When Robbie Moore first started attending the University of Georgia, he was like many of his peers. “I didn't know what I wanted to do," Moore says. But after attending the first class of an Intro to Risk Management course at Georgia's Business School, “something clicked and I just loved it,"
Executive Vice President
Blanchard & Calhoun Insurance
When Robbie Moore first started attending the University of Georgia, he was like many of his peers. “I didn't know what I wanted to do," Moore says. But after attending the first class of an Intro to Risk Management course at Georgia's Business School, “something clicked and I just loved it," he says. “Ever since then, I've been fascinated by insurance and I'm a total nerd."
After graduating in 2003 and moving back to Augusta, Georgia—his hometown—Moore joined Blanchard & Calhoun Insurance and has been there ever since. “Nineteen years in and I still love insurance, I love helping people and I love diving into the technical side."
As the former chair of Georgia's Young Agents Committee and the national Young Agents Committee, and now a member of the Trusted Choice® board, Moore's involvement with the Big “I" has satiated his desire to grow, network and thrive within the independent agent channel.
What Did You Gain from Joining the Georgia Young Agents?
It taught me about programs like Invest™ and InsurPac and the impact of the money donated each year. I've heard some great content from some of the best sales and leadership coaches out there. I've learned a great deal and I've made the best friendships that I could ever ask for—it all goes back to involvement in the Big "I."
Why is the Legislative Conference Important?
I go every year. When you get there, it's fascinating to see the reality of what InsurPac does, as well as the lobbying efforts to try to create positive change in our industry. Whether it's the passing of a bill that could be beneficial to us, or by stopping a bill that could be detrimental to agencies or any small business owner.
How Is the Channel Perpetuating?
I'm excited about the things that are going on at various colleges and risk management programs. More and more schools are starting to come out with a risk management program, which is really encouraging.
How Have You Supported the Invest Program?
I started serving on the Georgia Young Agents Committee in 2012. Then got elected to become the chair of the Georgia Young Agents Committee in 2015. That meant a lot to me because it's a volunteer committee, but you're elected by your peers. You look at the committee and it's made up of other people just like me. I had some great leaders in front of me that I got to learn from and watch—people like Kelli Dean, Jarett Bridges, and Ash Smith
Georgia already had a great young agents committee and we had a great reputation at the national level. I just wanted to take it and try to leave it in a better position than I found it. I charged my committee with getting Georgia involved in the Invest program. I want to donate money to the cause—but I wanted to do more than just throw money at it. I wanted to get boots on the ground and get young agents in Georgia to go out to the local high schools and talk to students about the program and be a guest speaker.
What Are You Working on with the Trusted Choice Board?
We want to compete online. Trusted Choice and TrustedChoice.com are working hand in hand to achieve that. I'm glad to be part of it and hopefully we can make positive changes. With TrustedChoice.com appealing to people that go online to find of insurance, there's a lot of exciting things happening.
Last year, they had a fantastic television ad campaign with John Smoltz. Of course, being an Atlanta Braves fan the year they won the World Series, I loved that. But what a great message: Home field advantage. In terms of ad space, it's hard for an independent agent on Main Street to compete with the Geico's of the world and State Farm, so it was great to get that message out there—and Trusted Choice does that for us. Collectively, it helps us market and brand ourselves. If they're not already using it, I hope every agency utilizes their marketing material.
How Has the Big 'I' and Young Agents Committee Helped You Network?
I've learned a great deal. And also I've made the best friendships that I could ever ask for. When I think about the friendships that I've made in this industry, both at the Georgia level and the national level, I don't think you can't put a price tag on that. If I'm working on an account, if I'm struggling or even if I've got a great victory on something and I want to share it with someone else in the industry who gets it, I've got friends all over the place. I have a network of people like me that I can reach out to for advice on an account, a coverage question, or even just to share in success stories. And I can talk freely because they're not my competitor. The Big “I" has also allowed me to meet a lot of folks on the carrier side.
What Do You Love Most About Being a Big 'I' Member?
There are so many things about the Big “I" that I really get excited about but, ultimately, it's the fact that we are all in this together. Everything that the Big “I" does is to help the independent agency system continue to grow and thrive. We don't just want to survive, we want to grow market share. I would encourage anybody that is a young agent to get involved.
Advice for Getting Involved with the Big 'I'?
When you don't know where to start, it can be daunting. You're not necessarily going to go from not being involved to immediately jumping onto the national scene. I started at the state level and that's how I got to meet the people that I met. If they don't really know where to start, I would tell any young agent to look in their local community and figure out if they have a local young agent chapter. Alternatively, tell them to get involved with their state.
And if they're part of a state that doesn't have a very strong young agent committee, how about you be the person to step up to the plate, start one and grow it.
Will Jones is IA editor-in-chief.