Happy Birthday, WIND! You’re 20 Today. Where Did the Time Go?
Remember 1999? It was the year the world was scared of Y2K, Apple and Amazon were just million-dollar corporations, and the best ways to communicate were by an office phone line, fax, or email. We barely texted one another, and most of us still heard, “you’ve got mail” as we dialed up the internet on scratchy-sounding modems.
It was also the year the Windstorm Insurance Network, or WIND, was officially incorporated, the same day Hurricane Floyd hit the North Carolina coast, on September 16, 1999. (Read our founding story here)
Our mission was to become the leading organization for educating and connecting the diverse windstorm and property insurance claims industry. The fall of 1999 was a hectic time for WIND. We furiously arranged speakers, assembled program materials, and promoted the conference on a shoestring budget and a limited team of insurance professionals. Through the many late nights and hundreds of Post-it notes and printed Avery labels, we wondered and hoped our little conference would come together.
Months later, we all survived the threat of Y2K, welcomed a new millennium, and kicked off the inaugural WIND Conference on February 16-18, 2000. More than 350 attendees, many of the top names in the industry, convened at an Orlando airport hotel to learn the latest in property insurance claims, earn CE credits, and connect with shared drinks and dry snacks at our one networking event. Back then, everyone registered by paper, paid by check and carried around five-pound, three-ring conference binders filled with mounds of papers from the 22 breakout sessions.
The inaugural WIND 2000 conference, planned in less than 90 days, cemented the need for a diverse group of property claims professionals to connect, learn, and engage. Fast forward to today. The conference, our industry, technology, and even the world have changed in 20 years.
One thing that’s remained our constant: WIND’s mission to educate and connect the diversity of the property insurance claims industry. We’re steadfast in our commitment to helping you connect, learn, and engage for the greater good of our industry and consumers. Today, we’re excited and honored to continue our mission to support and educated the property insurance claims industry!
To the thousands who’ve attended, presented, exhibited, sponsored, networked, and traveled across the globe to attend WIND, we thank you and look forward to hosting you again in January. If there’s anything we can do for you, please reach out. Thank you for your 20 years of support of WIND!
Michelle Griffin and the WIND Board of Directors