Why I Volunteer With Applied Client Network
ACN Updates | By Aaron Rich, Vice President of Information Technology, Colby Insurance Group | Apr 18 2019
My “story” with Applied Client Network began when I started attending the local NH/VT chapter meetings in 2001 shortly after my career in insurance began. When I started with the agency, I found the meetings extremely helpful to learn more about the best most efficient ways to use Applied TAM and the different options that were available. One item we picked up early was the importance of imaging to reduce paper so we began scanning in our office in 2003 largely due to discussions at the chapter meetings — and my distain for paper; any of you who have seen my handwriting would understand! I found many opportunities to help us get ahead of the curve and the discussions were such a huge help.
I came to insurance fresh out of college, and in all honesty, I stepped into the family business to help them upgrade some outdated servers, computers and networking equipment. The funny thing is: I never left. I came into the industry looking to leverage my technology background and found so many other areas that I loved. As time went on, insurance fit more and more into my core beliefs about helping others and giving back. I liked working with customers and finding solutions for them to protect them and their families.
You will never appreciate how big an impact what we do has on our clients lives until you show up at someone’s house, on one of the worst days of their life, and hand them a check to help them begin putting their life back together.
You will never appreciate how big an impact what we do has on our clients lives until you show up at someone’s house, on one of the worst days of their life, and hand them a check to help them begin putting their life back together. I love helping people, and at its core, that’s a big part of what I believe volunteerism is.
When it comes to volunteering with Applied Client Network, one of my favorite aspects is the opportunity it affords me to network and interact with other users and to learn about what they’re doing or how they’re handling projects. For example, just this week, my company was looking at a market we didn’t have access to. Because of the many relationships I have gained being involved with Applied Client Network, I was able to reach out to a friend and begin the process of getting appointed with a new company.
Working closely with the organization also allows me to pass along some lessons I have learned to other agencies and brokerages. The “users helping users” mentality is what makes getting involved with this organization worth it. From round tables at a local meeting to being involved in the forums or attending Applied Net, the opportunities to advance your career and the path of your agency are endless.
Outsiders might not think it, but insurance is a very social industry. You never know when a business card you pick up might help you down the road. Being involved in many of the committees has also offered me the chance to see a bigger picture of our industry as a whole. When you are working in your own region, however large that is, there are often assumptions made about why carriers or tech companies make the decisions they do. Having a broader view of any situation often provides additional insight that helps us better position our agencies in the marketplace and better prepares members for future success.
In the future, I hope that Applied Client Network membership continues to see more agencies and brokerages getting involved at both a national and local level. It has been extremely rewarding to volunteer with Applied Client Network and to see the organization make huge strides forward. I am thrilled to know that I’ve played a small part in helping drive a great user group into a bright future.
Now, some of you may be wondering how this all ties to the image I’ve shared of a firefighter on a roof…that person happens to be me. You might be thinking, “What does that have to do with this?” I’ll tell you. When I moved back to town after college, the fire chief in my community lived just down the street. He welcomed me home, with a very clear message: “Welcome home, here’s your pager and welcome to the Fire Department.” I have now volunteered for nearly 20 years with local fire departments and emergency management, and I’ve been an EMT since 2012. I love being involved in my community and take very seriously the responsibilities of property and life preservation. I help run several programs in the area, from school fire safety classes, to our latest program of training 6th, 7th and 8th graders on CPR. When these students graduate from 8th grade, they will have had 3 years of emergency medical skills hard coded into their memory; they will be an army of live-saving machines.
We can directly impact lives and giving back can be tremendously rewarding. Helping your fellow community members, no matter the service, is important. Thank all of you who volunteer with Applied Client Network for your service, and those of you who are considering jumping in… I have your “pager” waiting for you right here…click the link below!
Tags: Applied Client Network , volunteering