June 2023 Member News

Dean Wooten, President, PIANC; Chris Meinberg, Secretary/Treasurer, PIANC; Josh Sojda, President, PIA VA/DC and S. Cole Tucker, National Director, PIA VA/DC - 2023 PIA Advocacy Day
Dean Wooten, President, PIANC; Chris Meinberg, Secretary/Treasurer, PIANC; Josh Sojda, President, PIA VA/DC and S. Cole Tucker, National Director, PIA VA/DC - 2023 PIA Advocacy Day

From the Executive's Desk

It’s hard to believe but in just 90 days, I will be retired after 45 years in the insurance business. Where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday that I was a college graduate looking for a job. What I didn’t know is that job would turn into a career, a wonderful career.

From an underwriter trainee with The Hartford in New Orleans in 1978 to the PIA Association Executive in Richmond in 2023, it’s been a heck of a ride. In between there were 13 stops along the way including Honolulu, Chicago, Keene (NH), Utica (NY), Davenport (IA) and Charlotte to name a few. I made a lot of friends and saw a lot of the United States. I met my wife and raised my children. Our lifestyle was provided by the insurance industry.

So the question that I still can’t answer is “what’s next?”. My wife says that I have to “retire to” something not “from something”. But what is that thing? It might be golf, although my game is pretty lame. It could be gardening, but what would I do in the winter? I have three best friends to hang out with at home, although those 4-legged friends primarily sleep and eat all day. I could do some volunteer work. That would be my chance to give back. Maybe!

I’m going to ponder this question for a few more months. I’ll let you know before I leave.

In the meantime, come on out to our annual convention at the Hilton Oceanfront on July 26-27th. I’d love to see you.

Kevin Headshot - No Border

Kevin Kowar, CIC, AU
PIAVADC Association Executive

2023-2024 Slate of Officers

The PIA VA/DC Governance Committee, which serves as the bylaw required Nominating Committee for Directors and Officers, chaired by Carla J. Marks, CIC, CISR and including Board Member – Past President S. Cole Tucker, CIC, CRM, LUTCF; as well as Past President Gerald F. Hemphill, CIC, LUTCF; Past President Robby Grandy; and Past President Vaughan Alexander, CIC, CCB, AFIS met on May 17, 2023 regarding board candidate nominations.

The slate of nominations for PIA VA/DC Board Officers for 2023-2024 is as follows:

  • President John Potthast, CPCU
  • 1st Vice President Richard Moore LUTCF
  • 2nd Vice President Campbell Pendleton, CIC
  • Secretary/Treasurer Shannon S. Springer, AMP, CAWC, CLCS
  • Joshua T. Sojda, CIC, Immediate Past President

Nominated for a three-year term on PIA VA/DC Board of Directors is Heather M. Etheridge, CISR of Marks-Tiller Insurance Agency of Roanoke, VA.

Nominated as National Director for a term of three years is S. Cole Tucker, Jr., CIC, CRM, LUTCF.

Nominated as Director-at-Large for a term of three years on the PIA Insurance Services Board of Directors are Campbell Pendleton, CIC, Robby Grandy and Gerald F. Hemphill, CIC, LUTCF.

Officers nominated for PIA Insurance Services are Joshua T. Sojda. CIC, for President and John Potthast, CPCU as Secretary-Treasurer who, per the bylaws, serve in these by virtue of their PIA VA/DC offices.

In accordance with the bylaws, this serves as the official meeting notice for our Annual Meeting scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on July 12, 2023 via a virtual meeting.

If you would like to nominate others for Officer and/or Board Member positions, please do so by emailing Rich@mooreinsuranceagency.net no later than June 30, 2023.

Richard L. Moore, LUTCF


Scenes from 2023 PIA Advocacy Day

The Virginia contingent of Josh Sojda, PIA VA/DC President; S. Cole Tucker, PIA VA/DC National Director and Gerald Hemphill, President, PIA National, were recently in Washington D.C. on May 10, 2023 for Advocacy Day. Agents from all over the country flew in for this annual event to spend time with their representatives to discuss issues that are of concern to PIA and its members. Some of these issues are extending the National Flood Insurance Program; repealing the Federal Insurance Office, Crop insurance, and allowing non-compete agreements to stand.


