Gamma Iota Sigma Newsletter                           
January 2014 
In This Issue
Virtual Career Fair
GIS Webinars
43rd Annual Conference
GIS Career Center
Spotlight on: John Hammond, CPCU
Chapter News: Zeta
Chapter News: Nu
Interview with Beta Iota's Dr. Ed Duett
REMINDER: 2014 Spencer Scholarship Update
AAMGA's Student Research Contest
Noelle Codispoti Named 2013 Woman to Watch
Featured Jobs
Free Subscription to Best's Review Magazine!
Calling All December Graduates and GIS Alumni
Quick Links

Mark Your Calendar!


January 31, 2014


 Spencer Educational Foundation Scholarship Deadline

January 31, 2014


IRU Summer Intern/ Scholarship Program Deadline

February 1, 2014


GIS Webinar Series:

Actuarial Exams

February 5, 2014


GIS Webinar Series:
Preserving Patient Safety
February 20, 2014


GEICO Achievement Award Deadline

February 22, 2014


Johnstone Educational Foundation Scholarship Deadline

February 28, 2014



View all scholarship deadlines and events.

Executive Committee
 John Hammond



Meg Allwein

Executive Vice President


Jason Warden

Vice President


Alan Hoffmann

Vice President

(Past President)


Jeffery W. Lamb

Vice President

(Immediate Past President)


Jake Timmins



Brian Bowerman



Josh Hart

Alumni Representative


Christopher Place

Industry Representative


Dr. RB Drennan

Faculty Representative


Dr. Karen Epermanis

Faculty Representative


Alyssa Bouchard

Student Representative


Mike Kelly

Student Representative


Noelle Codispoti 

Executive Director


Dear Students,

Happy New Year! This month we bring you updates and resources to equip you as you settle in to the work of this semester and beyond.


Don't miss this Thursday's webinar, E&S: The Exciting and Sexy Side of Insurance, presented by GIS and the AAMGA. And be sure to check out all of the upcoming events and scholarship deadlines to keep your academic and professional careers on track. If you are disciplined about taking advantage of the opportunities available to you, you will reap the benefits over and over!


Fraternally yours,

Noelle Codispoti, ARM
Executive Director, Gamma Iota Sigma
Career Connection: Virtual Career Fair
February 13, 2014 - Have You Registered Yet?

Gamma Iota Sigma and Business Insurance have partnered to present the first annual The event is free to students! Details and registration link here, and additional information in the prospectus.

GIS Webinar Series
January 16 at 2:30pm EST

The next installment of the 2013-14 Series, E&S: The Exciting and Sexy Side of Insurance, will take place this Thursday, January 16 at 2:30pm EST. If you haven't yet, register here!


From complicated risks like NASCAR racetracks to exotic risks like one-of-a-kind dream homes and everything in between, the Excess and Surplus Lines Industry has a market for unique exposures. Please join us as we briefly review the inception and evolution of the non-admitted market. The presentation will provide a flavor of the variety of exposures covered as well as an insider's look at the underwriting of these complex and often inimitable policies. Considering this "niche" of the industry is over $20 billion in direct written premium and consistently outperforms the insurance industry at large, you will definitely want to include this segment of the marketplace in your career pursuits. Our presenters will be Danielle Wade of Jackson Sumner & Associates and Gary Romay of Scottsdale Insurance Company.


This webinar is brought to you by GIS and the American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA)the trade association to international wholesale insurance professionals.


Save the date for these upcoming webinars, and take advantage of opportunities to enhance your industry knowledge and ask questions of leading organizations and executives:

  • February 5 at 3:00pm EST: Changes to Actuarial Exams.
  • February 20 at 2:30pm EST: Preserving Patient Safety, presented by AIG.
Thank you to Assurex Global for providing the host technology.
43rd Annual International Conference
Mark Your Calendars!

Gamma Iota Sigma's 43rd Annual International Conference will take place October 2-4, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. The agenda will include a two-day career fair, educational sessions and keynote addresses, in addition to valuable leadership seminars and plenty of networking opportunities. We are actively reaching out to sponsors to make this the most robust event yet. Save the date!

Please note: registration links for students and faculty are sent to schools directly and will be made available over the summer.

