Christie Reeves, CIC, CPCU, CPIW
President 2016
Area Senior VP and Director of Client Operations
Arthur J. Gallagher

Putting a Bow on 2016
I cannot believe that Christmas is right around the corner! I love the holiday season and all the extra time I get to spend with family and friends. We have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season and I wish each of you peace and happiness.

This is my final article for the magazine and my time as president is almost over. This year really flew by but as I look back, a lot was accomplished. Here are just a few of the highlights.

My first outing as President was attending the Memphis Christmas luncheon last December where I swore in the new officers. It was my first visit to a Memphis meeting and it was great to see a good turnout for this event. Local boards are so important to our Association. Working with local boards was one of our initiatives for 2016 and I think we made some headway. We will continue this work going forward. Be on the lookout for an event in your area and please make every effort to attend.

We had a successful legislative year with the most notable issue being the blockage of the  Workers' Compensation Opt-Out bill. With the help of some carrier partners and the stellar efforts of some individual members we were able to defeat this effort. Thank you Chuck and Ashley for all the many hours you spent educating the membership on this important issue as well as the time you spent working against the bill. If it reappears during the next session, I am confident we can be just as successful at defeating it again.

Our Spring Agency Growth Conference was a success again this year with even better attendance by both agents and company people. The conference will be in Knoxville next spring. Our young agent numbers continue to increase with a solid base in each region. Young agents are the future of our industry and the lifeblood of our organization. Thanks to Daniel Smith and all the young agents who are working to increase our numbers and get these young people active in our Association and in local events. They have done an incredible job and we look for even more success in the coming years.

Our education program is still going strong with CIC, CRM and CISR courses being held around the state. We are also working with MTSU to increase the number of qualified graduates coming out of their insurance program. This year a new Chairholder for the Tommy Martin Chair of Insurance, Dr. Dave Wood, came on board in August and we look forward to working with him to bolster industry talent.

As president I was also fortunate to attend several Big “I” conferences and to participate in Insurance Day on the Hill in Washington, D.C. I enjoyed seeing what goes on at the national level and was very  impressed at how much they do and how well we are represented in our nation's capital. We have a lot to be proud of.

The real highlight of my year was working with such wonderful people. Chuck, Ashley, Daniel and the Insurors staff – you made my job so much easier and I thank you for that. I have a new appreciation for the amount of work you do and the dedication you have for our Association. I will really miss working so closely with you all. You are the best!

The board was outstanding this year and I was lucky to be working with each and every one of them. A special thank you goes to my friend, Cindi Gresham, who was a great president in 2015 and left things in good shape for me. She even kept notes on all the little things one needs to know and do as President and passed them on to me. That was so thoughtful of her and also very helpful to me this year. I will add a few notes of my own and pass them down to your next president, John McInturff III. I feel confident that we are in good hands for 2017 with John at the helm.

I would urge each of you to get involved with this Association, either at the local level, the state level or both. I promise you will get back much more than you put in. This Association does a lot to make this industry even better for us all.

It has been a privilege and an honor to serve as your President for 2016. I am so grateful to all of you for this opportunity. Thank you so much.