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2019 IIABSC Annual Convention

"Believe it and achieve it"  Oct. 13-15, 2019 at the Westin Resort & Spa in Savannah, Ga.

121st Annual Convention report

IIABSC 2020 Board of Directors were installed at the 121st Annual Convention held Oct. 13-15 at The Westin Resort & Spa in Savannah, Ga.

Conv19-BOD-w.jpg James G. "Jay" Taylor Jr., CIC of Kinghorn Insurance Agency of Beaufort was elected Chairman of the Board by the general membership during the annual meeting, and Tonya S. Thomason, CIC of David A Crotts & Associates in Greenwood was elected Chairman-Elect and Treasurer.  Both are one-year terms. Robbie Nally of Creech Roddey Watson in Sumter was elected Secretary of the Board of Directors, a two-year term.

Thomas "Tom" Bates of AssuredPartners in Greenville moved to the position of Immediate Past Chairman.

Three new directors were elected to three-year terms on the Board of Directors beginning Jan. 1, 2020:  Brian W. Eanes, CIC, CLCS of Anderson Insurance Associates in Charleston, SC;  Marion F. Buck Inabinet, III, AAI of Taylor Agency in Summerville; and Julie B. Turner, CIC of The Turner Agency in Greenville, SC.

Retiring directors Robert W. "Rob" Hammett, AIP of CWS Insurance Agency in Spartanburg;  Benjamin C. "Ben" Myers, AIP of Russell Massey & Company in Columbia; and Matthew B. "Matt" Wiseman, CIC, CISR of Peoples Underwriters in Myrtle Beach were recognized for their service and dedication to the association.

R. Garret Wreden, CPCU, AIP of Kinghorn Insurance Agency of Beaufort delivered the oath of office.

Agent of the Year - Vance Stine, Clover

Vance M. Stine III, AIP of Sifford-Stine Insurance Agency in Clover has been named the 2019 Hayne P. Glover, Jr. Agent of the Year in recognition for outstanding community service and contributing to the betterment of the insurance industry.


Vance is a native of Clover, graduated from Lees McRae Junior College and the University of North Carolina, started in the agency right out of college and has been agency president since 1980.

From the very beginning, Vance has been heavily active in industry and community activities. He has served on the IIABSC Board of Directors, chaired our InsurPac committee, member of the junior golf committee, a past president of the Independent Insurance Agents of York County and served on the board for the Agents Council of Technology. Vance currently serves on the Carolinas NetVU chapter committee.

Vance has a long history of community service starting with serving as mayor of Clover from 1995-2001. He has been a leader in the York County Chamber of Commerce, the Clover Chamber of Commerce, York County community foundation, Friends of Kings Mountain State park, the Clover Rotary club and the Clover YMCA. He currently serves as Chair of the York County Economic Development Board.

The Agent of the Year is named for Hayne P. Glover, Jr. to honor his many years of dedicated service to the Big "I" state and national associations. Glover was from Greenville and is the first South Carolinian to serve as the national association president. Glover was an outstanding example of service to his community as well as the industry, which are the criteria used to evaluate nominees for this award. The award is sponsored by AFCO/ Prime Rate Premium Finance in Florence.

Young Agent of the Year - Amber Bryant, Orangeburg

Amber Bryant of Robert Bryant & Son in Orangeburg has been named the 2019 Young Agent of the Year.


Amber is a 5th generation licensed agent in her familys agency in Orangeburg. She received a B.S. degree from the University of South Carolina, as well as an Associate Degree in Applied Science from Orangeburg- Calhoun Technical College. Her early career was a therapy aide in the Pediatric Rehab Department in a midlands Orthopedic Clinic.

In 2015, Amber returned full-time to the family agency and has clearly added a shot of energy into the office.  As with most smaller agencies she does a little of everything. She is the agency top CSR produicer, joins meetings with company reps, trains new staff and sets agency goals. Her father could not be happier having her in the office.

Amber has had a heart for volunteering from an early age. Her early service began with ringing the bell for the Salvation Army yearly alongside her father. To name a few of her later volunteer experiences, Aldersgate, Harvest Hope,  Ronald McDonald House and American Cancer Society's Walk for Life. 

She has been equally active with our association and is currently serving on the young agents committee. Before we retired the junior golf committee, Amber enjoyed volunteering yearly for the Big "I Junior Golf tournament beginning in her teenage years. 

The Young Agent of the Year award is given to an independent insurance agent age 40 or younger for outstanding service to his or her community outside the field of insurance and has contributed to the betterment of the industry. It is sponsored by AFCO/ Prime Rate Premium Finance in Florence.

Industry Person of the Year - Jay Lannin, Auto-Owners Insurance

Jay Lannin of Auto-Owners Insurance in Columbia was named the 2019 IIABSC Industry Person of the Year. The award recognizes industry representatives other than independent insurance agents who have contributed greatly to the insurance industry in South Carolina.


Jay began his with Auto-Owners Insurance Company back in 2002 as an Associate Claim Representative assigned to the Brentwood, TN Claims Branch handling automobile claims. Jay was named Field Claim Representative in 2004 where he handled 1st  party property claims and 3rd party liability claims. In 2006, he transferred to Birmingham, AL and served as the Claim Manager. In 2009, he transferred to Atlanta, GA. 

During his time in Georgia, Jay held the positions of Claim Manager, Marketing Representative and Regional Claim Manager. In 2016 he was named Regional Vice President, Columbia, SC region and is currently responsible for all insurance operations in the state of South Carolina.

Jay holds a bachelor of business administration degree from Belmont University. He has earned the following designations: Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, Chartered Life Underwriter, Associate in Management and Associate in Claims. He is celebrated for the great relationships he's developed with South Carolina independent agents.

