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The IIRC Story

May 7th, 2017


Here at the IIRC, we often get questions about how our unique coalition began. We tell our story often. The story starts with a problem that needed to be solved. In 2011, the problem was clear – if the insurance industry was to continue to grow, it needed to attract more skilled workers. At the heart of our story was the realization that no insurance company could have solved the problem alone. It took a coordinated approach focused on a common goal.

Building a coalition to solve a problem is not new. In fact, in 1840 French researcher Alexis de Tocqueville noted that “ ... Americans are a peculiar people. If, in a local community, a citizen becomes aware of a human need that is not met, he thereupon discusses the situation with his neighbors. Suddenly a committee comes into existence. The committee thereupon begins to operate on behalf of the need, and a new community function is established. It is like watching a miracle.”

Read more about the coalition that became the IIRC and forged a partnership with higher education in the latest edition of the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s newsletter at:

Who and What to Know about the Insurance Industry

March 27th, 2017

Who should you know in the insurance industry? According to Columbus Business First, there are several respected voices in the insurance industry. In this past Friday’s edition, Business First published “People to Know in Insurance.” IIRC’s own distinguished leaders and co-chairs, Dave Kaufman and Mark Russell are among the list of people to know. We thought you might appreciate what these industry leaders are saying, so we gathered a few of their thoughts to share with you.


Opportunities that the insurance industry provides to those seeking a great career

“The industry offers a wide range of challenging and rewarding careers, including jobs in technology, analytics, underwriting, claims and fraud investigation, sales and customer experience. The insurance industry also offers unparalleled training … .”

− Mark Russell, CEO, Ohio Mutual Insurance Group

“Ohio is home to nearly 250 insurance companies and they need actuaries, agents, attorneys, claims adjusters, communications specialists, HR professionals, social media and marketing experts, and web developers to name a few. I would encourage every Ohioan who just graduated from high school or those even considering changing careers to take a hard look at insurance and the many opportunities Ohio offers.”

− Jillian Froment, deputy director, Ohio Department of Insurance

Insurance provides critical and meaningful work

“Our industry gives young people an opportunity to contribute to something larger than themselves. When bad things happen to good people, we are there to restore their way of life. Insurance plays a critical role in all aspects of society.”

− Dave Kaufman, CEO, Motorists Insurance Group

“When someone experiences a loss, having a professional adviser and member of your community who cares about your home being rebuilt, car repaired properly and business reopening immediately is invaluable.”

− Jeff Smith, CEO, Ohio Insurance Agents Association

“And it’s rewarding to work together to help people protect the things that matter most to them.”

− Doreen DeLaney Crawley, executive vice president and chief operating officer,
Grange Insurance

Insurance is crucial for today’s and tomorrow’s communities

“Insurance is the backbone of any thriving community. … [It is] the mechanism that fosters innovation and enables risk to drive economic growth. It’s an industry that serves a noble purpose – protecting consumers and businesses in times of need.”

− Mark Berven, COO, Nationwide Property & Casualty

“The insurance and health care industries are always changing, and they play a crucial role in our country’s social and economic future.”

− Jason Smith, COO, Aetna Better Health of Ohio

“Health care is a priority for all of us – we want to be well and do our best. This, along with other factors contributes to the stability and the need for the industry. … So, if you like to influence change, it’s a rewarding industry to consider.”

− Ami Cole, Plan president, Molina Healthcare of Ohio Inc.



Addressing Industry Employment Demands

March 9th, 2017

On March 8th, members of the Ohio Insurance Institute (OII) took time to learn about Ohio’s unique workforce development coalition, the Insurance Industry Resource Council (IIRC). IIRC Co-Chair, President and CEO of Ohio Mutual Insurance Group Mark Russell and Sandra Harbrecht, President and CEO of Paul Werth Associates, discussed the IIRC and its mission at OII’s midyear meeting.

Mark and Sandy noted the importance of the insurance industry to Ohio’s economy. The insurance industry is a key economic driver in the state, which means that careers within the industry are stable and growing. The mission of the IIRC is to inform job seekers, career changers, veterans and students pursuing careers about the tremendous opportunities available in Ohio’s insurance industry. Filling the insurance pipeline with knowledgeable and skilled talent is crucial to fueling the industry and its growth.

See Mark and Sandy’s presentation and find out more about how the OII and the IIRC partner to build the nation’s most innovative talent pipeline.