Like many of us, Andrea Bogard came into the insurance industry more by chance than by choice. After spending her children’s formative years as a stay at home parent, when the time came to join the workforce, she took a job as a secretary at an insurance agency. That position evolved into her quickly getting her insurance license, and over the course of the next 15 years or so, her learning the industry and eventually, buying the agency.
Her joining NAHU wasn’t quite as much of a fortunate accident. Bill Robinson, who, at the time was a representative for American Community Insurance Company, had to do quite a bit of work to get her to join the association. It was a task that took him nearly 3 years to complete. His work frequently brought him into her agency, and his persistence and passion for the association eventually paid off; Andrea became a member in March of 2002. “I believe the main reason she put me off so long was that she didn’t want to commit to being a member until she could give it her all, and she’s certainly done that!” Bill says with a grin.
Since then, it’s been a steady climb to the top for Andrea. It would be an understatement to say it’s been a pretty good year for SCIAHU and Andrea – beginning with South Central achieving Platinum Certification, one of only three chapters nationwide to receive the honor. At NAHU Annual Convention in June, Andrea received the prestigious Distinguished Service Award, and to complete the trifecta, Andrea was named ISAHU Member of the Year at ISAHU’s State Convention in July. This is the second time she has been named ISAHU Member of the year, one of very few to have received this honor twice.
Andrea was able to boil the value of NAHU down to four main benefits: resources, representation, relationships, and results, and both Bill and Andrea stressed that relationships are the key component for both of them. “First you get into the association, and then the association gets into you,” says Bill. Andrea has been right at the core of South Central’s success. Their 47 member association is small, but mighty, each month maintaining an atmosphere where competitors can come together to collaborate, learn together, and share information. “We create an atmosphere of friendliness that helps everyone keep their guards down,” says Andrea. For her, NAHU Immediate Past President Mike Embry’s model of servant leadership has been a strategy that she’s taken to heart – she’s not afraid to get into the trenches and do whatever needs to be done for the association, something she insists is easy to do when you care about the people you’re doing it for.
Thankfully, her effort hasn’t gone unnoticed. Andrea first won the ISAHU Member of the Year award in 2009-10, and she was particularly touched by the honor, as she is one of the few who has won it without holding a state, regional, or national leadership role. Her advice for new members is simple; “Get involved! Go to events outside your local chapter, broaden your horizons, and develop relationships with other members!” The recognition for her efforts has certainly felt good, but most important to Andrea have been the relationships she’s developed over her tenure, particularly her friendship with Bill. “He has become one of my closest friends, and one of the best examples of what NAHU can do for someone both personally and professionally.”
“Ditto” replies Bill, with a big smile.
2018-19 ISAHU Communications Chair