-American buying sector of the emerging marketplace. In short, this has been an exciting year for the NAAIA as we strive to expand the organization’s influence.”

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