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New General Agents' Association to Meet at F&I Conference

September 13, 2005

COLLEYVILLE, Texas -- The newly-formed Association of Independent General Agents (AIGA) will hold its inaugural meeting at the F&I Management & Technology F&I Conference & Expo Nov. 9-11 in Las Vegas.

"The conference has quickly established itself as the catalyst for all things F&I, so it seemed logical to tie the general agent sessions to that event," said Mark Krejci, president of Continental-National Services Corp., and one of the founding members of the general agents’ association.

In addition to participating in the F&I workshops and panel discussions, AIGA will hold a series of topical workshops, a members-only reception and a luncheon.

AIGA, which shares its administrative expenses with The Association of Finance & Insurance Professionals, was formed to give a voice to the independent general insurance agents who serve the in-dealership F&I function.

According to AFIP Executive Director David Robertson, "As a unit of commerce, the collective efforts of the GA force was likely the largest segment of the U.S. economy without a formal organization. It was a shortcoming that AFIP sought to rectify." Robertson noted that the association will only benefit the general agent cadre if nearly every agent joins; it can’t become a clique or an extension of a particular VSC administrator.

AIGA will elect its own officers and set an agenda independent of AFIP. Dealer Consulting Services President Frank Phillips said, "To be fair, we will build a membership base of a hundred or more agents before we sketch out a basic organizational structure and roster of topics to address. It will ensure that AIGA is truly representative of GAs from the beginning."

Founding member Bob McKinny, president of Paragon Dealer Services, also noted that the absence of a collective voice often placed the independent general agents on the short end of the stick. "AIGA isn’t a cure-all, but it will give us a measure of clout when clout is what we need," McKinny continued.

The current plans call for the preliminary organizational work to be completed via fax and e-mail prior to the November meeting in Las Vegas, with the live sessions devoted to ratifying parliamentary measures and pursuing agenda items.

"It is difficult to tell just how large a membership base we might have in the end, since even those who haven’t joined have not actually rejected the idea of joining," said Jack Howes, AFIP’s vice president of Constituent Services, who is coordinating the initial recruiting campaign. "The primary challenge has been to identify and contact potential members," Howes added.

General Agents who wish to participate in AIGA may contact Jack Howes at (817) 428-2434 (office), (817) 532.6048 (cell) or via e-mail at jack.howes@afip.com. Founding AIGA members will receive a free AFIP Industry Membership with their paid $1,750 AIGA annual dues.

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