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2021 IIABSC Annual Convention

"No Looking Back" - held Oct. 17-19, 2021 in Hilton Head Island, SC



123th Annual Convention report

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James G. Taylor, Jr., CIC of Kinghorn Insurance of Beaufort was re-elected Chair of the Board by the general membership during the annual meeting. Tonya S. Thomason, CIC of David A. Crotts & Associates, Inc. in Greenwood was re-elected Chair-Elect and Treasurer of the Board of Directors. Robert "Robbie" Nalley of Creech Roddey Watson Insurance in Sumter was re-elected to another year as Board Secretary.

Three new directors, Alexander "Zander" Galloway, CIC, CRA, CWCA, ACRA of Peoples First Insurance in Rock Hill, SC, Lauren T Huffman, CIC, AAI of Taylor Agency in Charleston and Richard L. Walker, Jr., CIC of CSP Insurance Services in Florence, SC, were elected to three-year terms on the Board of Directors beginning Jan. 1, 2022.

Retiring directors Kelly Frontroth, API, AAI, CPIW of Hutson-Etherredge Companies in Aiken, SC, and Hilary Haines, AIAM, of Carrie Johnson Insurance in Murrells Inlet, SC, were recognized for their service and dedication to the association.

Robert T. "Bob" Fee, AAI, CPCU, of Fee Insurance Group in Hutchinson, Kan. and IIABA Chair of the Board delivered the oath of office.


Agent of the Year - Thomas M. "Tom" Bates, Jr. of Greenville, SC

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Thomas M. "Tom" Bates, Jr. of Assured Partners in Greenville, SC was named the Hayne P. Glover, Jr. Agent of the Year in recognition for outstanding community service and contributing to the betterment of the insurance industry.

Tom began his insurance career as an adjuster with Crawford and Company back in 1976 and started his agency career in 1979 with Puckett, Sheetz and Hagler Agency. He helped form Herlong-Bates Insurance in 2004 and currently is affiliated with Assured Partners, the successor agency to Herlong-Bates.

Currently serving as the Immediate Past Chair, his association service also has included the membership committee, convention committee and Trusted Choice committee. He was elected to the Board in 2010 and elected to the Executive Committee in 2013. Tom served as State Chairman in 2017 and 2018.

He is a two-time Past President of the Downtown Greenville SERTOMA Club – having served in that role 20 years apart!

He is a Past President of Green Valley Country Club and an active member of Buncombe Street United Methodist Church where he serves as Sunday School teacher, member of the stewardship committee and the Grief committee.

Tom’s biggest passion currently is the Cancer Survivors Park in Greenville for which he is the current president. Almost everyone has been touched by cancer – whether as a cancer patient, a caregiver, a family member or – like Tom - one who has lost a loved one to cancer. Cancer Survivors Park is located downtown along the Swamp Rabbit Trail and is a unique blend of gathering spaces and natural walkways that provide a place of celebration, learning, healing and hope for anyone who visits.

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 only South Carolinian so far 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 has been sponsored by AFCO/Prime Rate Premium Finance in Florence for more than twenty years.

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Young Agent of the Year - David Hanor, CIC, of Greenville

Conv21-banquet-390-w.jpgDavid Hanor, CIC of Advisors Insurance Agency in Greenville, SC has been named the IIABSC Young Agent of the Year.

David began his career with a small captive agency shortly after graduating from Furman University in 2013. With much persuasion from his family, after about a year David saw the light and joined a new startup independent agency. Since then David and Advisors Insurance Agency have grown to an established and respected independent insurance agency in Greenville. David handles both personal and commercial lines business for his clients and was recognized with Safeco’s Award of Distinction in 2019. In that time he earned the Certified Insurance Counselor designation and has served on the Young Agents committee since 2019.

In Greenville, David and his wife Anna serve as youth advisors at their church. David also volunteers with Meals on Wheels and is a Furman Young Benefactor which does community service projects. He also enjoys traveling, playing golf, and spending time with his family. 

The Young Agent of the Year 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 has been sponsored by AFCO/Prime Rate Premium Finance in Florence for more than twenty years.

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Industry Person of the Year - Gale Golightly of Preferred Specialty LLC

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Gale Golightly of Preferred Specialty LLC was named the 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.

Gale serves as Vice President and Underwriting Manager, and has been instrumental to the company's growth with her  decades of surplus lines experience she brought when it was a start up.

She started her insurance career at Seibels, Bruce and Company in 1969, in their newly formed excess and surplus lines department, called Agency Specialty Service. Over 30 years she worked her way up to being the first female to be named Vice President at the Seibels and eventually the Chief Operating Officer.  After a series of mergers and aquisitions, Gale left and joined a startup wholesaler, Preferred Specialty, in 2007. She has been actively attending IIABSC events since the 1970s and continues to be involved for more than five decades.

