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The 36th YBA Leadership and Sales Conference took place in June in Napa Valley. The conference offered participants a range of educational opportunities, with choices between Professional Development/Sales and Continuing Education tracks.
“We had a very dedicated group, all the sessions were very well attended,” said Joe Hamilton, Hal Rakowski Insurance Agency, Lakeside and YBAC Vice Chairman. “The Marriott Napa Valley venue facilitated easy networking among participants, a highlight of the conference, because of its central gathering place where you tended to see everyone, ” added Hamilton.
This year’s event was designed to appeal to a wide audience including agents and brokers of all ages and all experience levels. The YBA committee even changed the name of the conference to encourage all insurance professionals, new or seasoned, to take advantage of all the great offerings of top-notch education from quality instructors and an opportunity to build relationships with company representatives and peers, at an affordable price.
Josh Ferenc, ISU Centinel Agency, San Francisco said he has already implemented some of what he and his staff learned at the conference.
“We met right after the conference, created a spread sheet and developed a road map for how to implement what we learned at the conference, “ said Ferenc who brought two members of his staff to the conference.
A new member to IBA West, Ferenc has attended the conference before and found that offering a trip to Napa to attend the conference was a great way to boost staff morale. In addition, Ferenc said the conference allowed him the opportunity to meet with insurance companies in relaxing social situations. Many companies including conference sponsors took advantage of the free time during the conference to host wine tastings around the valley for agents and brokers.
A special highlight of the conference was Friday’s Thank the Sponsors Luncheon featuring a mentor panel of IBA All-Stars, Tim Manaka, Andrew Valdivia, John Morey, and Jim Armitage who offered candid advice about what they did right and wrong along the way to becoming successful agency owners.
“I really enjoyed listening to their advice about what I can do to be better suited to become an agency owner,” said Joe Hamilton. “I also had the great opportunity to attend the reunion party for former young agents and it was incredible to see how they remained friends and “friendly” competitors over the years,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton and his committee are hard at work developing the 37th conference which includes sending out a survey to all those who attended as well as to those who didn’t make it. “We would love to get everyone’s candid opinions about what worked at the conference as well as why didn’t’ attend,” said Hamilton.