The Independent Automobile Damage Appraisers Association (IADA) held its 39th annual conference at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans recently. The conference was reportedly well attended with 130 registrants and the theme for this conference was “Meeting the Challenge”.
Prior to the start of the conference a three-hour training seminar on Electronic Data Retrieval from the electronic data recorders that are now prevalent in today’s automobiles was held, attended by approximately 25 percent of the IADA membership. Injury Sciences, who has reportedly been extremely supportive of the IADA, sponsored the training.
In speaking with Scott Kidd of Injury Sciences, he reportedly noted that he has found working with IADA members and their staff rewarding in their knowledge and willingness to accept and work with new technologies.
During this same time period the IADA Advisory Board met, a board predominately attended by upper management representatives from some of the largest national insurance carriers along with major suppliers of services to the insurance industry. Some first-time board members noted their satisfaction with becoming part of this board and look forward to future meetings.
Officially the conference started Wednesday evening with a welcome reception for all guests. Thursday’s opening address was presented by President Mark Nathan (entire presentation will be posted on the IADA Web site www.iada.org. He noted that IADA is the oldest Trade Association (established in 1947) in regards to damage appraisals. It was commented that the IADA has faced many “Challenges” over the 50-plus years of its existence and “they are still around to be the eyes and ears of the insurance industry”. This set the tone for the remainder of the conference.
Reviewing the various speakers, presenters and sponsors the agenda covered challenges that were faced in the past (growth of the IADA – challenges from others in the appraisal industry) to those that are still coming (electronic data retrieval – wireless communications – environmental issues).
At the Thursday evening President’s reception, Wayne Marsden was officially introduced as the new president of IADA. Nathan served as president for a period of three years. Nathan expressed mixed emotions as he stated he enjoyed the job and hoped the members feel that he represented the association properly during his term of office. Marsden thanked him for his service on behalf of the membership.
In addition, Marsden committed to developing a newsletter on behalf of the IADA for distribution not only to its members but the entire IADA client base. IADA has noted a membership increase in excess of 35 percent. In confirming this, it was noted that since the inception of IADA dispatch (less than 18 months prior) IADA currently dispatches in excess of 600 assignments per/month and has paid its members nearly $1 million in fees through their central billing over the past fiscal year. In addition guests were reminded that IADA is a NOT FOR PROFIT organization. John Williams (executive VP) noted that the IADA budget three years ago was $300,000. Now it sits at $1.9 million.
Many attendees reportedly noted if at all possible they would be attending the 40th annual conference to be held at the Mark Hopkins Hotel located in San Francisco’s Nob Hill section from June 8-10, 2005.
Additional information and registration will be available online at the IADA Web site.
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