Category Archives for "New & Notes"

Congrats to the Newly Elected 2017 WIND Board

The 2017 WIND Board of Directors was recently elected at the 18th Annual Windstorm Insurance Conference in Orlando.

The duties of the WIND board are to govern and assess our association’s goals and make strategic plans for growth and development. As ambassadors of WIND, the board also promotes the association at industry events, and is involved in membership recruitment and long-range planning.

This year’s board is a diverse group of professionals from all facets of the property/windstorm insurance claims industry.

The WIND officers include President, Susan B, Harwood, Boehm Brown Harwood, P.A.; First Vice President, Michael Ruskin, Disaster Pro Consulting, Inc.; Second Vice President Rick Tutwiler, Tutwiler and Associates Public Adjusters; Secretary Ken Gilvary, Haag Engineering; and Treasurer, David Cowheard, Cowheard, Singer and Company, P.A.

The WIND directors include Christina May Bolin, Alford Bolin, LLC; John Carroll, Twenty First Century Engineering; ; Mary Fortson, Merlin Law Group; Ken Gilvary, Haag Engineering; Pete Kappas, Onsite Claims Service Inc.; Gina Clausen Lozier, Berger Singerman, LLP; Dan Luby, Precision Advisors, LLC; David Neuhaus, Insurance Claims Unlimited, Inc.; Melissa Sims, Berk, Merchant & Sims, PLC; Wayne Taylor, Mozley, Finlayson & Loggins, LLP; Jay Voelpel, CJW & Associates, Inc.; Brent Winans, Clear Advantage Risk Management.

The WIND board is here for you! Please contact them directly with any questions or concerns. They look forward to meeting you soon!

Andy Rock Honored with 8th Annual WIND Presidential Recognition Award

Congratulations to attorney Andy Rock of Rock Law Group as the recipient of the 8th Annual WIND Presidential Recognition Award.

The award was established to recognize annually a member who has contributed significant knowledge, service and leadership to better the Windstorm Insurance Network (WIND).

WIND 2016 President Curtis Hutchens presented the award at the Jan. 31 opening general session at the 18th Annual Windstorm Insurance Conference at the Renaissance Orlando Seaworld.

Andy has been active in WIND for many years, and has severed various committees and as a faculty presenter for numerous WIND Conferences.

Congrats, Andy, we are so happy for your award!

WIND 2017 Concludes Last Week In Orlando, More than 1,000+ in Attendance

On behalf of the WIND Board of Directors and the WIND 2017 Conference Committee, we’d like to thank the 1,000+ attendees who convened last week at the Renaissance Seaworld in Orlando, Florida for the 18th Annual Windstorm Insurance Conference.

From the kickoff Sunset Celebration networking reception, the frigid (for Orlando) WIND Golf Tournament at Walt Disney World, to the moving opening general session by former Air Force One Pilot Col. Mark Tillman, countless educational breakout sessions, and to the final night’s Roaring 20s Gatsby Casino and Game Night, the conference offered property insurance claims professionals numerous ways to connect, learn, and engage on important industry topics.

Save the date for next year’s conference, set for January 14 – 19, 2018 at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando. Stay tuned for conference pictures, coming soon.

For more information on WIND 2018, please contact us at

9 Reasons to Attend the Windstorm Insurance Conference

Connect. Learn. Engage.

This has long been the tagline for the annual Windstorm Insurance Conference. But it’s more than a slogan, it’s an actual experience at the 18th Annual Windstorm Insurance Conference set for Jan. 29 – Feb. 2, 2017 at the Renaissance Seaworld in Orlando, Florida.

Here, you’ll meet and mingle with top industry professionals and influencers to engage and discuss current trends, hot topics, and recent developments in windstorm and property insurance claims.

And, you can typically knock out a year’s worth of your CE credits during this three-day event.

The annual WIND Conference is more than the average, status quo insurance industry event.

Nowhere else can you actually learn and engage with representatives from both sides of the industry. That’s what many of our attendees say makes our event so unique, and a huge learning opportunity for them.

