Region’s insurance companies work to strengthen industry

November 6th, 2014

November 6, 2014

Region's insurance companies work to strengthen industry

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Specialty insurers in Northeast Indiana have joined educational and economic development leaders in the region to form Northeast Indiana Specialty Insurers (NISI). Members in the group will work together to focus on talent development, marketing, advocacy and new opportunities for the region's specialty insurance companies.

"The establishment of the Northeast Indiana Specialty Insurers group is critical to our region and our industry. We have a large number of people engaged in this profession in our area. We want to protect those jobs as well as create new ones. We will work to develop strong partnerships with the insurance companies, our economic development organizations, high schools and colleges to maximize our opportunities," said Pat Sullivan, executive vice president at Hylant and chair of NISI.

Based on feedback from the region's insurance leaders, NISI has selected four centers of focus as areas needing the greatest attention in order to advance the specialty insurance industry in Northeast Indiana.

  • Talent development - To ensure students are aware of career opportunities in the specialty insurance field and to work with regional postsecondary educational institutions to develop a curriculum that is in line with the needs of the specialty insurance industry
  • Marketing - To create awareness and visibility of Northeast Indiana as a premier hub for insurance providers 
  • Advocacy - To work with local, state and federal officials to make Northeast Indiana the most attractive environment to locate and grow an insurance company
  • Business Development Opportunities - To develop a support system to facilitate entrepreneurial and business development opportunities in the insurance industry that may arise in the region 

Momentum is already building to address potential talent shortages. Working with area insurance companies, Ivy Tech Community College - Northeast now offers an insurance certificate. The University of Saint Francis (USF) expanded its newly introduced Risk Management Insurance concentration to a bachelor-level degree for students enrolling for fall 2015. 

With a high concentration of unique insurance providers calling Northeast Indiana home, insurance is one of the region's strongest industries and is one of six target industries identified by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.

Total insurance industry employment in Northeast Indiana is 11,570, according to the October Labor Marketing Information Report released last week by Northeast Indiana Works. Employment in the industry is expected to rise four percent over the next decade. As such, in addition to our specialty insurers, NISI members also represent companies with broader portfolios of solutions who share common needs around talent development, awareness and advocacy.

"The commitment of our region's specialty insurers and their leaders to act on priorities of common interest will have a direct impact on the future of Northeast Indiana's economy," said John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. "Assuring a long-term talent pipeline is the number one priority and is absolutely consistent with the region's Vision 2020 initiative and our ability to reach the Big Goal."

Founding NISI members include Sullivan (chair); Dan Weir, American Specialty Insurance; Joe Svitek, Ash Brokerage; Mark Robison, Brotherhood Mutual; Nancy Jordan, Lincoln Financial Group; Del Campbell, Lincoln Financial Group; Tim Smith, MedPro; Eve-Lynn Clarke, University of Saint Francis; Ellen Cutter, Community Research Institute at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne; Ashley Steenman, Greater Fort Wayne Inc; Amy Hesting, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership; and Sampson. 

The Partnership led the formation of NISI as part of its focus on strengthening industry clusters in the region. Greater Fort Wayne Inc. will co-facilitate NISI's meetings and subcommittees.

"Fort Wayne is home to a nationally prominent concentration of specialty insurance companies," said Mark Becker, CEO of Greater Fort Wayne Inc. "Through this collaboration, GFW will work closely with insurance representatives and partner organizations to support the continued growth and expansion of this important industry cluster through advocacy, marketing, and business and community development."

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana. It is a public-private partnership focused on generating business leads and building regional capacity through product development and effective regional collaboration. The Northeast Indiana Fund (Fund) was created in 2005 to operate as a supporting organization of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, focused specifically on product development and regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. Through its combined efforts in business development and capacity building, the Partnership supports its 10 member counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties. For more information, visit



Courtney Tritch
Vice President of Marketing
Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership