New CIAB Chairman Shares Goals
As new chairman of the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, Johnny Pitts wants to increase the influence of the leading association for commercial insurance and employee benefits providers.
Pitts, chief manager of Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance, took over the CIAB role from Andrew Cassidy, executive vice president of Early, Cassidy & Schilling Inc., in January.
His three main goals for CIAB are raising money for the organization’s PAC, which funds the council’s various causes; bringing new brokerages from around the globe into the fold; and building up and bonding board members.
“Like any organization, you get out of it what you put into it,” said Pitts, whose organization has been a member of CIAB for nearly 20 years.
“We have one of the best council staffs in recent history and I hope to sustain our momentum as an organization and clearly communicate our positive message to the industry media, regulators and Congress,” Pitts said.
The CIAB will continue to provide services and resources fostering growth and relationship-building among its members, he said. In addition, its annual Insurance Leadership Forum serves as a leading setting for global market leaders to meet, discuss industry issues and conduct business.
“My deeper involvement with the council has helped me meet new friends and develop creative ideas from some of the brightest insurance people around the world,” Pitts said.
Pitts began his career with Safeco Insurance Co., before moving to CIGNA, and later, Lipscomb & Pitts in 1981, where he focused on the company’s financial and administrative divisions. He and partner Mat Lipscomb III purchased the firm from their fathers in 1992.
The challenge these days is the Affordable Care Act, he said.
“It is so complex that [Lipscomb & Pitts] hired our own in-house ACA expert to read and interpret the Act, and then develop implementation strategies for our clients,” Pitts said.
Pitts also pointed to the company’s “ProComp” program as an example of how he tries to stay on the leading edge of innovation, a trait that could aid future initiatives.
“Our ProComp program monitors our clients’ workers’ compensation loss experience to confirm the accuracy of their experience modifier” using a complex formula resembling an “equation that Albert Einstein dreamed up,” Pitts said.
“We sought out our own in-house expert to ensure accuracy in the process and make sure our clients are not paying for someone else’s mistake or claim.”
As with CIAB’s initiatives, education is crucial to his firm, keeping stakeholders up to speed on industry changes.
Pitts also serves on the boards of Assurex Global, Insurors of Tennessee Large Agency Committee, Youth Villages and the Boy Scouts. (Pitts, his father and his son are all Eagle Scouts.)
One of his proudest accomplishments, he said, is the Lipscomb & Pitts Breakfast Club, which hosts events aimed at community enrichment by gathering business leaders from across the Mid-South to tutor and mentor children.
The organization also calls on hundreds of volunteers to provide new clothing to youth and pick up trash in littered communities.