Here are the 9 reasons to attend the annual Windstorm Insurance Conference:

1. Pay affordable registration fees.

We’re one of the most “bang-for-your-buck” industry conferences. Your conference registration fee includes attendance at all general sessions, attendance at CE workshop breakout sessions, numerous continuing education credits for multiple states and disciplines, three days of group food and beverage functions: breakfasts, breaks, lunches, and four cocktail evening receptions.

2. Increase your industry knowledge.

Learn from more than 25 sessions on hot topic issues. NFIP Adjuster Certification, WIND Appraiser/Umpire Certifications®, and claims software training.

Learn about industry hot topics: Assignment of Benefits, Appraisal, Carrier Adjuster Issues, Complex Residential CAT Losses from Inception to Trial, Cyber Security, Drones, Use of Technology in Claims Handling/Customer Service and CAT, and much, much more.

Professional development will also be the focus with the WIND 2017 keynote speaker, Col. Mark Tillman.

Tillman, who served as the Commander of Air Force One (2001-2009) and was the Air Force One Pilot on September 11, 2001, was the first to fly the President into a War Zone on the Zero Fail Mission to Iraq.

He’ll be presenting, Zero Fail Mission, which can be applied in both business and everyday life, and details planning, measurable expectations, and personal responsibility principles for insurance professionals.

3. Network with 1,000+ industry professionals and influencers.

Attendees come from all over the nation (and sometimes overseas) to attend the annual WIND Conference. Representatives from more than 35 states and international attendees make up the conference demographics. We’ve even had attendees travel from Singapore!

4. Meet a diverse group of property insurance claims professionals.

WIND attendees represent all facets of the property insurance claims industry.

You will find anyone from senior management to the independent adjuster, company adjuster, policyholder representatives, in addition to attorneys, engineers, underwriters, restoration professionals, contractors, as well as other related professions who attend to obtain information about industry trends and earn continuing education credits.

5. Earn a year’s worth of CE credits in just three days.

Florida adjuster and agent credits have just been approved, and additional states and organizations are coming soon.

The annual WIND Conference is a leading provider of CE credits for adjuster credits, bar associations, and professional organizations for property insurance claims professionals.

In 2016, we offered adjuster credits for 10 states, CLEs for seven state bar associations, and professional CE credits for seven industry associations.

6. Enjoy four nightly networking receptions, including our Roaring 1920s theme party.

This is where deals are made! The WIND conference evening receptions offer food and drinks, plus lots of networking. Don’t miss the final night’s event, the WIND Roaring 20s Speakeasy/Casino and Game Night party.

Calling all Great Gatsby guys and 1920s flapper ladies. Don your best Art Deco-era costumes (beads, feather boas, headbands, flapper dresses for the ladies; bow ties, vests, fedoras for the guys) for this fun and festive night in the WIND “Speakeasy.”

Heavy hors d’oeuvres, drinks (no prohibition here!), games, and casino tables will be set up to test your skill and luck. And of course, lots of great prizes will be awarded to our lucky attendees. This is one party you don’t want to miss!

7. Access the latest industry products and services from our WIND Partner Exhibitor/Sponsor companies.

Find the products that best fit your company’s needs when you visit the WIND HUB. You’ll learn from the industry’s leading providers of good and services for property adjusters and insurance claims professionals.

Claims software training, engineering, law, construction, and housing service providers on hand to educate attendees. In addition our exhibitor/sponsor partner companies provide the opportunity to win major prizes in our WIND Partner Raffle. Many of our attendees walk away with valuable prizes, just for visiting our WIND HUB.

8. Golf at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Resort.

The annual WIND Golf Tournament will be held at Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course, rated by Audubon International as a Cooperative Wildlife Sanctuary and rated four stars by Golf Digest,

It’s the longest of the Walt Disney Resort golf courses and features elevated tees, spacious greens and challenging water hazards.

WIND Golf tournament players will enjoy 18 holes of golf, range balls, continental breakfast, post-tournament cookout, contests, prizes, and transportation to and from the course.

