Peter van Aartrijk Jr., CIC, a marketing communications professional with 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, has been elected the first president of the Insurance Media Association. Walter Podgurski, chairman and CEO of the Insurance Media Association, also announced that Tina Angelone, marketing director for the specialties business unit of Zurich North America, was elected president-elect; and Karen DeMartine, executive vice president of Westport, CT-based public relations agency Miller DeMartine Group, was elected vice president. The Insurance Media Association is the premier network for professionals engaged in insurance media, including insurance company corporate public relations personnel, PR agency representatives, insurance media reporters and journalists, and company principals who do much of their own PR.
Van Aartrijk is managing director of The van Aartrijk Group LLC, based in Springfield, VA. The firm provides strategic and tactical communication services that build brands for insurers, associations and technology companies. Prior to forming The van Aartrijk Group in 1999, van Aartrijk was vice president of communications for the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. There he launched a consumer marketing campaign that reached a combined 250 million households each year on behalf of independent agents. That campaign and innovative research laid the groundwork for IIABA’s new branding campaign, Trusted Choice. Van Aartrijk began his career as a newspaper reporter and later moved on to editorial positions with A.M. Best Co. and National Underwriter Co. He later served as director of media relations for the Insurance Information Institute. He is contributing editor of Independent Agent magazine, and a member of the National Press Club. He is a frequent convention speaker on issues of branding and marketing in insurance. He is co-author of “Zoom: Focusing on Brand Dominance,” a new guidebook for independent agents and brokers.
Angelone is marketing director for the specialties business unit of Zurich North America, where she develops integrated marketing strategies and provides marketing communication direction in support of the unit’s business objectives and positioning. She began her marketing career in the textile industry as a marketing manager and later worked in the telecommunications industry as a public relations professional. In 1991, Angelone earned a B.A. in marketing from Hofstra University.
DeMartine is executive vice president of Miller DeMartine Group, a full-service public relations and marketing communications agency with a wide range of national accounts. She is a former senior account executive at Ogilvy, Adams & Rinehart in New York, where she specialized in helping large, foreign-based companies establish a media presence in the U.S., and also served on the firm’s mergers and acquisitions communications team. DeMartine established her own corporate and marketing communications firm in 1991, and merged the company with another PR agency to form Miller DeMartine Group in 1997. She graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in 1983.
The Insurance Media Association was formed in 2002 and today has more than 350 members from some 250 organizations. The IMA is the premier network for professionals engaged in insurance media, including insurance company corporate public relations personnel, PR agency representatives, insurance media reporters and journalists, and company principals who do much of their own PR. Members practice the disciplines of corporate communication, employee/internal communication, marketing communication, public relations/external communications, media relations, community relations, public affairs, investor relations and government relations. The organization is sponsoring the first annual Insurance Media Association Global Excellence (IMAGE) Awards, which recognize achievement in improving professionalism among insurance communicators and in furthering the public’s knowledge of insurance and related areas www.insurancemedia.net.
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