President’s Message: Keeping the Momentum Going in 2019

From left: 2018 WIND President, Michael Ruskin and 2019 WIND President, Rick Tutwiler

On behalf of the Windstorm Insurance Network, I would like to thank the 1,300 plus attendees who helped our organization successfully celebrate its 20th Anniversary Conference! The feedback thus far has been positive and encouraging, as we recorded more than 526 industry professionals who attended for the first time!

I am honored to be incoming President for 2020 and look forward to carrying the momentum forward. The 2020 Conference Committee is already working so stay tuned for future WIND newsletters because we are very excited to announce plans for next year. If you have not already done so, please provide your feedback, suggestions or ideas. Here is the LINK. The Board of Directors and various Committees are here to serve you and we want to ensure that the courses stay relevant, educational, fair and balanced.

For the many claims professionals who sought to become a WIND Certified Appraiser or WIND Certified Umpire at the conference, we apologize that we could not accommodate some of you. The hotel had maximum room occupancy restrictions, which we had to comply with for obvious reasons. But stay tuned! WIND will soon be announcing its upcoming plan to host a 1-day symposium in S. Florida sometime during the summer of 2019 for both Members and Non-Members wanting to further enhance their credentials and officially be recognized and listed in WIND’s Certified Appraiser & Umpire Directories.

Aside from all the great networking and learning of new information from conversations with colleagues, class presenters and others exhibiting in the expo hall, there was a common message that I continually heard, which I hope to improve upon personally, professionally and within the organization as a whole. While communication should be pretty simple and straightforward, it is apparent to me that there is room for improvement. Insurance carriers can improve on how to better communicate with their insureds and policyholder advocates can improve how to better communicate with the clients they are hired to represent. Overall, there needs to be better communication between insurance company professionals and those representing the policyholder because, at the end of the day, each of us shares the same common goal, which is to serve the policyholder/consumer. Without them, none of us would have a job.

We live in a day and age where people need instant gratification and want to know their claims are being acknowledged and worked . The good ol’ days where adjusters had a checkbook and authority to make decisions in the field are ending. There is a generation of older adjusters whose careers are coming to an end. The consensus regarding the new generation of adjusters is that they need better training and improved communication skills, which is a goal upon which we can all work together to add value to our industry and identify some common ground to better serve folks during their time of need. These are some goals that I will be focusing on.

In closing, I want to thank our outgoing President, Mr. Michael Ruskin who served admirably and professionally, as well as Ms. Gina Clausen Lozier who performed remarkably as Conference Chair, in addition to her service on the Board of Directors.

The Windstorm Board of Directors saw numerous changes this year and I am gratified to acknowledge those who provided leadership and service, as well as introduce WIND’s incoming Board Members who will be tasked with filling the void in 2019.

Outgoing Board Members:
Ms. Susan Harwood, Esq. – Past President. Board Member – 2008 – 2019.
Kaplan Zeena LLP
Ms. Mary Fortson, Esq. – Board Member – 2015-2019.
Merlin Law Group
Mr. Pete Kapas – Board Member (2015-2019)
Onsite Claims Service, Inc.
Mr. Dan Luby, AIC – Board Member – (2015-2019)
Precision Advisors, LLC
Mr. Jay Voelpel, CPCU, AIC – Board Member – (2015-2019)
CJW & Associates

Incoming Board Members:
Mr. Michael Ruskin, BA, MSM – Immediate Past President
Disaster Pro Consulting, Inc.
Ms. Lori Flenniken, VP Claims
Florida Intracoastal Underwriters, Ltd.
Ms. Nicole Vinson, Esq.
Merlin Law Group
Mr. Charlie Baker, AIC
Peninsula Insurance Bureau
Mr. Michael Capilli, CPCU, AIC
Metro Public Adjustment, Inc.

Executive Board:
Mr. Rick Tutwiler, P.C.L.S. – WIND President
Tutwiler & Associates Public Adjusters
Mr. Ken Gilvary, P.E. – 1st Vice President
Ms. Melissa Sims, Esq. – 2nd Vice President
Berk, Merchant & Sims, PLC
Ms. Christina May Bolin, Esq. – Secretary
Christian & Small LLP

David Cowheard, CPA – (Since 2003)
Cowheard, Singer and Company, P.A.

If there’s anything we as a board can do for you, please reach out to us.

Best regards,
Rick Tutwiler
Tutwiler and Associates, Inc.
2019 WIND President