I just returned from an event featuring Jim Douglas, former governor of Vermont. He is out with a new book, The Vermont Way, chronicling his decades in Vermont politics, starting as a twenty-something elected to the State legislature, through his eight years as governor. Now, first and foremost Governor Douglas is a true friend of Vermont’s captive insurance industry, but he is a remarkable person just due to the fact that he was elected four times as governor as a Republican in one of the bluest (if not the bluest) states in the country. With his exceptional political talent as well as his ability to remember not only everyone’s names, but their children’s names as well (seriously!), the Governor is truly a man of the people. But what he really embodies is the nature of Vermonters to coalesce around a good person, or good idea, like they did the Governor.
A small state where the Governor knows many of its citizens personally and where access to the leaders and policy makers happens on a personal level has great benefits. It allows good ideas to be debated and tested without the partisanship and rancor we see elsewhere – where pragmatism is a true aspiration. And this is true with Vermont and the captive insurance industry as well. I think Dave Provost exemplifies the qualities of Governor Douglas for our captive world: a pragmatic, approachable regulator whose self-deprecating humor and acerbic wit only enhance his knowledge and experience of captive insurance and how he approaches his job and responsibilities. I don’t know, maybe it’s the water up here, but most likely because of our size, people just learn to work with one another for the common good.
Thank you all very much and I look forward to hearing from you!