MCPHERSON, KS (March 12, 2019) – The Inter-Company Marketing Group (ICMG), a non-profit association that fosters and promotes business networking among insurance and financial services companies, has announced the election of its board of directors to serve throughout 2019 and into early 2020. The election was held at the ICMG’s annual business meeting on February 6, 2019, in conjunction with its annual conference, held this year in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Chuck Ritzke, FSA, MAAA, was elected ICMG’s president. Mr. Ritzke is a long-time active member of the ICMG who has been involved in the association’s leadership for many years. He is the owner of actuarial consulting firm Problem Solving Enterprises (PSE), which he founded in 1995. Mr. Ritzke’s work focuses on product development, marketing, software, the internet, and general problem solving for insurance organizations.

Prior to forming PSE, Mr. Ritzke held various management roles in actuarial, marketing, and administration at Zurich Life and Bankers Life and Casualty. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

When asked to comment on his aspirations for the ICMG this year, Mr. Ritzke said, “We had one of our most successful annual meetings ever under the leadership of Senia Gramajo, our 2018 president. So our first order of business is to build upon that momentum. At the same time, as a networking association, new members create value for existing members, so we need to continue to grow membership.

“In addition,” Mr. Ritzke continued, “innovation and disruption in the insurance business is accelerating. So to grow, we need to be continually re-inventing the services ICMG offers to members, both with our annual meeting and year-round. New technologies will help us scale and better deliver our message. At the same time, we are engaging a growing number of member volunteers to enable us to accomplish even more.”

The following executives were elected to serve on the ICMG board along with Mr. Ritzke: Lauren Woods, Crum & Forsters, vice president; Ted Baran, National Association of Professional Agents, second vice president; Rich Katz, American National, treasurer; Senia Gramajo, Agent Link, immediate past president; Ted Williams, Williams and Company, at-large director; Todd Cowan, Ameritas, at-large director; David Burke, Everest Re, at-large director; Victor Castellanos, Swiss Re, at-large director; Justin Snapp, Innovative Brokerage Network, at-large director; and JoAnn Wray, Senior Market Specialists, at-large director.

The ICMG’s 2020 conference is scheduled for January 29 – 30, 2020, in Orlando, Florida.

 

MCPHERSON, KS (March 4, 2019) – The Inter-Company Marketing Group (ICMG), a non-profit association that fosters and promotes business networking among insurance and financial services companies, has announced unusually strong positive feedback for its annual conference, held February 5-6, 2019, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

According to ICMG's executive director Larry Sigle, "The ICMG board worked very hard this year to provide attendees with a good blend of networking events, for which we've been historically known, combined with top-notch speakers and panelists in some new topic areas.  For example, speakers addressed technological innovation in insurance, disruption and how to stay ahead of it, and accessing capital for business growth, among many other themes."

 “Judging from the feedback, both written and in face-to-face conversations with people at the event,” said Senia Gramajo, 2019 Conference ICMG President, “our programming strategy did exactly we had hoped it would.  We were able to retain the strong networking flavor of an ICMG event, but we spiced it up with some really helpful and forward-thinking presentations from a high-powered group of panelists.”

One long-time attendee who is the president of a wholesale insurance operation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, gave this year’s meeting high marks. He summarized the strength of the event by highlighting three areas: “Thoughtful content.  Organized layout.  Great vision.”

Likewise, a long-time exhibitor from the Chicago area stated, “I had more interest and meaningful conversations than I have in past years.  Good mix.”

Other comments relayed through post-conference surveys summed up the general feeling:  “Great breakout sessions!”  “You target the right audience.”  “The format was spot on.”

The ICMG board met in Scottsdale immediately afterward to review the 2019 event to build upon this year’s programming success.  The 2020 conference is scheduled for January 29 – 30, 2020, in Orlando, Florida.

 

MCPHERSON, KS (February 28, 2019) – The Inter-Company Marketing Group (ICMG), a non-profit association that fosters and promotes business networking among insurance and financial services companies, has announced a near-record attendance for its annual conference, held February 5-6, 2019, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The ICMG reports that the count at this year’s event was 385 attendees, falling just short of the all-time record attendance of 391, set in 2011. In addition, the ICMG reports that a full 153 of those at the conference were there for the very first time.

In addition to a full court press with lots of focused marketing in the run up to the conference –  including traditional mail, emails, and referrals – ICMG leaders see some other factors that drove the strong showing.  According to executive director Larry Sigle, “Our speakers this year were a top-notch group. They included key people with knowledge of health and life regulations, strategies for growing distribution, and ideas for accessing capital to grow your business.”

Likewise, ICMG president Senia Gramajo pointed to some important trends in the broader insurance business. “There is a major trend toward more technology companies and innovators generating excitement in the industry.  As a result, the insurance business is now getting up to speed with some of its technological advancements over the past few years. Insurance carriers as well as IMOs and BGAs want to stay at the forefront of the latest products and technological advancements, and ICMG provides a perfect platform to connect and network with both new and existing opportunities. I think the next ten years will bring a lot of exciting changes to the insurance industry. Facilitating strategic alliances in the insurance and financial services industry is something ICMG is known for, and we look forward to continuing to provide a great platform for insurance executives and leaders to network.”

Gramajo added, “I have never seen this much excitement at ICMG. Attendees were coming to me in awe of what a great meeting it was for them. A number of attendees told me that it was their best meeting ever, and I believe it because our Networking Hall was buzzing with meetings throughout the conference, virtually around the clock. And we love seeing that!”

The ICMG board met in Scottsdale immediately afterward to review the 2019 event and initiate plans for the 2020 conference, scheduled for January 29 – 30, 2020, in Orlando, Florida.

 

At the invitation of Don Kampe, Larry Sigle attended his first ICMG conference in 2001. An active member since then, he has served on the communications, marketing, exhibits and program committees. He served on the board of directors for two years and was ICMG’s assistant treasurer for one year.

Each year that ICMG had the new member guide program, he volunteered to call first time attendees prior to the annual conference to give them an idea of what to expect, and then met with each of them at the conference. In addition, Sigle was often found at many of the first-timers’ orientation meetings, welcoming each first-timer to the annual conference.

According to Sigle, many of his clients over the years were a direct result of ICMG membership and conference attendance.

Prior to entering the insurance industry, he earned both a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA). Throughout his insurance career, he continued his education, earning the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designations, and has completed numerous other industry courses. He is a licensed life and health agent.

Outside of the insurance industry, Sigle has volunteered with several non-profit organizations, serving on executive committees, special committees, or as chairman or president of several of the organizations.

Sigle looks forward to bringing his knowledge and experience to ICMG – helping the organization grow and remain One of the Best Associations in the Industry.

 

ICMG has a 30-year history of delivering valuable information to its membership, consisting of 400+ marketing, product and sales decision-makers in the insurance/financial services industry.  Our members enjoy a networking environment favorable to enhancing business relationships and exploring strategic alliances.

ICMG will facilitate the distribution of the following communications to our membership at no cost. 

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