December 2023 Member News

From the Executive's Desk...

As 2023 draws to a close, I'd like to think back on my best experience from the year.  It was the marriage of my son Dominic and his wife Gabrielle.  I gained a daughter!  What is your favorite memory of the year? Did you write a new piece of business that you are proud of? Did you accomplish something on your goals list? Many of our Young Professional Agents welcomed new members into their families.  What are you reflecting on?

At PIA of VA & DC, this year has been one of growth and change.  Kevin Kowar, our beloved Association Executive, retired and began a new chapter in his life.  I was promoted to the new Association Executive which left an opportunity for us to hire Charletta Jones, our new Director of Education.  Ami Critcher was hired to take over as the Marketing and Events Planner since we had a vacancy in the Marketing department.  Lisa Farnham has taken on both Virginia and North Carolina in our PIA Insurance Services Agency.  Despite not being new, Carol Throckmorton has assumed leadership in a systems migration.  Our group has taken charge and developed new bonds with one another.  With everything that has transpired in the last year, we now have a fresh perspective on 2024 and how it will benefit our members by providing them with improved benefits, education, and technology.

This year, our volunteers have been quite active!  During the transition, John Potthast, our new Association President, took over as president and has since set the standard for us this year with an emphasis on membership and our members.  We moved to a new location for our 2023 convention. Planning and conversation have already begun for 2024, where a new location with a family-oriented focus is planned.  Heather Etheridge and Carla Marks will be leading this effort.  The leadership of the Young Professional Council (YPC) has changed to Melissa Ferguson and Rab Imobisa.  We are excited about their plans to help our Philanthropic Committee by participating with the Special Olympics not only in June this year but their fall program as well. In 2024 we will also see them get together at the Polar Plunge where I am challenging our volunteers to get in the water with me.  Keep an eye out for additional details regarding this event.  Under the direction of Cole Tucker, our Education Committee is constantly searching for methods to support agents in achieving their educational objectives, whether it be obtaining a designation or simply coming up with compelling CE topics.  Beginning on December 15th, the Legislative Committee, chaired by Dave Comey, will convene every Friday to debate proposals and legislation up for vote in the forthcoming session.  Now serving as PIA National's Immediate Past President, Gerald Hemphill dedicated a great deal of his time this year to traveling to other states and taking center stage on the national arena in support of the independent agent.  Without the countless hours, hard work, and enthusiasm of these people as well as the countless more volunteers who are committed to supporting PIA of VA & DC, we could not have done 2023 without ALL of you!

This year has undoubtedly lived up to the adage that the only thing that is constant in this world is change.  In 2024, we look forward to serving you, our members, and collaborating with our volunteers. While we anticipate further change, we will continue to maintain you, our members, as our true focus.

Sheryl Chasse, PIAVADC Association Executive

Meet Davis Bailey-PIA Member

I have been a Licensed Agent since 2013 specializing in personal lines of nonstandard and standard risks.

My father, Dave Bailey, founded the Bailey Insurance Agency in 1972 and was a member of PIA for many years before he retired.  He believed in PIA to advocate for independent agencies on the local, statewide, and national level, while also providing opportunities for Agent professional development.

When I went to work for him, he introduced me to PIA so I could take my Continuing Education courses and prevent any potential E&O claims.

I earned my Certified Professional Insurance Agent designation in 2018 through PIA and am looking at other programs to advance my career.

Networking with my fellow insurance professionals at PIA conferences and events has been invaluable.

As the P&C marketplace continues to face certain challenges, my membership in PIA helps restore my confidence as a well-informed professional.

Davis Bailey


Carrier Ratings: Have the Necessary Process in Place

Every agency should have an established minimum financial rating for the carriers they do business with. While a minimum rating of “A-” using the A.M. Best rating approach is common, consider how your E&O carrier addresses insolvency in the policy form

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JUNE 18-20, 2024


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From PIA National

Cyber Security Insurance
PIA Propeller

PIA Partners with Ascend

From billing to premium financing to distribution of commissions and carrier payables -- PIA and Ascend have you covered! 


Free to Use - No Subscription Fees:  let your customers decide how they want to pay - Credit/Debit Card, ACH, Wire


One-Click Premium Financing:  automatically built into the checkout experience without any extra back and forth.

Instant Commissions:  receive your commissions in 24 hours.

Simplify Carrier Payables:  minimize time spent figuring out commissions and carrier payments.

Full Transparency:  get notified when clients pay and markets are funded.

PIA Ascend

Introducing Winning@Customer Retention

Demonstrating the value of working with an agency is key. That’s where Winning@Customer Retention comes in. It's a new program from the PIA Partnership designed to help agencies improve customer service and retention. We’ve pulled together resources to help track client retention rates, segment, and communicate with customers.

The program puts spotlight on technology and solutions that play a big part in improving customer communications, referrals, and enabling agencies to select the right solutions and be proactive. Winning@Customer Retention includes a mix of online materials and tools and in-person and virtual sessions and events.

PIA Winning at Customer Retention

In the event of cyber business interruption, insurance covers loss and costs in excess of normal operating expenses required to maintain the business and restore operations.

PIA National is happy to introduce the PIA 401(k) Program. It is a turn-key, low-cost solution for agency owners and their employees and performs over 90% of administrative tasks by becoming your retirement department support team.

The PIA 401(k) Plan provides what employees want and what independent agents need to deliver it, in an efficient and cost-effective way.


In an increasingly virtual world, it’s critical that you know how to build relationships online. That’s why PIA National has launched its latest member benefit, The Agent Experience.

"We’ve built this tool to expand your views about building relationships in a virtual world—and to provide access to resources that will help."