Insurance Industry Resource Council: Celebrating the Story

On March 6, 2018, the day of Gov. John Kasich’s final State of the State Address as governor, we joined the Insurance Industry Resource Council (IIRC) and the Ohio Department of Insurance to celebrate the story of the IIRC and its success in highlighting career opportunities in a growing Ohio insurance industry and to discuss ongoing efforts to narrow an insurance talent gap.

For the past seven years, the IIRC has involved many people and touched many lives. Several of those people were in attendance on Tuesday to tell their stories of courage, activism, engagement and impact.

Like Erin Hamm, a Senior Business Analyst, Data and Analytics. 

Erin was a mathematics major at Ohio Dominican University, but wasn’t sure what career path that would lead her to. She was introduced to the Risk Management & Insurance program at ODU and after learning about the many opportunities in the insurance industry, such as analytics, she decided to enroll.

Later, she attended an ODU career fair and went booth by booth, meeting every company representative. She spoke with reps from Nationwide and learned more about commercial claims, an area she pursued.

After that meeting, Nationwide created a commercial claims analytical positon for Erin, which she accepted. Erin and her team are growing and conducting valuable work that is applicable across industries.

Kathy Gentil, a stay-at-home mom for 15 years working part time, also told her story.

Wanting to build her skills to join the workforce full time, Kathy heard from a friend about Columbus State Community College’s Foundations of Insurance Certificate, a 6-class sequence designed to get students into entry-level positions. She joined her friend at a Delaware conference for an IIRC presentation about the program.

From the start, she investigated the IIRC companies and pursued Westfield Insurance. She applied, got the job, and loves the people she works with and her work. Westfield Insurance supported her attaining her license and she says she has learned so much in her job.

Now, she continues to invest in herself and her success and is taking an Institute’s course to get her Accredited Customer Service Representative (ACSR) credential.

Success stories like these demonstrate how important it is to create programs that prepare Ohio’s workforce for the jobs of tomorrow.

Jillian Froment, Director, Ohio Department of Insurance, also spoke about insurance as an economic driver and as supporting/serving communities.

“This is an industry that touches our community and shapes our lives … It is an amazingly close network of friends and competitors who actively donate their time and money to our communities.” said Froment.

Mark Russell, President and CEO of Ohio Mutual Insurance Group and IIRC Co-Chair, reflected on the challenge the insurance industry faced when the workforce need was realized and how it has responded.

“We promote what insurance careers actually are – stable, rewarding, limitless and meaningful … Insurance is critical to Ohio’s economy,” said Russell. “We, as a coalition, have accepted the future  of Ohio and the insurance industry as our mission. We are laying the groundwork for success. And it’s working.”

Jason Terrell with The Institutes announced the roll-out of new online curriculum as well as soft-skills training, which will include individual assistance with resume writing.

Thank you to those in attendance for joining the conversation and to those that shared their stories as we continue to share the many great opportunities available in the insurance industry!

Learn more about the IIRC and the many insurance career opportunities in Ohio here.

Interested in learning about insurance career pathways in Ohio? Visit