November 2023 Member News

From the Executive's Desk...

November brings a few things to mind: Holiday plans, who makes the best stuffing and PIA getting ready to send out dues emails.  With technology changing every day, be on the lookout for a new look at your dues renewal; we are moving to a very robust system which will allow users to register others in their own office (we were listening!), primary users will be able to update their agency personnel, and so much more! Look for full implementation of our new system in January, we will keep you posted on the new ways for you to use all of the tools. We are excited to give our members more access to the tools you need!


Our Tacky Light Tour is BACK!  Put December 7th on your calendar and watch for registration information coming soon.  Our Young Professional Agents are excited to bring this fun activity back and if you plan on attending, you will need to bring that Tacky Holiday outfit out of storage, because this is an Ugly Christmas Sweater event!


Will you share your experience with us?

We are looking for video testimonials (if you are too camera shy, we will take something written) on how PIA has helped you in your career/agency/company.  Maybe you have taken a class that has helped you or you can share what it means to you to have PIA in your corner. Please contact if you would like to share.  We will be gathering these testimonials throughout the rest of the year, and as a thank you, we will offer anyone that shares a free 3hr webinar!

Sheryl Chasse, PIAVADC Association Executive

Meet Ami: Events & Marketing Manager

As Sheryl has been promoted to Association Exec, Ami will take on the Events, Marketing, and Social Media pieces, working with Charletta Jones (Director of Education) to offer support for the Education department.

Ami comes to us with a diverse background, which includes IT Project Management, many years of Customer Service and Event planning, and marketing. She is passionate about using social media to engage our members and to share and promote valuable insights, while growing our numbers using new media to appeal to a whole new generation of Insurance Professionals. Ami always looks for the fun in everything, and is having a great time working with our Convention, Philanthropy and Scholarship Committees. Never afraid of a challenge, she is excited to learn about the Insurance industry and has recently earned the CPIA designation.

Join us in welcoming Ami to PIAVADC!

Ami Critcher, Events & Marketing Manager

Meet Ashley Sanford Kilian: Young Agent of the Year, PIAVADC

Who are you? 

I began my career in the insurance industry in 2005 as a personal lines producer and moved to a commercial lines producer in 2012. I currently manage the personal lines and commercial lines departments in our agency. I graduated from John Tyler Community College, Strayer University and obtained my Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Liberty University. I was born in Florida but have been a resident of Virginia for many years. I enjoy spending time with my family and being outdoors.

What is your specialty?

I specialize in insuring small to midsize commercial accounts and help business owners understand the importance of protecting their assets by having the right coverage.

Where do you live/work and how does this inform your approach?

I live in Chesterfield, Virginia and work in Midlothian, Virginia. I travel occasionally to our Henrico office as well. Helping clients in the Central Virginia region helps me better understand their business and needs. I meet many clients face to face to better evaluate the risk and build a trusting relationship with clients.

When did you first start in insurance?

I obtained my insurance license shortly after my 18th birthday but worked in my parents’ insurance agency all through high school.

Why insurance? What is your passion about it?

Funny story…I fought against going into the insurance industry and decided to pursue a degree in nursing. I worked in the insurance agency throughout high school and college. I completed clinicals, volunteered as an Emergency Medical Technician, and was determined to become a Registered Nurse. It hit me right as I was about to take my second to last semester of nursing school. I realized I loved what I was doing and was actually pretty good at selling policies.

I love insurance! There is so much more to the industry than just helping clients obtain insurance policies. It is also about the relationships that are formed with colleagues, marketing representatives, underwriters and carriers. Plus, it is always a learning experience with the constant changes in the insurance industry. It is also giving back to the community through volunteering and supporting local non-profit organizations.

Why PIA? Why did you join and why do you stay?

Well, that is a pretty easy question after my father, Mike Sanford, served as the President for PIA throughout COVID for several years and I saw the compassion that went into this organization. The number of hours devoted by the Association Executive, support personnel, members, and board members are tremendous. The PIA truly supports the Independent Agent from an educational, leadership, legislative and resource basis. The true support for the members of PIA is the reason I joined and have stayed apart of the organization. PIA also devotes time to giving back to the community through the Special Olympics and other organizations, which has a special place in my heart.

How do you approach your business?

I approach my business through trust and relationship building. I am not looking at how much the premium is regardless if it is large or small. It is about helping my clients find the right coverage and educating my clients on why they need certain coverage.

Ashley Sanford Kilian, Young Agent of the Year PIAVADC


What Should You Do When A Customer Makes an Allegation of an Error or Omission? 

In the event that an agency customer had a claim denied by their carrier, or for which there were not enough limits to cover the loss, the customer may decide to contact your agency and allege that they either had the wrong coverage, or that the coverage they had in place had insufficient limits. If this occurs, there are several things that you need to do, and practices that you should avoid, to ensure that you do not compromise your E&O coverage.

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November is Men's Health Awareness Month and is dedicated to raising awareness about men's health issues and promoting the physical and mental well-being of men. Men are at a greater risk of heart disease, cancer, and stroke than women. Get on the road to better health: eat healthy, get physically active, quit smoking, and most importantly - make prevention a priority. Click the ribbon above for more information.


Show us your "No Shave November" look for a chance to win one of three Gift Cards. Ladies – we don’t want to leave you out so send us pics of your husband, father, son or significant other. Deadline to submit your before and after photos is December 10th. Winners will be announced on December 15th. Send your entries to Watch your email for more information and details on how to vote for your favorite!

Lead the Pack - Blue Swirl 5273ff


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."