9. Get some R&R before or after the conference.

Don’t forget to leave some fun and relaxation time for your stay. We’ve arranged for discounted Orlando attraction tickets, and the conference hotel is located steps to SeaWorld. Many of our attendees come early or stay after, and bring their families to enjoy warm, sunny Florida and world-famous Orlando attractions.

Connect. Learn. Engage at WIND 2017.

Be sure to take advantage of early discounts and register today. The deadline for early registration is January 15, 2017. And be sure to book your conference hotel block soon, rooms are going fast and often sell out. We look forward to seeing you at WIND 2017!

Why You Need to Join Us in Orlando this January

How does the thought of networking with property and windstorm insurance claims professionals in warm, sunny Florida sound this January?
Specifically in Orlando, where you can not only increase your industry knowledge, grow your network, enhance your visibility, but also:
• Connect with 1,000+ property and windstorm insurance claims professionals.
• Increase your target market and meet new contacts.
• Mix and mingle at four networking events.
• Gain a competitive edge with industry knowledge for next year’s hurricane season.
If this sounds like a fit, then you’re invited to join fellow property and windstorm insurance claims professionals for the 18th Annual Windstorm Insurance Conference at the Renaissance Orlando SeaWorld on January 29 – February 2, 2017.
WIND 2017 is more than an educational conference. It’s a prime connecting event with important return on investment (ROI) benefits for the property insurance claims professionals who attend each year.
Like, Trudi White, Vice President of Claims, Weston Insurance: “I appreciate the opportunity to hear the other side’s point of view and foster relationships that make it easier to work together when there is a dispute on an actual claim. The panels also point out weaknesses on each side so that those who attend are less likely to hold on to untenable positions. In the end, this benefits our mutual goals of serving our policyholders by resolving their claims more quickly.”
Or, Patrick McCrink, Vice President of Claims, American Strategic Insurance: “With a diverse group of insurance professionals, the WIND conference provides unique views on current industry topics. The conference provides the venue for open dialogue between opposing sides. WIND has been beneficial to me and our great team.”
And, Andy Rock, Defense Attorney, The Rock Law Group: “The annual Windstorm Insurance Conference has been an excellent investment of time and effort over the years. Everything I have put into it has come back geometrically in the form of a better appreciation of the challenges confronting all aspects of our industry, the issues which warrant our disagreement, and the many issues upon which we can agree, to the benefit of all the people we serve.”

Here are even more testimonials on how our attendees have closed important deals, landed new clients, received important certifications, and learned new perspectives on important industry issues.

All obtained in just three days at the annual WIND Conference.

You, too, can enhance your professional and personal credentials. We invite you to learn more, and join the 1,000+ industry professionals who attend each year.
At WIND 2017, you’ll find a ROI that can’t be beat. How would you like to:

• Pay affordable registration fees: we’re one of the most “bang-for-your-buck” industry conferences. 

• Increase your industry knowledge: learn from more than 25 sessions on hot 
topic issues, NFIP, WIND Appraiser/Umpire Certifications®, and claims software training. 

• Network with 1,000+ industry professionals and influencers: attendees come from all over the nation (and sometimes overseas) to attend the annual WIND Conference.
• Meet a diverse group of property insurance claims professionals. WIND attendees represent all facets of the industry.
• Enjoy four nightly networking receptions: This is where deals are made!

• Access the latest industry products and services from our WIND Partner 
Exhibitor/Sponsor companies: Find the products that best fit your company’s needs.
Golf at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Resort: sign up for the WIND Golf Tournament 
and win prizes, too.

• Get some R&R before or after the conference. We’ve arranged for discounted Orlando attraction tickets, and the conference hotel is located steps to SeaWorld Orlando.
Not to mention, each year we strive to offer a year’s worth of continuing education credits for various states, bar associations, and professional associations. In fact, many of our attendees have earned a year’s worth of CE/CLEs in just three days!
As I’ve detailed, a trip to Orlando can bring you more than warm and sunny weather this January.
So, on behalf of the WIND Board of Directors and our 2017 Conference Committee, we look forward to having YOU join us at WIND 2017 in Orlando this January.
If you have any questions, we’re here to help. Please contact us at 813.988.0737 or email

What Hurricane Floyd and WIND Have in Common and How Property Insurance Claims Professionals Can Benefit


The Windstorm Insurance Network, Inc. (WIND) was officially incorporated the same day Hurricane Floyd hit the North Carolina coast: September 16, 1999.

