Director of Development and Strategic Initiatives
Yardley, PA, October 18, 2017 — Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS) presented the 46th Annual International Conference, where the theme “Professional. Prepared. Primed.” took center stage September 28-30, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. Over 550 top risk management, insurance, and actuarial science students and advisors from GIS chapters at 55 colleges and universities across North America convened at the Hilton Anatole for three days of intensive exposure to the insurance sector and programming related to the many diverse industry career paths available to these future leaders. The Conference is the most comprehensive event for the insurance industry to engage the next generation of talent.
Nearly 300 industry professionals also gathered to present a 64-exhibitor career fair and participate in educational sessions, leadership seminars, and networking events. More than 400 interviews for internships and entry-level positions were conducted on-site during the conference, with multiple offers reported from participating companies and organizations. Recruiters and other industry attendees were enthusiastic about the efficiency and success of the combined career fair and interview process.
Diversity, inclusion, and authenticity were themes consistently carried out through programming, keynote speeches, and educational sessions, as well as through the Conference’s second year as a host city for the Global Dive In Festival, an initiative of Inclusion@Lloyd’s. Dive In programming comprised five provocative, educational, and interactive sessions that included Speed Networking between students and industry representatives from local Dive In Dallas partners as well as GIS alumni. GammaSAID, Gamma Solutions for Authenticity, Inclusion, and Diversity, a groundbreaking initiative started by GIS students to foster meaningful dialogue and action throughout the industry, contributed student-led sessions and topics to the Dive In agenda.
The 2017 Conference was made possible through the substantial contributions and the unwavering support of sponsoring companies and organizations. Key to the long-term growth and success of Gamma Iota Sigma are the GIS Sustaining Partners, all of whom are dedicated to developing the pipeline of industry talent through a multi-year collaboration with, and commitment to, the organization. Participants benefitted from more than 60 industry- and student-led educational sessions; three industry-leading roundtables, the Second Annual Recruiters Roundtable to promote understanding between the industry and students preparing to enter it, a Professional Association Roundtable to foster collaboration across the industry, and a two-part Faculty Roundtable for the sharing of ideas and best practices; and five keynotes.
This year’s Conference keynote speakers were Fred Colon, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer and Head of Organization Effectiveness, Travelers, and Eric Smith, Senior Vice President, Standard Commercial, Nationwide. Additionally, Gamma Iota Sigma was pleased to present two panels during the Conference. One panel was a Derek Hughes/NAPSLO Educational Foundation Panel, including Adam Care, Client Company Manager, Hartford Steam Boiler; Lauren Evans, Associate Broker, All Risks, Ltd.; Michael Hattaway, Senior Vice President, Hallmark Financial Services; Wendy Houser, Regional President, Mid South Region, Markel; and Brian Van Cleave, Senior Vice President, Euclid Architects & Engineers. The second panel was a Senior Executive Leadership Panel with Barbara Bufkin, Executive Head of Business Development, Assurant; Ivy Kusinga, SVP, Chief Culture Officer, Chubb; and Sophia C. Yen, Head of U. S. Strategy & Operations, KPMG.
The 2016-2017 student, chapter, faculty, and alumni award winners were announced during the Friday Night Annual Awards Dinner, sponsored by Travelers. On Saturday, Kate McCoy of Drake University and Josh Cowdry of The University of Central Oklahoma were elected by their peers as the 2017-18 International Student Representatives. The Conference also featured a donation drive to benefit Dress for Success, stemming from the partnership between GIS and the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) and kicking off GIS’s own 4th Annual Week of Giving. The Conference closed with a lively reception at AT&T Stadium.
GIS leads the industry in developing and sustaining a robust collegiate talent pipeline, as evidenced by its explosive membership and chapter growth over the past four years, and is committed to connecting students who are interested in pursuing careers in insurance to opportunities across the industry. There are many ways for companies to engage directly with GIS and its chapters, from Conference sponsorship and the Sustaining Partners Program to the GIS Career Center and opportunities directly with chapters.
The next Conference will be held October 4-6, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois at the Navy Pier.
About Gamma Iota Sigma
Incorporated in 1965 and boasting an annual membership of over 4,000 students at 75 colleges and universities throughout North America, Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS) has over 50 years of history of engaging students and preparing them for careers in insurance. GIS is the only organization of its kind and is THE solution to the industry’s talent gap issue, pursuing a mission to promote, encourage, and sustain student interest in insurance, risk management, and actuarial science as professions. GIS is committed to growing the number of highly qualified students entering the industry; to that end, the number of GIS students and active chapters has more than doubled in recent years and continues to grow. In partnership with corporate supporters, professional organizations, and trade associations, the full spectrum of GIS programming provides its members with meaningful interaction with the industry, as well as the tools to pursue and succeed in an insurance career. For more information, visit: GammaIotaSigma.org.
About the GIS Annual International Conference
First held in 1973, Gamma Iota Sigma’s Annual International Conference is the largest international event of its kind convening top talent looking to enter the insurance industry with representatives from companies and organizations who recognize the importance of a talent pipeline and sustaining interest in industry careers. The Conference attracts the very best and brightest students throughout North America pursuing careers across all segments of risk management and insurance. For more information, visit: GammaIotaSigma.org/events/international-conference/.