Perspectives - January/February 2014 - (Page 32)

member profiles American Brokerage Centers LLC Ruth Manka Based in Glen Allen, Virginia, American Brokerage Centers LLC is an association of insurance general agencies. Ruth E. Manka, Executive Director, provided input for this article. www.americanbrokerage About the Association An association of insurance general agencies, American Brokerage Centers (ABC) helps its members grow their business faster and more profitably than they could individually. ABC was formed in 2000 by a small group of agency leaders who saw the benefits of working together for growth, improving carrier relationships and providing more tools and resources for broker retention, recruiting and loyalty. Our association was built on five key attributes: simplicity, prudent spending, strong leadership, satisfied team members, and competitive pricing and fee structure. I always say we're the best kept secret that's about to get out. Simplicity is critical to our association. We try to deliver insurance products and optimize the economics, and we do that by having a very nimble structure. There's not a lot of overhead, and the association consists of myself, consultants, and a proprietary technology platform. We have a fivemember board that's run by a chairman. So, we truly are by the members, for the members. What makes your association unique? ABC is a true platform for growth. We recruit and accept smaller GAs and partner them with high-producing, mature agencies for growth. We are currently developing a mentoring program, and that's a fairly unique offering. Also, many associations have production requirements, but we're not as focused on that. We're more focused on how we can help you grow. How can we develop a business plan with you? How can we help you build mile- Ruth and ABC members at the recent 2013 Member Conference held in Atlanta, GA. 32 perspectives JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2013 stones? How can we help you outsource effectively so you can focus on sales? That's what sets us apart. Also, with ABC, it's not just, "What's in it for me?" but also, "What can I give back to the group?" What I love about this organization is the symbiotic sharing and networking our members do with each other. It is such a cohesive, collaborative group, and I think that's unique. On our member site, we have our own bulletin board where members can post questions or comments. It allows our members to network with 39-plus agencies, and within an hour of posting something there are usually six or seven responses along with follow-up dialogue. It's that level of sharing and engagement that is a great benefit of this organization and the people that are part of it. What type of customer are you trying to attract? That is a distinction and a key point for American Brokerage Centers. When we recruit and target GAs, not only are they smaller offices that we can partner for growth, but they are also people who have a passion for solutions. They have to have both of those pieces. They can't just be in this for the money; because if they are they'll burn out too fast. You have to have that commitment to ongoing learning, to mentoring, to serving the critical needs of individuals, families and businesses. It has to be a passion. Of course, we understand that people have to make a living, and commissions are important. But if your total focus is on compensation, you probably aren't giving the best value and making the right choices for your people.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Perspectives - January/February 2014

NAILBA Perspectives - January/February 2014
Chairman’s Corner
CEO Insights What’s New at NAILBA?
The New HIPAA Information Requirements
NAILBA 32 Highlights
Reading Ahead
In Vogue: Life, LTC & Annuity Product Trends
NAILBA Charitable Foundation What a Great Year it Was!
Member Profiles
Agency Successor Networking Group
The Power of LIFE Behind You
Agency Resources
Legislative Update
Index of Advertisers
Calendar of Events

Perspectives - January/February 2014