Independent Broker Network Holds

March 26, 2001

The Independent Broker Network (IBN) held its 2001 Technovention at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in San Jose, Calif., on March 16 and 17.

This year’s theme concentrated on the Internet and how that medium is enabling insurance companies and vendors. At the Tradeshow held on both days, a DSL line provided by American Driving Records served to transport attendees to a variety of websites, where they could quickly learn how those vendors’ companies can assist agencies.

Commenting on the event, Frederick H. “Sonny” Di Meo, manager of Coast Auto Insurance Services Inc. in San Jose and IBN executive director said, “I was completely surprised at how much changed in less than a year.

“The DSL technology in conjunction with the numerous full-service insurance company websites will save brokers time and money in the future. This was quite apparent during the Technovention. There is no doubt the Internet is here to stay as one of the most important tools to be offered to the independent agency force. The broker participation was incredible, and the enthusiasm that swept through the Tradeshow was very satisfying.”

At a Luncheon/Awards Ceremony on March 17, several people received special plaques for assisting with the growth of IBN in Northern California and for continually reaching out to help their fellow brokers. Those recognized at the ceremony included Brian Ward of American Driving Records; Jim and Sharon Jandik of Boardwalk Insurance; Herb Geiger, the NorthBay vice president of IBN; Kim Chapman; and Shelly and Andrew Nichols.

“All of these individuals are unselfish and the kind I like to call close friends,” Di Meo continued. “They deserve much more than a plaque.”

Ward was recognized for providing guidance and support for the technology utilized in the Technovention Tradeshow while Boardwalk Insurance was given its due as a major contributor with the administrative duties in holding the event.

“[Geiger and Chapman] have provided support and promotion for IBN in Northern California with numerous brokers and agencies,” DiMeo said.

Not in attendance were Shelley and Andrew Nichols, whom Di Meo referred to as two of his greatest supporters. “Their professional guidance with IBN has been priceless,” Di Meo said.

In addition to the Tradeshow, scheduled events included two CE courses, and
on Friday and Saturday nights, 2001 Platinum sponsors, American Driving Records, CenCal Insurance Services and Infinity Insurance Co. hosted Producer Appreciation parties. Door prizes were presented to winning brokers during a Comedysportz show during the party held March 17.

Also memorable was the keynote speaker for Saturday’s Luncheon, Bobby Slayton, whose brash and untamed comedy style have earned him the moniker, “The Pit Bull of Comedy.”

“Slayton’s Luncheon was quite the controversy, and for those who were caught off guard, my apologies,” Di Meo said. “Fair warning–he may be back next year!”

For more information on IBN, visit its website,

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