The Virginia contingent met with Rep. Ben Cline and asked for him to once again co-sponsor a bill to repeal the Federal Insurance Office, which he agreed to do. They met with Rep. Rob Wittman’s staff; Rep. Abigail Spanberger’s staff to discuss Crop insurance and with Rep. Robert Good.


We encourage every member to plan on being a part of Advocacy Day at some point in their careers. It is very worthwhile, interesting and enjoyable.

Shannon S. Springer is PIA YIP of the Year

Shannon S. Springer, vice president and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Springer Insurance of Midlothian, Virginia has been named the 2023 National Young Insurance Professional (YIP) of the Year by PIA.


The PIA National Young Insurance Professional of the Year award recognizes outstanding achievement by a young insurance professional. It was sponsored for the 18th year in a row by The Rough Notes Company.


“Shannon always projects a positive energy,” said Kevin Kowar, Association Executive with PIA of Virginia & DC. “She is always willing to help and contribute. She’s a true professional and represents her agency and the PIA in the most positive light.”

The 411 on Exam Proctoring

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If you have need to online test for a CIC, CISR, or CRM course, then you are aware that you need to arrange an exam proctor.


What is a proctor?

A proctor is a disinterested third party who will monitor an exam by being present through its entirety.  A disinterested third party is someone with no direct business or family relationship to the participant.


There are 3 options for choosing a proctor:

#1 Utilize MonitorEdu as a virtual proctor.

  • A device in addition to the one used for the exam is required, as the proctor will observe you remotely via camera.
  • No appointment is necessary.
  • There is an $18 fee.

#2 Utilize a “brick and mortar” testing location.  Often libraries, colleges, and learning centers offer this service.

#3 An individual in a human resources or training role within your organization may proctor your exam.


Testing Tips:

  • NEVER launch your exam without a proctor.  When you are ready, you will access your exam within your SCIC Learning Portal.
  • If testing for CIC or CRM, you must submit proctor information to SCIC PRIOR to the end of the course by logging into your SCIC account, selecting the “Course History” tab, locating your course, and selecting the “Proctor” button under the “Action” column.  There is a form to be completed and submitted, after which exam instructions and an access PIN will be emailed to your proctor.

2023 Golf Tournament Update

Thanks to all who came out to support Special Olympics Virginia on Monday, May 1 at Richmond Country Club.


Congratulations to the winners:


  • Closest to the Pin, Hole 2:  Tyler Hancock
  • Closest to the Pin, Hole 6:  Tyler Hancock
  • Closest to the Pin, Hole 11:  Damon Davis
  • Closest to the Pin, Hole 17:  Preston Gantt
  • Longest Drive, Hole 3:  Roger Gill
  • Longest Drive, Hole 1:  Justin Comey
  • Marshmallow Challenge, Hole 1:  Jeff Brown
  • First Flight:  Auto-Owners (Michele Crawford, Mark Crouse, Damon Davis, Lee Mahaney)
  • Second Flight:  Erie Insurance (Shane Badon, Bruce Davis, Michael Douglas, John James)
  • Third Flight:  Austin Gregory, Marcus Slate, Adam Winfree, Jasmine Zarou

PIAVADC Agency Membership Dues Structure

PIA is your resource to help your agency grow and prosper.  We provide quality education, effective advocacy in Richmond and Washington, D.C. to protect your agency and our industry, networking and leadership opportunities, as well as insurance coverages for your agency.


PIAVADC offers four types of membership:


  1. Agency:  engaged in the insurance business.  Dues are based on total number of full-time, P&C licensed agents.  Agency membership includes PIA National dues.
  2. Company:  officers, representatives or employees of an insurance company or any other individual affiliated directly or indirectly with property/casualty insurance business.  Annual dues are per company.
  3. Associate:  an organization that does not fall into either Agency or Company member categories.  Annual dues are per company, not individual.
  4. Retired:  an individual no longer in the insurance business but was an active PIA member at one time.

Thank You Long Term Sponsors

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From PIA National

PIA Ascend

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 Winning at Customer Retention

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.

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."

Credit Scores Explained

”What's another word for thesaurus?"

Steven Wright