It was a fitting start date for an educational association created for property and windstorm insurance claims industry professionals.

Although many hurricanes have blown since 1999, one thing has remained constant:

WIND is the only member association to bring together both defense and policyholder professionals together to connect, engage, and learn about important topics in the property/windstorm insurance claims industry.

“The idea for WIND was born out of a casual conversation with our firm’s managing partner, Rick Boehm,” says Janet L. Brown, partner of Boehm Brown Harwood, P.A, an Orlando-based insurance defense firm.

“Rick was curious as to why we were constantly sending our attorneys out of state for conferences on property issues and catastrophic losses. He inquired why we didn’t have something similar in Florida,” recalls Janet.

“Finally, he asked me to explore the idea for an association focused on training and educating property insurance claims professionals. The goal was to be balanced with participation from both the insurance industry and policyholder sides,” says Janet.

WIND’s targeted group included professionals involved in adjusting, sales, marketing, and underwriting of property/windstorm insurance coverage, as well other related professions involved with property/windstorm insurance claims issues.

As the concept of WIND emerged, an idea developed to organize an educational conference to review and discuss property/windstorm insurance industry topics.

Realizing the undertaking would require time, money, and more importantly, instant recognition, Janet Brown approached her contacts at the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association (FWUA).

“We decided a co-sponsor was needed to quickly launch the WIND idea in the insurance industry. Even if FWUA could only lend us their name, we felt we would instantly have clout,” says Janet.

After many meetings in the summer of 1999 with FWUA upper management’s Rebecca Fussell, Bill Schmitz, Bob Tice, and Dave Hisey, the WIND conference was approved.

With FWUA’s “named backing,” the Boehm Brown firm lent both its time and finances to plan and bankroll WIND in its first six months. “Once FWUA was on board, we had very little time to plan and promote the conference,” recalls Janet.

The short lead time didn’t deter the group; in just 90 days, Janet and her committee emerged with a full conference agenda.

The inaugural Windstorm Insurance Conference was held on February 16 – 18, 2000 at the Renaissance Airport Hotel in Orlando and was co-sponsored by FWUA.

Nearly 400 insurance professionals attended the three-day conference offering a lineup of keynote speakers, professional development workshops, continuing education credits, evening receptions, a vendor trade show, and a golf tournament.

It was evident that Boehm Brown’s idea had struck a chord in the industry. The registration numbers demonstrated a need to address property/windstorm insurance claims issues from various industry perspectives.

In February 2000, the WIND’s inaugural board of directors was selected from leaders from the insurer, accounting, adjusting, agency, engineering, legal, reinsurance, residual market, government, and scientific communities.

In addition, the inaugural membership grew to 200 industry professionals from across Florida and neighboring southeastern states.

Encore, Encore!

In 2001, attendance at the WIND conference nearly doubled, with more than 650 professionals convening for the three-day event. Famed hurricane researcher Dr. Bill Gray kicked off the conference as keynote speaker.

Attendance and recognition continued to grow, and by its 10-year anniversary, the WIND annual conference drew a record crowd of 1,500 attendees from 35 states and Canada.

In 2016, more than 1,000+ attendees convened in Orlando for the three-day event.

Expanding Offerings

In 2003, Janet recognized the need for a compilation of umpires in property insurance appraisal matters.

Soon after, the first annual WIND Umpire Directory was introduced to the property/windstorm insurance claims industry, followed by the inaugural WIND Certified Umpire class at the 2004 WIND Conference.

The WIND Certified Umpire Class is mandatory for WIND Certified Umpires, and it has been attended by hundreds of professionals since its first class in 2003. A WIND Umpire Recertification class was rolled out in 2007, and in 2012, the WIND Certified Appraiser was added to the line-up of WIND Certifications.

