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IIABCal President Craig Williams at his installation last week here told independent insurance agents and brokers to get used to constant change within the industry and figure out how to use it to their advantage.

"Many are quick to criticize the insurance industry for being slow to change and adapt to an evolving landscape," Williams said during his installation speech. "In fact, in my 20 years of experience, I’ve seen and have been a part of some significant changes in our industry. I’ve learned that change has become a constant."

Williams said the industry has seen a radical shift in the way consumers shop.

"How do we keep up with that?" he said "How do we continue to effectively compete?

"Are independent insurance agents still relevant or are we going to follow in the footsteps of the travel agent? Is there an Uber out there looking to take away our market share while we aren’t looking?"

In IIABCal’s strategic planning discussions, Williams said, IIABCal leaders have identified that the association faces similar challenges to remain relevant and valuable to our members.

"Opportunities abound," he said. "We just need to find them."

IIABCal staff and the volunteer leadership are working to provide members with resources to enhance business practices, and increase their competitive advantage, while contributing to their overall success, Williams said.

"California independent agents and brokers have, in IIABCal, a defender and advocate ready to respond to whatever challenges may present themselves in legislative, regulatory and judicial arenas. 2016 is likely to see a potentially huge decision from the California Supreme Court on the limits, if any, of the Insurance Commissioner's ability to promulgate regulations without express legislative authority."

And as always, any headline in tomorrow's daily newspapers could precipitate new challenges--and the Commissioner will no doubt hope to generate as many headlines as possible as he ramps up his announced candidacy for the office of California Attorney General.

"IIABCal continues to be the only insurance producer trade association in California that represents all independent agents and brokers in the commissioner’s office, the courts and in Sacramento."

Williams said IIABCal will continue to be an influential community of knowledge and resources and our organization culture will thrive on providing innovative value to members.

"Specifically, we will continue working to develop an employee recruitment and training process that will help fulfill your need for agency employees, including producers, customer service and administrative support personal," the new president said.

"We will create and facilitate a collaborative membership community that creates value for both members and IIABCal," he said.  "We are in the process of Beta testing a new online membership community that will bring agents and brokers together to promote knowledge sharing and problem solving. 

"The online community will develop a growing hub of resources, discussions and best practices for collaboration, and will utilize members are valuable content providers.

"In addition, IIABCal in 2016 will build a membership communication model that allows members to easily recognize benefits they value."

Williams said this “outside-in” thought process will consider interests and needs of the agency member as well as individual agency staff. The more data we have from members, the better we can create a value-based conversation, he said.

"Here, I am amongst the best and brightest of my peers and thankful that I have not only a voice in my industry but that a small agent like myself can serve and represent every independent insurance agent and broker in California."

"I’m excited to be leading an innovative organization that is focused on changing and evolving to sustain its leadership position."

 (Source: IIABCal Insider)

Laura Kranson and Craig Williams

JSW Insurance owners, and siblings, Craig Williams and Laura Kranson as they attend the annual installation meeting for the IIABCal.
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