GIS Career Center: Opportunity Awaits

Have you visited the new GIS Career Center? It is exclusively for Gamma Iota Sigma members and features internship and job listings from our industry partners. Don't miss out - your next professional opportunity could be on there right now!
It's as easy as 1-2-3:
  1. Go to the Career Center website
  2. Upload your resume
  3. Check out the posted jobs and internships

Spotlight on: John Hammond, CPCU
GIS Board President and AIG's Great Lakes President 

How did you get into insurance?

I was fortunate coming out of Miami University in 1992 in that I had a good contact in the industry - my father. Thanks to him, I got my start at Hartford Insurance in Hartford, Connecticut and it was off to the races. I'm a testament to the great opportunity this industry affords as I've done very well and coming out of college it was not by design. GIS students truly have a huge head start when it comes to building a career in our industry. From Hartford and their fantastic training program, I relocated to Chicago. It was there I moved to AIG. I started in casualty underwriting, made my way into management liability (a great career move - get out of your comfort zone periodically), and then from Chicago to St. Louis into my current track of General Management. Along the way, I didn't stop educating myself as I completed my CPCU and then went on to get my Masters Degree from Northwestern University.  


What do you love most about the industry?

People and Relationships! A big part of insurance, in particular underwriting, is building relationships with your brokers and customers. If you value relationships and work to build them, you will enjoy a lot of success in our industry. I love the people aspect of the business. I've been fortunate to be in management roles and there is no greater satisfaction than watching people succeed. I think that is why I enjoy being around the students of Gamma Iota Sigma. I enjoy seeing them get their first jobs and launch what I know will be long and successful careers.


Why did you get involved with Gamma Iota Sigma?

Back to my point on relationships, I had two people who encouraged me to become involved. They were important relationships and I'm glad to say that John Meder and Steve Marohn are both still engaged as Gamma Iota Sigma board members. My passion for GIS really took off when I attended my first conference and I saw the incredible talent GIS students had to offer our industry. It only increased as Noelle Codispoti stepped in as Executive Director and I realized the growth GIS could achieve and the impact it could have on our industry.


Words of Wisdom

Gamma Iota Sigma students truly have a head start in terms of having successful careers in the insurance industry. However, I would encourage students to play the "long game." There is no doubt they will be successful but those who are patient and thoughtful about their careers will have long-term and sustainable success in our industry. Short-term success can sometimes be easy but success over a long period of time takes patience and planning. That being said, there is no doubt the students of GIS will achieve success in our industry. 


Chapter News: Zeta 
Gamma Goes Green!  


The Zeta Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma at Georgia State University holds one volunteer event per semester, and this past semester we thought we would try something a little different from what we have done in the past.  For Fall semester 2013, we volunteered with Trees Atlanta.


Trees Atlanta is a non-profit group that is dedicated to addressing Atlanta's tree loss, protecting its forests and creating new green space in the city. They utilize volunteers to help plant in the fall and winter months, and to perform routine maintenance on the areas they have already improved. Zeta Chapter members volunteered to help plant trees in the Brookwood Hills community of Atlanta, so new trees can grow to replace those that are missing from the canopy.


Eight GIS members along with about 20 other volunteers went through a crash course in the proper way to plant a tree. We were then given shovels and gloves and began our morning of playing in the dirt. All volunteers planted about 16 trees throughout the neighborhood. The people who live in the community helped as well and were very grateful for our help.


I think I can speak on behalf of my fellow Gammas when I say we were very happy to have been of service. It was a great morning and we helped contribute to the green future of our beautiful city. We look forward to our next volunteer event this spring!


Submitted by Amy Matthes, Zeta Chapter President

Chapter News: Nu
Raking It In 


The Nu Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma at Central Michigan University finds opportunities around the community to volunteer as often as possible. This past fall, we volunteered with the Commission on Aging. The Commission on Aging is a department within the Isabella County Governmental Unit that serves the needs of older adults and their families and has been a part of the Mount Pleasant, Michigan community for over 40 years.  


With autumn quickly turning into winter, the Commission on Aging needed a number of volunteers to spend their Saturday morning raking yards for the elderly in the area. The Nu Chapter saw this as a great opportunity to get involved and give back to the community. It was a cold November morning, but we had a great turnout of 13 members. Because there were so many houses that needed their yards raked, we split into two groups for the day. Between the crisp fall weather and the number of participants, the day of raking seemed to go by in an instant. The residents made it a fun and easy job as well; they constantly brought us doughnuts, cider, and hot chocolate to help keep us warm. They were so grateful for this small act we completed for them.


