More students, more graduates, more jobs as disabled veterans launch their insurance careers—plus an exciting new partnership with The National Alliance
By Elisabeth Boone, CPCU
Most of us would agree that, when it comes to second chances, no one deserves them more than our brave military veterans who are coming home with what often are serious and disabling injuries. Thanks to their rigorous training, discipline, and leadership skills, veterans make excellent employees—but on returning home, many with disabilities face what seem to be insurmountable obstacles when it comes to finding a job with career potential.
By now the readers of Rough Notes are familiar with Disabled Veterans Insurance Careers (DVIC), a nonprofit organization with a specific and noble mission: “To educate, train, and create meaningful employment opportunities within the insurance industry for disabled veterans.”
Established in 2011 by Gary Trippe and Jim Pender, the now-retired principals of Oswald Trippe & Company in Fort Myers, Florida (now a unit of BB&T), DVIC develops support for its mission by forming relationships with insurers and reinsurers, agencies and brokerages, wholesalers, industry consultants, and trade associations. DVIC also works with the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service (VR&E), a division of the federal Department of Veterans Affairs, and other veteran-connected organizations to identify candidates for its training program. DVIC partners with The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research to develop a curriculum that prepares the disabled veterans for successful careers in the insurance industry. DVIC’s relationship with The National Alliance recently underwent a significant expansion, as we’ll learn later in the article.
Trippe serves as chairman of DVIC, and its president and chief executive officer is retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Gary Bryant. DVIC has both a strategic board and an operating board, and Rough Notes Company president and publisher Walter Gdowski serves on the strategic board. In 2012, DVIC received the 2011 Rough Notes Community Service Award for its commitment to preparing disabled veterans for meaningful insurance careers.
“We continued to receive generous donations from individuals as well as some support from the industry.”
—Lieutenant Colonel Gary L. Bryant
U.S. Army (Ret.)
President and Chief Executive Officer
Disabled Veterans Insurance Careers
DVIC’s partner agencies include HUB International in Chicago; Armed Forces Insurance Exchange (AFI) in Leavenworth, Kansas, which sponsored the training of four veterans; BB&T-Oswald Trippe and Company, Fort Myers, Florida; Rosier Insurance Services in Bonita Springs, Florida; RTI Insurance in Fort Myers; Gary Green State Farm Agency in Fort Myers; Tower Hill Insurance Group in Gainesville, Florida; and Midwestern Risk Advisors in Wausau, Wisconsin.
“There’s no shortage of demand for educated and trained disabled veterans to work in the insurance industry,” Trippe asserts. “We get calls all the time from insurers and agencies that would like to hire qualified veterans, many of them right here in Southwest Florida. It all comes down to the funding and who’s going to pay for the education and training. Our challenge is to keep raising those funds.”
“This collaboration represents a global effort to bring professional career opportunities and quality education in insurance and risk management to veterans and their families.”
—William T. Hold, Ph.D.
CIC, CPCU, CLU
Founder and President
The National Alliance for
Insurance Education & Research
Fundraising efforts in 2015 were successful, Bryant says. “We continued to receive generous donations from individuals as well as support from the industry,” he comments. DVIC also has received significant funding from the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, which covered some of the costs of educating and training disabled veterans in Florida.
A key partnership expands
A recently expanded key relationship will help DVIC with its fundraising responsibilities and will use a model in which agencies and insurers pay the costs of training disabled veterans. Those who wish to do so can still provide scholarship donations to help cover the cost of training veterans and family members who are not yet employed by an agency or insurer.
In July of this year, DVIC and The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research entered into a collaborative agreement for the purpose of increasing the career opportunities for all veterans. The entities have parallel missions: DVIC seeks to educate, train, and provide meaningful career opportunities for disabled veterans while The National Alliance Careers for Life Program endeavors to do the same for all veterans, transitioning service members, military spouses, and eligible family members. The two organizations are working together under a management team led by Beverly A. Messer, CIC, CRM, CISR, senior vice president of academic development at The National Alliance, and Bryant of DVIC.
“There’s no shortage of demand for educated and trained disabled veterans to work in the insurance industry.”
—Gary V. Trippe, CIC, CPIA
Oswald Trippe & Co. (retired)
Co-founder, Disabled Veterans
Launched in 2012, the Careers for Life program is a joint initiative with Florida State University that focuses on recruiting service men and women, veterans, and their spouses to pursue civilian careers in the risk management and insurance industry. The goal of the initiative is to offer CISR, CIC, and CRM education, training, and mentoring programs so that these men and women will be “career-ready” upon their completion of training.
On September 30 of this year, DVIC and The National Alliance announced a major expansion of their strategic partnership. The mission focus of DVIC on serving disabled veterans will continue past September 30, but after that date the responsibility for funding the compensation and training costs of the DVIC program will be assumed by the agencies or companies that employ the veterans. This structure will follow the model that DVIC has been using with veteran training at Armed Forces Insurance Exchange. AFI is a reciprocal exchange that offers personal lines, business, and life insurance to military veterans and their families, and it currently employs graduates of the DVIC program whom AFI sponsored through the training program.
Both the DVIC identity and mission focus transferred to The National Alliance Research Academy. Responsibility for governing the DVIC mission transferred to the Research Academy’s board of directors.
Speaking of the expanded partnership, Trippe commented that “working together we are convinced we can all better serve those who have served our country and sacrificed so much.”
“This collaboration represents a global effort to bring professional career opportunities and quality education in insurance and risk management to veterans and their families,” said Dr. William T. Hold, CIC, CPCU, CLU, president of The National Alliance.
In the five years since it was established, Disabled Veterans Insurance Careers clearly has made impressive strides toward achieving its objective of providing meaningful career opportunities in insurance for our nation’s brave disabled veterans. Rough Notes will continue to follow DVIC and The National Alliance as they expand their reach and form new partnerships within the insurance industry.
For more information:
Disabled Veterans Insurance Careers