July 2022 Member News

YPC Volunteers at the Special Olympics Virginia Summer Softball Games on 6/9
YPC Volunteers at the Special Olympics Virginia Summer Softball Games on 6/9

From the Executive's Desk

Here we are in July, the halfway point of 2022.

Our new Officers and Board officially assumed their duties on July 1st and we are looking forward to another great year under the leadership of President Josh Sojda of Weller & Associates in Glen Allen.

I would be remiss if I did not thank Carla Marks for her leadership over the past year. She kept us moving forward in rough seas with a firm hand on the wheel.

I would also like to thank Mike Sanford who is now officially retired from the Board of Directors after 7 years of unselfish service. Mike was instrumental in positioning PIA and PIA Insurance Services for success. His out of the box thinking allowed us to make changes that contributed to improved financial results and a strong bottom line. Mike also was a lobbyist for PIA with the Virginia General Assembly. Mike will be missed.

I am so proud of our Young Professionals and Philanthropy Committee for the fine work they do to support Special Olympics Virginia. PIA VA/DC is the second longest running supporter of SOV and has donated over $400,000 over the past 35 years. Not only do we fund raise for SOV, but over the past 6 years, we have provided a team of volunteers at their summer games here in Richmond who have helped with the athletes, logistics and awards. Sheryl Chasse has led this team and does an outstanding job.

Hope you have a happy and safe July 4th.

Kevin Headshot - No Border

Kevin Kowar, CIC, AU
Association Executive

Independence Day Closing





Congratulations Award Winners

The following individuals were recognized on Thursday, June 30 at the 2022 PIAVADC Annual Convention Awards Banquet.

  • Professional Agent of the Year:  David L. Comey, CIC
  • Young Agent of the Year:  Shannon S. Springer, AMP, CAWK, CLCS
  • Company Representative of the Year:  William J. Desko, CIC
  • Young Company Representative of the Year:  Joseph F. Sorrell, CIC
  • Committee Chair of the Year:  Heather M. Etheridge, CISR
  • Committee Member of the Year:  Melissa W. Ferguson, CPIA

YPC Volunteers at SOVA State Softball Championships

Many thanks to the following individuals who volunteered with YPC at the Special Olympics Virginia Summer Softball Games on Friday, June 9:

  • Justin Baldwil
  • Jordan Burkey
  • Sheryl Chasse
  • Rich Gastrich
  • Bryson Harrell
  • Karsen Harrell
  • Melissa Harrell
  • Ashley Kilian
  • Cruize Springer
  • Nick Springer
  • Shannon Springer

Updated CIC and CISR Testing Procedures


Effective July 1, 2022 The National Alliance has updated testing procedures.


All CIC tests will be administered electronically.  The test is available during an exam window of Monday 12:00am CST through Thursday 11:59pm CST of the week following the class.  Likewise, a test proctor is required; proctor rules will be provided at the class and can also be found at the button below.

These test windows are the same for in-person, webinar, and *hybrid course formats.


All CISR tests will be administered electronically.  The test window for both in-person and webinar classes is immediately following the class (including a 30-minute study window) through the following Thursday 11:59pm CST.  Those planning to test immediately following an in-person class will need to bring a laptop with which they will access the test, and course staff will serve as proctors.  Those planning to test later, after an in-person class, and webinar attendees must obtain proctors.  More information regarding proctors is available at the button below.

*Hybrid Courses are in-person courses that offer a webinar attendance option.

Instructors and students are in-person in a classroom setting.  Camera and audio setup allows the instructor and slides to provide a webinar experience for those who prefer to attend virtually.

Interested in Joining the Faculty?


Have you ever been attending a class, whether in-person or webinar, and been thinking … I know this stuff … I could do this … I would present things this way ....

Chances are that you are right!  In my position as Education Director for PIAVADC, I have found it amazing that most agents want to give back to the industry that has provided them with a living and a career in a field that many were unaware they even wanted.

Sharing your knowledge with others is an amazing way to support and foster the insurance industry, and as time zips past, so do many new topics that peer agents want to know more about:  home sharing, Uber/Lyft/Door Dash (TNC), cyber, breweries, marijuana coverage, the basics of ethics - and so much more.

Prior to the pandemic, I often found instructors in the classroom.  I was able to listen and watch students and get a feel for their interest.  With webinars, it has been very difficult, as I can’t see and hear you.

So, I am putting this call to action out and hoping that some of you will accept the challenge.  Please let me know if you are interested in hearing more.  Together, we would identify the level of commitment you can make; maybe you are interested in instructing two classes/year?  Maybe more?  We would then work on topics that work best with your skill set and develop a plan together.

Education is such a vital part of this industry and we want PIAVADC to have and be the best!

Should You Consider Becoming a CRM?

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Course Offerings E-Blasts

  • 24 CISR Courses Available in 2022

  • 7 Pre-Licensing Programs in 2022

  • E&O, Ethics - For $25 or Less

  • What's a Hybrid course? Is it for me?


  • Upcoming CIC and Ruble Courses

From PIA National

Cyber Security Question of the Month:

Why is ransomware a big deal for your agency?

Ransomware has grown 600% since 2015. Businesses and professional services are most frequently attacked via email. And the average ransom demand is just over $1,000.

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.

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Postings are free for PIA members.

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.  Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

Groucho Marx