Outstanding CSR of the Year - Lisa Earnhardt, Sumter

Lisa Earnhardt, CISR of Creech Roddey Watson Insurance in Sumter, SC, was recognized as the SC Outstanding CSR of the Year. The award recognizes those who demonstrate exceptional customer service on a daily basis.

Conv19-OCSR-Earnhardt-w.jpgNominations are submitted early in the year, and nominees are asked to submit materials to show their commitment to the industry through education, involvement and peer recommendations in addition to writing an essay in response to a relevant issue for our industry.

A supervisor said this about Lisa:  "Ive been actively involved in the property and casualty business for more than 46 years. We sell an intangible product. It primarily depends on customer service. When our customers come complaining Lisa has a unique ability to calm them when they are upset, handle a claims adjuster when she needs to and still manage to grow her book of business."

A colleague said the following:  "She is a strong role model in the agency and is dedicated to seeing it reach its fullest potential. Not only is she committed to the agency and its customers, but is also involved in the industry and strives for professionalism."

This is exactly what customer service, and being a good independent agent, is all about.

Additional Recognitions

Chairman's Citations

Tonya Thomason, CIC, Robbie Nalley and Megan Huebner were recognized for their service to IIABSC with Chairmans Citations from Chairman Tom Bates.

InsurPAC fundraisers

As always, there was an InsurPAC fundraiser going on at convention. Those who made a $1,000 or more contribution leading up to the conference or onsite were entered in a drawing to win a five-day/four-night stay in Costa Rica with three days of fishing aboard the brand-new 60' Ritchie Howell sportfishing boat, the SEA FIX. Donated by IIABSC top-level Palmetto Partner, Johnson & Johnson.

Those who made a $100 or more contribution were entered in a drawing to win a duck hunting package that included a Browning A5 20-gauge shotgun.

Overall, InsurPac raised more than $47,675 leading up to and during annual convention, which is a record breaker!

The winner of the Costa Rica trip was Ashley Brady of First Charter Company in Marion. Winner of the hunting package was Tonya Thomason of David A Crotts & Associates in Greenwood.

Conv19-INSURPAC-w.jpg(L to right: Grayson King, J&J; Ashley Brady, Robbie Nalley, Tonya Thomason, Bay Amrhein, J&J, Frank Sheppard, IIABSC.)

Grid of images from around Savannah - iron gates, cemetery, river boats, fountains, River Street, baseball field and dice in a martini glass on orange, red and yellow background.

View video archive


 Thank you sponsors!


Johnson & Johnson, Inc., Awards Banquet Bar & Program
IIABSC Agency, Inc., Attendee gifts


Safeco Insurance/ Liberty Mutual Business Ins., Awards Banquet Dinner


Bankers Insurance Group, Pub Crawl Tour
Burns & Wilcox, Monday Lunch
Gulfstream Property & Casualty Insurance, Sunday Welcome Reception Bar
Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance, Sunday Welcome Reception Centerpieces
Jackson Sumner & Associates, Monday/Tuesday Webcast & Convention water bottles
Lighthouse Property Insurance Corporation, Sunday Band
Preferred Specialty LLC, Casino Night Games & Dealers
Progressive, Sunday Welcome Reception Food Stations
St. Johns Insurance Company, Chairmans reception Reception Bars
UPC Insurance Co., program printing


Allstar Financial Group, Tuesday Breakfast
Assure Alliance, Inc., Business Session Door prizes & Casino Night Prizes
Builders Insurance Group, Monday General Session
Centauri Insurance, Agents Second Chance Drawing
CRC Group Wholesale & Specialty, First timers drawing
Encova Insurance, Sunday Exhibit Hall Drink tickets
Frontline Insurance, Monday Breakfast
GeoVera Holdings, Monday Breakfast
Imperial PFS Premium Financing, Tuesday Breakfast
J.M. Wilson, Spouses drawing
Main Street America Group, Sunday Exhibit Hall Food
The National Security Group, Agent Passport Drawing
Nationwide Insurance, Monday General Session
Prime Insurance Company, Tuesday Closing Session
SageSure Insurance Managers, Monday Break Food & Beverage
Southern Insurance Underwriters, Awards Banquet Centerpieces
Travelers, Charging stations
WRIGHT Flood, Tuesday Closing Session
Zenith Insurance Company, Monday Business Session


Accident Fund Ins. Co. of America, Tuesday Door prize
AFCO/ Prime Rate Premium Finance, Agent/Young Agent of the Year awards
AMERISAFE, Monday General Session Door prize
Allstate Insurance Company, Monday General Session Door prize
Auto-Owners Insurance, Audio/visual equipment
Capitol Preferred & Southern Fidelity, Monday General Session Door prize
Central Insurance Companies, Tuesday Door prize
Donegal Insurance, Cemetery Tour
Frankenmuth Insurance, Cemetery Tour
Genesee General, Casino Night DJ
Hull & Company, Audio/visual equipment
Insurance House, Audio/visual equipment
Markel Specialty Commercial, Foodie Tour
Mid-Continent Group, Tuesday Door prize
Penn National Insurance, Sunday Exhibit Hall Door prize
Risk Innovations, LLC, Sunday Exhibit Hall Door prize
Risk Placement Services, Hand sanitizer stations & Welcome Table
Sentry, Cemetery Tour
State Auto Insurance Co., Foodie Tour
TAPCO Underwriters, Inc., Foodie Tour
Universal North America, Monday Break Door prize


Berkley Southeast, Casino Night General Sponsor
BlueCross BlueShield of SC, Casino Night Prizes
Homeowners of American Ins. Co., Casino Night Dessert
JSCM Group, Casino Night Drink tickets