This year’s Emerging Leaders Conference in Austin, TX was second to none in terms of conference experiences. The entire staff of AM Best, APCIA, and of course, Marguerite Tortorello of Insurance Careers Movement, hosted a seamless conference from start to finish.
The conference kicked-off with an interactive happy hour – who wouldn’t love showcasing where they traveled from on a map?! This conference kick-off was already unique in terms of the look and feel. The ELC was off to a great start, and I couldn’t wait for the learning to get underway. The morning of day one featured a fantastic breakfast that allowed us to mingle with our peers. I’d already established great connections before the educational portion had even started (a sign of a great conference, right?).
In reviewing the agenda, I was most excited to soak in advice from key leaders in our industry. These leaders participated in panel discussions, keynote addresses, and mingling with attendees between sessions, so the emerging leaders had plenty of opportunity to introduce ourselves and gain wisdom from these industry giants. Rick Parks, President and CEO of Society Insurance, left us stunned in his “Importance of Leadership” keynote when he stated that being a leader is about empowering people. He reiterated listening skills, patience, and humility as traits that will get you far in work and in life. These are things we often forget on the road to leadership. Heidi Craun, Head of Customer Advocacy at ClearCover, shared a deeply personal life story when connecting to her “moments that matter” in client service. She inspired us to “be like Oprah!” and left us wanting more. Tony Cicio, SVP/CHRO at Argo Group, shared why it’s important to bring your authentic self to work in an effort to converge the personal with the professional. These professionals took time to introduce key principles that led to their success in hopes of inspiring those of us in the room with decades ahead of us in our careers.
Between all of the learning, the hosting committees left time for fun, too! Our emerging leaders class enjoyed a live lunch workshop as well as a band and fantastic dinner on Rainey Street. The opportunity to mix and mingle with industry professionals from all over the country was truly special, and it’s already left a significant impact on me as a professional and an individual. This industry gives so much to its young professionals, and I’m lucky to have been selected as a recipient of such a life-changing conference experience.