November 6, 2017

Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia (IIAG) announced that John Barbour, formerly vice president of Governmental Affairs, was chosen to serve as new chief executive officer. Barbour began leading the association on Sept. 1, 2017.

Barbour joined Big “I” Georgia in August 2017 with more than 15 years of experience in legislative work at the Atlanta State Capitol. Barbour will continue to head IIAG’s governmental affairs work with members.

Barbour worked previously as a lobbyist and director of Governmental Affairs for the Georgia Association of Realtors and for the Georgia State Senate. He lives in Atlanta.

IIAG’s most recent CEO, Betsy Olson, will continue on the association’s leadership team in the role of executive vice president along with Christy Minardi, who assumes the role of chief operating officer.

IIAG is the advocate for Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agents in Georgia, representing over 460-member agencies.

The Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina (IIANC) has added Joe Stewart to its staff as vice president of Governmental Affairs, effective Oct. 1, 2017.

In this role, Stewart will help oversee the legislative and regulatory efforts of the association, as well as political action committee fundraising.

According to Aubie Knight, IIANC chief executive officer, Stewart will be an advocate for IIANC members on regulatory and legislative issues affecting the independent agency system.

Stewart has more than 30 years’ experience working in government, politics, fundraising, association management and advocacy. He is currently the executive director of the North Carolina FreeEnterprise Foundation (NCFEF) and hosts Bottom Line, a weekly program on UNC-TV that covers politics and public policy issues impacting North Carolina’s businesses.

Stewart’s professional experience also includes serving as political director for the NC Chamber of Commerce as well as the executive director of the Insurance Federation of North Carolina (IFNC), a trade association representing the insurance industry on legislative and regulatory issues.

In addition, Stewart has served as chief deputy state treasurer of North Carolina and Assistant Secretary of the NC Department of Public Safety.

Stewart is also president of the Association Executives of North Carolina (AENC) and a member of the NC Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses’ (NFIB) Leadership Council.

IIANC offers members the tools and resources to aid their work in today’s insurance industry. IIANC serves as an advocate and strategic business partner for nearly 900 Trusted Choice independent insurance agency members across the state.

Smart Choice, a nationwide agency network, has appointed David Wilson, as vice president of Sales and Distribution.

Wilson formerly worked with MetLife Auto & Home — a veteran partner of Smart Choice — and is familiar with Smart Choice and its partner agencies. Most recently, he worked for Regions Insurance Group where he was directly responsible for the personal lines division’s profit and growth across the nation.

Wilson will work directly with the Smart Choice team to develop and expand the company’s Express Markets division. Express Markets is currently responsible for $150 million in written premium annually and has seen record growth over the last two years. Wilson will be a dedicated liaison between Smart Choice’s 16 Express Markets carriers and the 5,900 agency partners in the program. Additionally, he will work closely with the company’s state directors and territory managers as they expand services.

The Smart Choice Agents Program is a wholly owned program of Worldwide Insurance Network, Inc. (WIN), headquartered in High Point, N.C.

DUAL has hired John Mahar as a senior underwriter within its Construction Division. Mahar will be located in DUAL’s new office in Charlotte, N.C.

Mahar has more than 18 years of experience in the insurance industry with the majority of that experience underwriting casualty products on both an admitted and non-admitted basis. He began his career with CNA and since then has held a number of underwriting and management level positions including time at AIG-Lexington and most recently Colony Specialty where he was an underwriting team leader.

DUAL Commercial LLC is a specialty program administrator offering property and casualty products through several specialized subsidiary companies. DUAL Commercial currently has 11 underwriting offices throughout North America that underwrite and manage insurance programs. DUAL Commercial is a part of the DUAL Group, an international underwriting agency and Lloyd’s coverholder.