Please Join Us!

By Jonel Thames Leake, CPCU, ASLI, AAI, CPIW, DAE, CLP

In a few days, many of us will be gathering in Scottsdale for IAIP’s International Convention. While I am looking forward to the educational and professional development opportunities, I am most excited about reconnecting with my fellow IAIP members from across the country. As an active member of this organization, I know that I will recognize people in every class and at every meeting. It hasn’t always been that way, however.

At my first few conferences and conventions, I didn’t know anyone outside of my council. Sometimes, I would end up sitting by myself at a meal or in a class. It wasn’t that other members weren’t friendly. It was more a case that they were excited to see each other, and they didn’t notice me. At a recent task force meeting, several members mentioned similar experiences. As you pack your bags for Arizona, I hope that you will include the “please join us” attitude along with your business cards and sunscreen. 

The marketing and publication task force is promoting “Please Join Us” for this convention. What do we mean by that? We hope that you will be on the lookout for other members who might be alone and invite them to sit with you at a class or head out to a local restaurant for a meal. Ask them to join you or your group. It is a great way to make a new connection. Last year in Providence, I asked a first timer to join me for dinner Saturday evening. I now count Tabitha as a friend.

To make this process even easier, we are going to be setting up events on Whova for people to meet up and head out to a restaurant for the Friday or Saturday evening meals. We encourage you to sign up to attend or to set up your own event. There will be AIP-designated cabanas near the pool and that is a great place to meet other members during your downtime. We hope that you will join us in making sure that no member is left alone at the convention. 

Once this convention is over, we hope that you will pack up the “please join us” attitude and take it home with you. Share with your fellow insurance professionals back home everything you gained by attending the convention and say “please join us” as a member. Often all it takes to start a connection or to gain a new member for our organization is someone asking. Please join me in making sure that everyone feels included and welcome in IAIP. 

Jonel Thames Leake, CPCU, ASLI, AAI, CPIW, DAE, CLP is currently serving as the International Secretary. She is looking forward to connecting with as many members as possible in Scottsdale. 

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