In 2009 – 2014, WIND Regional Symposiums were hosted throughout the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast States.

The first WIND Regional Conference in Houston was planned in just less than 90 days, and it was a sold out success. The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore served as the keynote speaker.

In 2014, WIND introduced the WIND Professional Designation Program, a two-tier credential process for property/windstorm insurance claims professionals.

The program recognizes industry individuals who demonstrate professionalism and technical knowledge in the field of property and windstorm insurance claims.

The Windstorm Insurance Network Professional (WIND-P) and Windstorm Insurance Network Fellow (WIND-F) designations recognize individuals who show a dedication to ongoing education in their respective professional concentrations.

Looking to the Future

Today, WIND proudly boasts a sizeable membership from across the nation and an impressive group of officers, board members, and past presidents.

The annual Windstorm Insurance Conference attracts 1,000+ attendees on average from across the United States, Canada, and Great Britain for three days of professional development and networking opportunities.

As WIND is soon to celebrate its 20th anniversary, long-range planning goals have been put in place to ensure that WIND continues as the premier educational association for property/windstorm insurance claims professionals representing both the insurance industry and policyholders.

For More Information

Connect. Learn. Engage with WIND. Visit us at and learn more about our membership, credential programs and annual conference.

WIND 2017 conference registration opens in soon. Visit to learn more.

Questions? We can be reached at or 850.473.0601. We look forward to connecting with you soon!

Countdown to WIND 2017 in Orlando

We’ve saved you a seat!

Be among a dynamic group of property/windstorm insurance claims professionals at the 18th annual Windstorm Insurance Conference on January 29 – February 2, 2017 at the Renaissance Orlando SeaWorld.

Here, you’ll meet and mingle with top industry professionals and influencers to engage, and discuss current trends, hot topics and recent developments in windstorm/property insurance claims.

And, you can typically knock out a year’s worth of your CE credits during the three-day event.

The annual WIND Conference is more than the average, status quo insurance industry event. No where else can you actually learn and engage with representatives from both sides of the industry. That’s what many of our attendees say makes our event so unique, and a huge learning opportunity for them.

WIND 2017 is a jam-packed three days of professional development, continuing education, and lots of networking events. Plus, it’s one of the best “bang for your buck” events for property/windstorm insurance claims professionals.

The WIND Golf Tournament will kick off the conference on Monday, January 30 at the Walt Disney World Magnolia Golf Course.

Our WIND 2017 Partner Companies will be showcasing their products and services in our WIND Expo Hall and during conference events.

The annual WIND Conference is not only a draw for warm and sunny Florida winter weather, but also our conference hotel is located just steps away from Seaworld, and a few miles from Orlando’s main attractions.

Editors’ Note: Conference and golf tournament registration will open in early Fall 2016, typically sometime in September.

More updates are coming soon, but for additional conference information, please contact the WIND Meeting Planner, Meeting Management Group at 813.988.0737 or email

We’re here to help and look forward to seeing you at WIND 2017!

Become a WIND 2017 Exhibitor/Sponsor Company Partner

Does  your company promote products or services to the property/windstorm insurance claims industry? If so, we want to meet you. We're looking for dynamic companies to become WIND 2017 exhibitor and sponsor partners.

​The annual Windstorm Insurance Conference Exhibitor/Sponsor partner packages have just been announced for 2017.  Imagine your product and service marketed to 1,000+ property insurance claims professionals at WIND 2017.

Each year, the annual WIND Conference draws 1,000+ attendees from across the U.S. for three days of professional development, continuing education and networking opportunities. Click here to see past events and pictures.

Here's a look at the current WIND 2017 exhibitor partner companies.

Sign up today and partner with us to promote  your company to 1,000+ professionals from all aspects of the property insurance claims industry.​

Want to Share Your Industry Expertise? Call for Presentations Now Open

The Windstorm Insurance Network, Inc. Conference Committee invites you to share your knowledge and professional experience by submitting an educational presentation for the 18th Annual Windstorm Insurance Conference scheduled for January 29 – February 2, 2017 at the Renaissance Orlando.

