September 2023 Member News

From the Executive's Desk

I am super excited to have been asked by the PIA Board of Directors to take over the Association Executive position.  I forgot to do the 1st day of new job picture, but just know there was a smile on my face, with a touch of sadness, to say goodbye to our Kevin Kowar.  Kevin is still going to hang out with us at several events, our annual golf outing and I think he won’t be able to help himself but come to visit us at the convention.

Those of you that I have met through classes, you know I am always ready for a WOOHOO!  So, let’s get that over with!  I am looking forward to working with John Potthast our PIA of VA & DC President in helping him and the Board of Directors realize their goals for the Association.

Entering a new position in a company you have worked with for over 10 years is interesting.  I have had the opportunity to see a lot and be involved in some great events and committees.  When considering this move, I did some self-reflection and what I have come up with is: we need more engagement.  This is something I am extremely passionate about.  Our PIA staff and I are here for you and we want to engage with you, one of the ways we will do this is by highlighting a member agency every month.  We want to know your story, we want to know your why… Why did you join PIA?  Have you wanted to serve on a committee and just aren’t sure where to start?  Are you afraid volunteering will take too much time away from your work hours?  As you can see, we have a lot of questions for you and a survey doesn’t get down to the core of who our members are.

We have some new team members here at PIA, we will introduce all of you to them.  I do want to brag on them that both Ami and Charletta have hit the ground running.  You might have met Ami at the VA Convention and Charletta joined, and we took her down to the NC Convention.  They are great additions to Lisa, who handles our E&O Insurance Services for Virginia and North Carolina, and Carol, who handles member services for our Virginia members.

Please call me if there is anything I can help you with, I will be reaching out to our members throughout the next few months into the beginning of the year.


Sheryl Chasse, CPIA
PIAVADC Association Executive


Meet Charletta Jones: Director of Education

Charletta Jones is an accomplished educational leader with a strong track record of fostering academic excellence and character development. Armed with a Master of Education from Grand Canyon University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Norfolk State University, Charletta brings a solid educational foundation to her roles. Her expertise spans strategic planning, curriculum development, diversity and inclusion, fiscal budget management, and effective communication.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Charletta played a pivotal role in ensuring the delivery of quality education while managing operational challenges. As Head of School at a private Christian institution in Waldorf, Maryland, her visionary leadership and organizational restructuring efforts resulted in prestigious accreditations and enhanced public relations through alignment with school board recommendations.

As the Director of Education in the private school sector for six years, Charletta oversaw learning material development, supported teachers, and established robust parent communication while implementing assessment policies for student growth. Her tenure as an Elementary Principal reflected her commitment to aligning instructional programs with the school's mission and creating an inclusive environment.

Beginning her career as an Elementary Teacher, Charletta excelled in engaging students and fostering nurturing classroom environments. She is a dedicated educator with a knack for adapting to evolving challenges, shaping the future of learning.

Charletta, a Virginia native, resides in southern Maryland with her two sons, Jeremiah and Jaylen.

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Help Your Clients Prepare for a Disaster:

National Preparedness Month is observed each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. As an insurance professional, it’s an opportune time to connect with clients to evaluate possible disaster scenarios for their property and business and ensure that they are prepared.


There are several things you can do to help your clients prepare for a disaster no matter the geographic location or type of catastrophe. Remember, a natural disaster can be smaller than a hurricane or earthquake. A fire or burst pipe can be just as damaging.

  • An emergency response plan is the first step to any solid preparedness program for both small and large businesses alike. Know evacuation routes. Form a communication strategy to make sure everyone is informed. Create a survival kit and “go bag” just in case. Consider remote work options and what aspects of the business will or will not continue. provides guidelines and preparedness resources for both home and business.
  • Coverage. As their trusted partner, you need to ensure your clients have the proper coverage for their property and business possessions. Go over flood insurance options, earthquake coverage, business interruption insurance and property damage details to make sure they’re properly addressed.
  • Data and technology. Because information is extremely valuable these days, help to make sure each client’s data is backed-up and stored far enough offsite or in the cloud so retrieval is easy and accessible. For paper documents, be sure these are stored in a fireproof safe. This includes insurance policies, birth certificates, passports, and financial documents.
  • Inventory belongings. This will help your clients should they need to file a claim for property damaged in a disaster. Encourage your clients to take photos or videos of belongings and keep a list of serial numbers. Consider suggesting the Home Inventory App as available from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
  • Stay informed. Know what types of disasters are most likely to happen in your area and encourage your client to know how to prepare for them. You can find helpful information from your local government or emergency management agency, and at the US Census Bureau.

With these tools, your clients won’t have to panic the day before a storm hits. Give them the tools they need to properly prepare and plan for a disaster, so they have peace of mind when a crisis occurs. Let them know you’re committed to helping them keep things running smoothly.

What are some tips and tools you give your clients when it comes to disaster preparedness? Does your organization have a few go-to guides and methods that you use? We want to hear your insight so we can all be better prepared when disaster strikes. Share your comments on our social media platforms – LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram – with #disasterpreparedness.

*article courtesy CPIA/AIMS Society

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Save the Date:
June 19-21, 2024
Great Wolf Lodge-Williamsburg, Va

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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


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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."