Young Agents Chair Report
YOUNG AGENTS REPORT
Hi Young Agents! I am Matt Sims, producer and partner/principal, with Your Insurance Centers Inc. Located in Hamilton, Winfield, and Haleyville Alabama. I have been in the insurance business for over a decade. Young Agents has been a huge part of my life from the beginning of my professional career. Being in the family business, like my father, Ricky Sims, my philosophy has always been that the key part of being successful in this field is the development and commitment to relationships. This philosophy is applicable when it comes to customers as well as business relations.
I reflect back to the very beginning with the reestablishment of the Young Agents Conference, after splitting off from the Big I to create our own Identity and to stand on our own two feet over a decade ago. I remember Boyd McGehee approaching me the year before we split at a Secure Risk Conference at Sea Island, GA. He asked for my opinion on the Young Agents splitting off and having our own, separate conference. Being fairly new to the business at that time, I told him it sounded like a good opportunity for the young agents to have their own time to have fun in the sun. One year later, the Young Agents Conference was reborn. Flashback to the first Young Agents Conference held at Calloway Gardens, which is in the middle of nowhere, in a little town called Pine Mountain, GA. There were only around 20 to 25 total agents and company people in attendance. Look at us now! The Young Agents Conference has experienced substantial growth since that first Conference at Calloway Gardens, even being named “Best Young Agents Conference” a few years back.
The Young Agents Conference has given me the privilege to make friends and create more relationships than I ever thought possible. Time has flown, but throughout the last decade I can honestly say that I have established some lifelong friendships with some exceptional people, whom I genuinely care about. On numerous occasions, agents and I have connected to give and/or receive advice, help sort through ideas or processes, and to discuss ways to better our association.
As a young child, it was always exciting when it was time to head to the beach for my father to attend the Big I Convention. My father would carry me with him to the hospitality area and I realized at an early age it was all about relationship building. I remember following my Dad and Bill Sager around and I would notice how they interacted and talked to one another and how they talked to company people and agents alike. Of course, some of their conversations were about business, but many times they would just talk about life. I realized that those people were much more than business acquaintances, my dad called them friends. It was interesting to see my dad create relationships not only with the company/carrier people, but also how much respect he had for other agents. After following my dad and Bill around during those conventions as a child, I realized that building and maintaining relationships and friendships is what this industry is based upon.
Selling is what will make you money, but the primary goal in this business should be to help people in their times of need. We owe it to those who invest in us to make that process easier and grow those relationships with trust and dependability in us during their hard times. I firmly believe that if you create good relationships and grow them with customers, other agents, and company people your chances of being successful in this industry increase tremendously. For that reason, I’d like to develop lasting relationships and connections with as many young agents as possible, so that we may work together to achieve our goals and be better agents for our customers. As your incoming chair, I would like to challenge all Young Agents to spread the word about how great your experience has been in being a part of this association. I’d love to see the next year’s conference be even bigger and better than ever before. As chair of the Young Agents, I am committed to visiting agencies across the state of Alabama and meeting with agency principals to show them the benefits their young agents could have by participating with our group.
This has been another great year for the Young Agents. Like prior years, we set our goals high and worked diligently to achieve them. During the winter, we held the 32nd annual Legislative Conference in Montgomery. Instead of having a luncheon like we had the previous years with the legislators, agents' hand-delivered 180 treat bags to the Alabama legislators. I would like to mention what a spectacular job that Charlie Bailey did in leading and organizing the 2019 Legislative Conference. During the month of April, Todd Roberts organized another very successful Clay Shoot. Todd Roberts along with the Excalibur Board Members and all those who helped or participated in the event succeeded in raising close to $14,000 for the Excalibur Scholarship Fund! Last, but certainly not least, this summer’s Conference at Pensacola Beach /Gulf Breeze Hilton Beach Resort was another one for the books. We had a great mix of newer young agents and older young agents who had been attending for many years. We had two entertaining and informative speakers who made the conference even more enjoyable. We introduced a new format for roundtables that everyone seemed to enjoy and made things much smoother. We switched up the evening schedule and moved the dance and photo booth to banquet night and that also went very well. Again, I would like to thank all of the sponsors this year. Like I have said time and time again, without them the summer conference would not happen. I also want to thank the Big I staff for all the hard work they put in during the conference and behind the scenes in the months leading up to it.
As your 2019-2020 Chair of the Young Agents, I look forward to serving this group of Young Agents and I hope that I can make this the most successful year, yet. I would like to see everyone getting involved and working together to promote the value of this incredible association. We can accomplish so much more as a group than as individuals. I look forward to serving alongside the AIIA President, Michael Vance, the new Executive VP, Bill Jacka,Jr., and the many others who will help me make this another great year. A very special “Thank You” to our former Executive VP, Bill Sager, for everything he has done for this association. Bill will be greatly missed, and I lightheartedly say “Out with the old -Bill and in with the new –Bill!”. So now, Young Agents, get out there and develop and grow those relationships like I know we all can. We are the future of this industry and it’s up to us to carry the torch into the future like the ones before us. Again, lets really work hard to support our Association and all they do for us as Young Agents. We as Young Agents are the future of this industry and it’s up to us all to work hard and make this the best industry ever!
Young Agents Chair,
MATT A. SIMS