Activities like these not only benefit the community but also help create a bond between members.  The Nu Chapter has found that volunteering serves as a spectacular opportunity for members to get to know each other outside of the classroom.


Submitted by Hillary Mahoney, Nu Chapter President

Interview with Dr. Ed Duett
Beta Iota Chapter Faculty Advisor

Dr. Ed Duett is Faculty Advisor to the Beta Iota Chapter and Director of the Risk Management & Insurance Program at Troy University's Sorrell College of Business. Beta Iota Chapter was chartered on November 1, 2013, during the NAPSLO E&S Symposium in Birmingham, Alabama.


What drove your school's interest in forming a chapter?

Gamma Iota Sigma provides the ability to interact with industry professionals and students at other universities, which is a great opportunity for our RMI students at Troy University.


What does it mean to you to have a GIS Chapter?

You always want to be associated with a winner and Gamma Iota Sigma is definitely a winning organization. The growth and continued improvement in all aspects of GIS over the past few years have been extraordinary. As I have worked with other universities with Gamma chapters, I have witnessed the increased value of Gamma Iota Sigma for students and universities.


What are your hopes for the new relationship?

I hope our students can learn from the industry professionals and we can see the activities and accomplishments of other universities that might be beneficial for Troy. We are very excited to be part of Gamma Iota Sigma!



Dr. Duett was previously a professor in Eastern Kentucky University's Insurance Studies Program and Chair of Insurance and Professor of Finance Emeritus at Mississippi State University, having retired there in 2010 after 23 years teaching. A prolific writer and active visiting professor, Dr. Duett completed his doctoral studies in 1987 at the University of Georgia after completing an MBA and bachelor's degree at Mississippi State.


2014 Spencer Scholarship Update
Only Online Submissions will be Accepted
Students, take note: the Spencer Educational Foundation will only accept electronic applications for the 2014 scholarship year. Attached is a copy of the application, due January 31, 2014. Students will be required to include all necessary documentation in one document including electronic transcripts, if possible. Students may also download the application from
AAMGA's Student Research Contest 
Enter for a $2000 Award and Trip to Hawaii!

On behalf of the AAMGA University, we invite you to be a part of the fourth annual AAMGA Distinguished Chair Student Research Contest. With this solicitation, the AAMGA seeks research papers on property and casualty industry-related topics focused on the issues and dilemmas faced by organizations and individuals in the Wholesale or Excess and Surplus Lines industry. Papers are due March 1, 2014.

Two winning papers will be selected from the submissions and the authors will be awarded $2000 and, at the AAMGA's expense, invited to attend (with their professor) the AAMGA Annual Meeting at the Hilton Waikoloa Village in Hawaii, May 18-21 2014, where they will be recognized for their achievement. This event, attended by over 1000 individuals, is an invaluable networking experience.


In addition, the winners' research papers will be released to trade publications, including the Wholesale Insurance News (WIN) Magazine dedicated specifically to the Excess and Surplus Lines Industry. We encourage you to be a part of this opportunity! Find all of the details here.


AAMGA logo  

Business Insurance Honors Noelle Codispoti
As 2013 Woman to Watch


GIS Executive Director Noelle Codispoti was selected by Business Insurance as one of its 2013 Women to Watch. The award honors 25 women leaders worldwide each year for their outstanding work in insurance, risk management, employee benefits and related fields. During the December 3 awards luncheon in New York City, Ms. Codispoti spoke about how uniquely positioned Gamma Iota Sigma is to "revolutionize the way the industry recruits fresh talent."


Read the full announcement.

Featured Jobs at Partner Companies
The Hartford:
  • Customer Service Representatives, San Antonio, TX (#1400024)
FREE Subscription to Best's Review!

Be sure you are taking advantage of the special offer from our partner company A.M. Best! Students and faculty can access a FREE subscription to Best's Review magazine - digital version. Link to the registration page here! Best's Review is the premier insurance industry monthly magazine, providing the latest global news and trends, plus industry analysis and featured articles.
Are you a Recent Graduate? Stay in Touch!

Help us keep your contact information current! GIS boasts an alumni base of over 17,000 individuals from our 57 chapters and we need your help in updating our current records. Alumni and soon-to-be-Alumni, please use the link below to update your information, and pass it on to as many fellow graduates as you can.                                       View our profile on LinkedIn Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook