This past week was my first Insurance & Technology Executive Summit. It's been a date circled on my calendar since I interviewed for this job back in May — it set a hard deadline for me to transition from subject matter novice to, if not "expert," at least "intermediate."
So did I succeed? Well, in my conversations with attendees, I managed to keep up fairly well on the business side. The wonderful presentations were not totally Greek, either. I especially enjoyed the social media presentation by Al Durcan of Chubb. In my previous life, I reported a decent amount on social media marketing, but there was always some confusion about who really "owned" the channel (marketing, PR or IT). The story of Chubb's social media strategy starting in the IT department and growing to a multidisciplinary group with full buy-in and investment on the business side showed how the insurance industry is leading other verticals in the social space.
Retired Maj. Gen. George Fay, now of CNA, mesmerized the crowd with his presentation on how to apply military values to the insurance business. Honestly, it was inspiring to hear from a man who investigated the polarizing scandal at Abu Gharib — as a media professional, I can safely assert that the chance to dive into such stories doesn't always come along, and I've often wondered how I myself would be able to handle such an assignment.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the "Team Nate" subset of our Elite 8 nominees: Pete Atwater of Guardian, Ron Boyd of Midwest Family Mutual and Kelly Hall of Kentucky Farm Bureau. It was the first time I met each of these execs after writing their profiles, and was honored that each told me that they thought theirs were accurate and positive.
Exhausting though these trips are, I'm already looking forward to next year's Summit, at which I will be that much more in tune with the industry. I encourage those of you who read our print or web articles — and with whom I will be working on stories — over the next 10 to 11 months to come join us next year from Nov. 6 to Nov. 9, 2011. Those of us in editorial really enjoy meeting you in person.
Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio