Annual ARM Conference Primes Members for Growth

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One month after the Annual Associated Risk Managers (ARM) Conference, held May 1-4, 2006, organizers are already planning for next year, knowing that this year's event set new standards. Driven by the theme, "Connecting Resources," the 2006 ARM Conference set its usual energetic tone and offered networking opportunities—but delivered real value in speakers and breakout sessions that explored emerging business practices.

At the Grand Hyatt on Union Square in San Francisco, ARM’s Assistant Vice President, Scott Spangler set the group in forward motion with his opening address on the state of the industry.

Outgoing Chairman, Ty Hopkins marked the end of his two-year term by applauding his most notable development: The ARM Finance Company (ARMFICO)—in partnership with Cananwill—which reached $100 million in premium financed. New branding also helped ARM shift focus to increasing value to its members. "The more you put into it, the more you get out of it," Hopkins advised.

Hopkins' successor, new ARM Chairman Larry Johnson, challenged the audience to "develop an ARM-first culture where member agents challenge and hold accountable their State Executives to be creative and aggressive to build value." In the upcoming months, Johnson's goal is to build confidence among members and member agencies that encourages dialog and shared responsibility.

Following introduction of the new ARM Board (see below), eight information-packed sessions engaged attendees in Disaster Planning and Business Continuity Management, Cyber Risk basics, health care, executive and hospitality opportunities. ARM members also gleaned valuable tips on worldwide client service, agency image and marketing strategies. Each presented by experts in their field, the workshops alone made the conference a success in increasing competence, confidence, and collaboration.

Then, of course, the social events were reason to celebrate. From a welcome reception with grand city views to a San Francisco Dinner Bay Cruise, members and their guests shared good company and new connections. Some went by way of the Presidio to golf, while others opted for a tour through Muir Woods, followed by shopping in Sausalito. When ARM members left at the close of the weekend, they knew they had arrived at a higher place—with renewed vision toward more productive business and a bigger, stronger ARM organization.

ARM is the nation's foremost independent agency network, encompassing more than 400 agency members and representing $8+ billion annually in premium volume. The ARM Conference 2007 will be held at Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. Dates for mid-April 2007 are currently being negotiated. For more information, contact Scott Spangler at ARM Partners (630) 285-4324.

ARM Board of Directors 2006-07

Chairman, Region 5, Larry Johnson

Vice Chairman, Region 3, Larry McSpadden

Immed. Past Chairman, Region 4, Ty Hopkins

Secretary/Treasurer, Region 2, Richard Simmons

Region 1, William McClure

Region 1, Michael Vogt

Region 3, Craig Payan

Region 3, John Karle

Region 4, Brenda Case

Region 5, Janet Rogers

Region 6, Mike Pierce

Region 7, Brian Roberts

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Robyn Konlon
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