Archive for July, 2008


The 2008 PIMA Summer Conference kicked off with a bang. Played golf at the Newport C.C. Not only that, but the weather was perfect, my son came along to take pictures and be a spotter, my host was magnificent, my partner bought me and Zach a new pair of golf shoes and NCC hats for the family, and to top it all off, I played the best I have in years. PTL!

Newport C.C. with Dave Galvin, Kevin Leys, Doug Clarke
Best round of golf life-to-date. Incredible day.

Had a great conversation with a company guy about building an exclusive online community for the Agency folks inside PIMA – sort of like the CEO Forum only online. Must be invited to join, must contribute thoughts and ideas to retain membership, that kind of thing. And the content inside would be quite valuable in terms of day-to-day operational stuff inside an agency, as well as futurist conversations within the community. Something to noodle on, but relatively urgent.

The conference itself featured an opening Keynote that really rocked everyone’s world. Karen Ignagni and George Olsen spoke about what’s very likely about to happen within our health care system as a result of the election. Different people will remember different things, but my take on the talk was this: As an industry, we need to focus on administrative simplification and driving out costs. We also need to create portals for constituents – members, providers, distributors, everyone in the value chain. When it comes to insurance plans, members need to be able to choose from all Plans. We need to leverage the power of the grass roots, let people see and understand, and make decisions for themselves. Also, longterm care insurance will be a big deal in the near future, so we need to put more emphasis on that. All this seems to point to more and more technology. I hope people, especially internal IT folks – CIO’s, Directors, and so forth, see the value of consulting with proven Web developers on the strategy and tactics necessary to survive the coming “perfect storm.” I don’t want to seem like a loon, but it’s a big deal – investing in these technologies now will get you through the learning curve so you’re where you need to be when the storm hits.

Karen Ignagni, CEO AHIP and George Olsen, Williams & Jensen
spoke about what’s very likely about to happen
within our health care system as a result of the election.
Moderated by Ann Nagle, BankNewport

Frank Abagnale knocked us back a few paces with his talk about Identity Theft and identity management. My take: stop writing checks; stop using debit cards; get a confetti shredder; pay all bills with a credit card and then pay off the credit card with money from your savings account; keep savings in a separate account; don’t access your money using a wireless network; protect your kids identity as well; identity thieves get big money for identities and only 1 in 700 are prosecuted; the longer someone keeps a stolen identity, the more valuable it becomes; it’s incredibly easy to steal an identity; I’m going to read his book; Scary stuff – all about protecting hard-earned assets – a time-less issue.

A few other miscellaneous pictures from the trip…
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“Everything goes better with bacon.” E.H. Pru


Falls Village, CT
Great place to jump!
Shattuck G.C., Jaffrey, NH
Mt Monadnock, 2nd most-climbed mtn on earth
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PIMA 2008 Summer Conference
Breakfast Roundtable Sessions
Courtyard of Hotel Viking, Newport, RI
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Things seem to have changed a lot in the past three years. I’m curious as to what people feel are the essential ingredients of a comprehensive Web presence for a marketing company, especially insurance, given the state of the Web today?

IMO, the presence need to accomplish the following critically important functions. (I got these from Bill Tyson who I think got them from Groundswell.) Btw, if anyone can recommend any reading material or “Understanding Web 2.0″ sites, I’m all eyes…

  • Listening – gathering feedback and customer insights for research purposes.
  • Talking – spread messages about your company and their products and services.
  • Energizing - find your most enthusiastic customers and use the power of word of mouth.
  • Supporting – deploy tools to help your customers engage with each other.
  • Embracing – Integrate your customers into the way your business works, including using their help to design new products or improve services. (Most challenging)

So what are the tools to do all this? Corporate site with content management? Individual blogs? Corporate blogs? Portals for distributors, agents, vendors, etc.? Corporate MySpace page? Nimble and well-designed quoting and enrollment site? Asking for referrals every where? Employee portal?

Interested in comments.

Next week: PIMA Summer Conference in Newport, RI. – but first a little R&R. Check smugmug for the pictures along the way…

Meantime, I had some international soccer coaches staying at my house last week – Reginaldo from Brazil and James from England. We introduced them to corn hole, smores, and fireworks. Got a tri-pod and tried my hand at shooting fireworks. Interesting learnings if anyone is interested… See more – click here.

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