Emerging Leaders Launch Party Was a Hit, and It’s Just the Beginning

60 is a great number. After all, it represents the number of starting players on 4 rugby teams! And the ancient Babylonians used base 60 for their sexagesimal system of mathematics. Closer to home, it was also the number of folks present at the launch party for the Vermont Captive Insurance Emerging Leaders Group (VCIEL). This exceeded the preliminary target, but more than the numbers was the quality present. 

We attracted professors, students, rising professionals and a slate of key industry decision makers, including Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation Kevin Gaffney, Sandy Bigglestone (#3 on the Power 50 Captive Review), Deputy Commissioner of the Captive Division of the DFR, and even Mike Pieciak, Treasurer for the State of Vermont and a dear friend of the VCIA. The launch party had it all: it was fun, dynamic, great enthusiasm, and the conversations around the group and its goals were outstanding.

In addition to being a meeting place for the Emerging Leaders, the group has set themselves some additional goals, and the greatest of these is to have a positive influence on the number and quality of talented individuals available to Vermont’s captive industry. With continued pressure in the competition for talent, and with Vermont lacking any formal college program addressing risk management, this will be a challenge, but I am strongly betting on this great pool of talented individuals to be able to make considerable headway here. 

How can it be done? Developing smart relationships. Though there may not be a risk management program at Vermont schools, there’s a strong contingent of people – students, professors, administrators – who are interested in developing relationships and opportunities with VCIA and VCIEL. This was on full display at the VCIEL Launch Party, and there are already irons in the fire in how we will take effective action. More to come on that. Education and outreach will be key.

It’s critical to note that while the VCIA strongly supports and has a partnership with VCIEL, VCIEL operates with autonomy and makes decisions by group consensus made up of the talented folks with various captive roles who provide great perspective. This is by design and is based on the strong belief within the VCIA that groups like this need to be empowered and resourced and not directed and controlled. 

As we near #VCIA2023 registration kick off (May 15th, mark your calendars!), you will see heightened visibility for VCIEL, which will play an integral role at the conference in August. They are already driving highly relevant content onto the agenda for that event, and will be a perfect resource for the students, rising professionals and those new to the industry who attend to the conference. 

I expect to be able to report on further development and partnerships for the group in the coming months, but for now, let’s give a hand for the great work done by VCIEL. The launch party was a smash hit! It’s just the beginning and VCIA is proud to be with VCIEL on this journey to a better captive future.

Please Welcome–and Support–The Emerging Leaders Group into the Captive Community!

Everywhere you go in the captive community, you hear about it. You hear about it at conferences, whether as a specific topic on the schedule or during off hours networking; you hear about it in Board meetings, during our VCIA Mixers, and from the captive media. The workforce challenge is a serious issue throughout the captive industry, with a large portion of captive professionals retiring in the near future, while fewer people choose the captive space for their careers. The threat is not going away anytime soon, and neither are we, which is why this week VCIA announced a formal partnership with The Vermont Captive Insurance Emerging Leaders (VCIEL), a group created to address head-on the workforce crisis as well as grow and cultivate the talent base that is already working within captives.

What will VCIEL do? Read the mission statement in full because it was painstakingly crafted. VCIEL will “reach new audiences that may have interest in the captive industry as a career; engage students, interns, and rising professionals about opportunities in the captive industry; retain talented new and rising professionals already within the industry; and create a platform for captive emerging professionals to develop as leaders not only in their companies, but in the greater captive community.” Additionally, I encourage you to go to the new VCIEL webpage on the VCIA website to find more details and background of the group.

An important thing to note: VCIEL is not lip service and it’s not for optics. VCIA’s own Director of Communications Francis McGill belongs to the group and he reports back how, diligent and focused, this burgeoning group stays on track and will offer concrete strategies to bring more new professionals into the captive fold. It starts by building relationships, and VCIEL has already established strong ones with local colleges like UVM, Champlain College and Saint Michael’s College. The group plans to employ benchmarking goals to remain accountable in how it goes out and engages with potential captive professionals. It plans to hold networking events to foster solidarity and build cohesion among the next generation of captive leaders. There are already many bright rising captive professionals who are ready to step up for the industry and VCIEL intends to champion them and find them opportunities on the captive conference circuit, including #VCIA2023.

VCIEL is not lip service and it’s not for optics…[it is] diligent and focused…and will offer concrete strategies to bring more new professionals into the captive fold…The group plans to employ benchmarking goals to remain accountable in how it goes out and engages with potential captive professionals. VCIEL also intends to champion the current, bright rising professionals within the industry and find them leadership roles, as well as speaking opportunities on the captive conference circuit, including #VCIA2023.

VCIA President kevin mead

And so, join us for this incredibly necessary initiative. All are invited to be a VCIEL member and participate in its every-other-month meeting–for that contact VCIA Director of Communications Francis McGill. And please know there is no age limit! We want anyone who supports working hard to create a sustainable next generation of captive workers! Furthermore, we want you at VCIEL’s launch party. Click on the picture below to RSVP!

As the largest trade association for captives, VCIA felt compelled and responsible to invest time, energy, and finances into an endeavor that will find ways for a healthy captive future. We are joining the likes of CICA’s NEXTGen who are providing concerted efforts to shape the working landscape of the captive industry. If this doesn’t get you fired up, then I don’t know what will! It’s my sincerest hope then that you will join us on this journey, and of course at the pizza launch party in celebrating this crucial project. It’s only just the beginning.