The annual WIND conference draws representatives nationwide for three days of professional development, continuing education and networking opportunities. It's the only event of its kind to bring together both defense and policyholder professionals to connect, learn and engage on important property/windstorm insurance claims issues.

What We're Looking for at WIND 2017

To be considered as a faculty presenter, your program must be educational in nature — that is, sales and promotional-oriented presentations will not be accepted.

In addition, your material should be fresh, relevant and original; otherwise, sources must be referenced. Your submission should be of educational importance to the issues and topics pertinent to the property/windstorm insurance claims industry.

Programs should be one hour and 45 minutes in length, including a brief session for questions and answers. 

Only one representative from a company and/or organization, including subsidiaries, is permitted. All panel submissions must include a list of proposed faculty, with no more than four speakers, including the moderator.

Each submission should include a balance of professionals from both the insurance/consumer sides. No solo speaker submissions will be considered.

We will seek continuing education (CE) accreditation for all programs once they are approved on the conference agenda. Once selected, all presenters must submit a formal CE outline and handout materials by the designated deadlines. Failure to meet timely deadlines will result in possible removal from the conference agenda.

Submissions are not guaranteed to be selected due to the overwhelming number of applications received.

We’re Looking for Industry Influencers to Present at WIND 2017

Share Your Ideas, Knowledge and Expertise with the Industry

Fill out this short application form and submit a hot topic important to the property/windstorm insurance claims industry. The deadline for applications is Friday, June 17, 2016.

Know of Great Topics or Speakers You'd Like to See at WIND 2017?

We'd love your input! Please let us know topics or speakers you'd like to see at WIND 2017. This survey takes less than one minute to complete!

The Evaluation Process for WIND 2017 Breakout Sessions

Proposals will be reviewed by the WIND 2017 Conference Chair and Committee, and recommendations will be made to the WIND Board of Directors for their final approval.

The selection and scheduling of conference proposals is based on a number of factors that help to establish a diverse and balanced program. All proposed presentation submissions are based on, but not limited, on the following criteria:

• Overall quality; objective, educational and non-promotional content
• Relevance/importance to conference attendees
• Well-defined focus within the program track structure
• Practical applications of material
• Timeliness of the topic
• Speaker qualifications, knowledge, experience, presentations skills

Important Guidelines for Submitting for WIND 2017

• WIND will provide the following equipment for presentations: podium, table/chairs, projector screen, LCD projector. Please note that we do not provide laptops.

• WIND does not provide financial reimbursement of expenses or makes registration or hotel accommodations for presenters.

• WIND does offer a substantially discounted faculty presenter rate for each presenter to fully register and participate in conference CE certifications, educational sessions, food and beverage functions, and evening networking receptions.


All completed applications must be submitted by Friday, June 17, 2016. Applications missing information or not fully completed will not be considered.

The 2017 WIND Conference Committee will be reviewing each application after the deadline. Our expected selection time frame is late Summer 2016.

Notification Process

Notification will be sent by e-mail regarding acceptance of proposals. Once a proposal is accepted, changes to the proposal must be approved by WIND 2017 Conference Chair.

Additional materials will be due upon acceptance. Please note that failure to submit materials by designated deadlines may result in the presentation being pulled from the schedule.

Apply Today!

We look forward to hearing from you! Questions? Please contact WIND at 850.473.0601 or email us at

Check Us Out! WIND 2016 Conference Pictures Now Online

The 17th annual Windstorm Insurance Conference was a jam-packed three day event of professional development, continuing education and networking!

Nothing shows off the conference more than our annual album of pictures, now online and ready for viewing and instant download.

Do you have pictures to share with us?

We always like to see how much learning and networking our attendees have at our events. Do you have conference pictures to share, please add them to this album.

WIND 2016 Conference Pictures

Get social with WIND!

Don’t forget to follow WIND on our social media accounts listed on our homepage. And of course, we always appreciate the hashtag #windnetwork.

A big thank you to our 1,050 attendees. We hope to see you again at WIND 2017 in Orlando!

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