Dear APIW Members,
It is with great enthusiasm that I write my first letter to you and thank you for the opportunity to serve as your President. Having the honor to succeed Sue Zdroik, I take on this responsibility with a passion for our mission and a commitment to our future. The APIW plays an important role in an evolving industry that needs our leadership.
The history of the APIW will serve as the building blocks for our future. It is because of the tireless work done by our Officers, Board and Members that we have arrived at this point. I want to thank you all for sharing your time and talent with us. I especially want to recognize Cheryl Vollweiler, our Immediate Past President, as well as Bina Dagar, our past Treasurer, and Jeanne Kohler, our past Board Advisor. We are grateful for the contribution you have made to the APIW.
As we look ahead, our goal must be to endeavor to work together, and reach up and beyond with everyone’s engagement, to move our mission forward. With that, I want to welcome 7 extraordinary women who have agreed to reach high and beyond with us: Liz Kramer of Zurich North America will assume the role of Treasurer and Carrie Kurzon of The Hartford who will assume the role of Corporate Secretary. Adding to our Board of Advisors will be Nancy Bewlay of XL Catlin, Yadilsa Fernandez of Marsh USA, Julianna Muir of Attune, Kara Owens of Markel Corporation and Sharry Tibbitt of Everest Reinsurance Company.
Today, the insurance industry is at the intersection of Innovation, Inclusion, Leadership and Learning. It is being challenged to move quicker to innovate, broaden its perspective to include, increase its awareness to be relevant and never stop learning to be nimble. The APIW must be helping to build a Big Tent for all women in insurance using these pillars as our guideposts. We must be keenly focused on creating unparalleled opportunity across generations, experience levels and backgrounds.
We have an impressive legacy of being the only Insurance Industry Association to name a Women Leader of the Year for 41 years! This is incredibly powerful. We must bring the uniqueness of this award and how it defines the APIW to the forefront of our industry. We must be more vocal about our mission – in what we have done to celebrate the achievements of outstanding women AND what we have done and are doing to create outstanding opportunities for women to achieve. Maria Vullo, our 2018 WOTY, referenced the importance of “leaving the ladder down” in her inspiring acceptance speech. We are not only here to recognize those who have reached the highest rungs of the ladder but to establish a ladder for women to climb.
With that, I ask you…
What makes you proud to be a member of the APIW?
What are you doing to display your pride?
Why should new members be proud to join our ranks?
We have a unique opportunity to inspire all women in the industry with our history, our vision. We must seize the opportunity. Lets Fly!
Barbara C. Bufkin