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2024 Annual Convention Recap

The 2024 KAIA Annual Convention took place from February 5th-7th at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita, offering attendees three days filled with educational sessions, networking opportunities, and industry recognition. With a total of 17 classes, this year's convention provided ample opportunities for attendees to enhance their knowledge and skills in the insurance industry.

Networking was a key highlight of the convention, with memorable events such as the Welcome Reception & Trade Show on Monday night followed by the Beer Olympics sponsored by Young Agents of Kansas (YAK). Hospitality Night on Tuesday offered a diverse range of activities including a caricature artist, 360 photo booth, games, and live music, providing attendees with plenty of opportunities to connect and build relationships.

The convention set a new attendance record with over 600 attendees, surpassing last year's numbers. Additionally, the trade show was a huge success, selling out for the second year in a row with 84 booths.

New features added to this year's convention included complimentary professional headshots for all attendees and a keynote address delivered by April Simpkins, providing valuable insights and inspiration.

The overarching theme of the convention was "Surviving the Hard Market," reflecting the challenges agents are facing in the current insurance marketplace. Many conference sessions focused on strategies and tactics to navigate these challenges successfully.

KAIA Industry Award Winners Announced

Industry award winners were announced during the convention, recognizing individuals who have made significant contributions to the insurance industry.

Our 2023 award winners included:

  • Agent of the Year: Robert Richey, Conrade Insurance Group
  • Distinguished Service Award: Cindy Hower, Kellerman Insurance
  • Company Rep of the Year: Sue FitzGerald, Marysville Mutual Insurance Company
  • Outstanding Young Agent: Ashton Fee, Fee Insurance Group
  • Outstanding Account Manager: Lori Kearns, Raleigh Insurance Agency

KAIA's Executive Director Dave Hulcher expressed his pride in the award winners: "We are continually inspired by the exceptional talent and dedication within the Kansas insurance agent community. Congratulations to this year's deserving award winners. Your unwavering commitment, expertise, and tireless efforts are truly commendable. Thank you for your invaluable contributions to our industry and KAIA. Your achievements serve as a testament to the excellence that defines our community."

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2024 Industry Awards. Submissions are accepted through November 1, 2024. To learn more about the award process and make your nomination, visit:

KAIA Elected New Board Members

Also, during the luncheon on Tuesday, February 6th, Big "I" Chairman-Elect, Todd Jackson, installed KAIA's new officers for 2024. The leadership team includes:

  • President: Kevin O’Brien, The Reilly Company
  • President-Elect: Bryan Schmitz, SBS Insurance Agency
  • VP/Treasurer: David Vogel, ProValue Insurance, LLC
  • Secretary/Asst. Treasurer: Brock Elliott, Elliott Group
  • National Director: Jo Erin Stuteville, Elliott Group
  • Immediate Past President: Lucas Raleigh, Raleigh Insurance Agency
  • Zone 1 Director: Shelby Doty, Insurance Planning, Inc.
  • Zone 2 Director: Bryce Hundley, Hundley Insurance Services
  • Director-At-Large: Cristi Werth, TWI Insurance Services, Inc.
  • Director-At-Large: Scott Strickland, CommunityAmerica Insurance Agency, LLC
  • Director-At-Large: Russell Winn, Winn Insurance Group
  • Director-At-Large: Christine Teagarden, Truly Insurance Young Agents Committee
  • Representative: Bryce Burdiek, SBS Insurance Agency

"We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Big 'I' Chairman-Elect, Todd Jacson for gracing us with his presence and installing our esteemed officers. As we welcome Kevin O’Brien into his role as our new president, we express profound appreciation to Lucas Raleigh for his steadfast guidance and unwavering passion throughout the past year,” said KAIA's Executive Director Dave Hulcher. “Kevin’s astute leadership and community engagement make him the perfect steward to lead KAIA forward, ensuring we meet the evolving needs and challenges of our members with resilience and innovation."

Overall, the 2024 KAIA Annual Convention was a resounding success, providing attendees with valuable insights, networking opportunities, and recognition of industry excellence. We look forward to seeing what the next year holds for the Kansas insurance agent community! Thanks to all our members and Industry Partners for making this such an amazing event! We hope to see you all next year in Wichita, February 3-5, 2025!

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