She is known for her professionalism, kindness, mentorship to others and having so many special personal relationships with independent insurance agents all over South Carolina.


Outstanding CSR of the Year - Kelly Wenzel of Sumter, SC

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Kelly Wenzel 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.

Nominations are submitted to us early in the year, an nominees are then 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 Kelly:

“I have worked alongside Kelly for five years at CRW Insurance. I have witnessed her strong work ethics and leadership skills to produce spectacular results in her role of customer service representative and also office manager.

“In December 2019 after making the decision to move back to her family in New Jersey, Kelly maintained her role of CSR and moved our agency forward by becoming our first remote employee. Her tenacity at wanting to be the best she can be was clearly demonstrated as she quickly worked through any kinks in our new remote employee setting.

“There are many excuses people use to lay down and quit or just be mediocre. Instead Kelly strives to improve herself and to make others around her better too.”

That's exactly what customer service, and being an independent agent, is all about.


Chairman Citations

Tammy Goodman and SC Dir of Insurance Ray Farmer were recognized for their service to IIABSC and the entirely of South Carolina with a Citation from Board Chair Jay Taylor. 


InsurPac fundraiser

As always, there was an InusrPAC fundraiser going on during the annual convention. Those who made contributions leading up to the conference and onsite were entered in a drawing to win a Lowcountry Oyster Roast package including a double-basket cooker, one chance for every $100 contributed. All who contributed $1,000 dollars or more in 2021 were entered in a drawing to win a four-night stay in a luxury resort in Costa Rica with three days of sports fishing, a trip donated by Johnson & Johnson. Winners did not have to be present to win.

Overall, InsurPac raised $40,000 leading up to and during the annual convention.

The winner of the oyster roast package was Ken Finch of Adams, Eaddy & Associates in Columbia. The winner of the Costa Rica trip was Robbie Nalley of Creech Roddey Watson in Sumter.


Event Committee

Tom Bates, Jr., Chairman 
Assured Partners, Greenville

Jeff  Althoff, CPCU
Lowcountry Insurance, Beaufort

Bay Amrhein
Johnson & Johnson, Charleston

Chris Bagwell
Bagwell Insurance LLC, Lexington

Laura Cornell, CIC
Safeco Insurance, Lexington

Andrew Deese 
Upchurch & Jowers, Camden

Larry Dodson
Jesse T. Reese, Inc., Columbia

Gail Mishoe, CIC, CISR 
Peoples Underwriters, Conway

Brandy Naylor 
Lighthouse Insurance, Eastover

Andy Phillips 
Johnson & Johnson, Charleston

Pam Shealy
Jencap Ins Services, Inc., Chapin

Ed Stuckrath
Auto-Owners Insurance Co., Columbia

Thomas Tayloe
Kinghorn Ins of Beaufort, Beaufort

David Weber
Preferred Specialty, Columbia








Event Sponsors:

Bronze Level
Accident Fund Insurance Company of America
AFCO/Prime Rate Premium Finance
AMERISAFE
Auto-Owners Insurance
Bass Underwriters
Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Cos.
Burns & Wilcox
Capital Premium Financing
Centauri Insurance
Central Insurance Companies
Donegal Insurance Group
First Benefits Insurance Mutual
Frankenmuth Insurance
GeoVera
Homeowners of America Insurance Company
Hull & Company, LLC & Peachtree Special Risk Brokers, LLC
J.M. Wilson
Markel Specialty
Mid-Continent Group
National General, an Allstate company
Orion180 Insurance Services, LLC
Penn National Insurance
Peoples Premium Finance
Pie Insurance
Risk Placement Services, Inc.
Seacoast Brokers, LLC
Selective Insurance Co. of America
Southern Fidelity Insurance Company
Southern Insurance Underwriters 
Standard Premium Finance Management Corporation
State Auto Insurance
TAPCO Underwriters, Inc.
Universal North America
UPC Insurance Co.
Zenith Insurance Company


ADD'L SPONSORS  - 
AFCO/Prime Rate Premium Finance - Agent of the Year & Young Agent of the Year awards
Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC - Casino Night hors d'oeuvres, bar & DJ
Jencap Insurance Services, Inc - Casino Night Prizes
Risk Innovations a Jencap Company - Casino Night Prizes
Southern Fidelity Insurance Company - General Sponsor
Preferred Specialty LLC - Lanyard Sponsor
Jackson Sumner & Associates - Water Bottle Sponsor