Gamma Iota Sigma News                        
July 2014
In This Issue
2014 Conference: Register Now!
Thank You, 2014 Sponsors!
Student Spotlight: Sarah Shelton '14
GIS Career Center
Student Spotlight: Jean Celestin '14
NEW Career Resources Hub
Student Spotlight: Ali Rosenberg '15
Student Spotlight: Logan Mendenhall '14
Calling all GIS Alumni!
Seeking Scholarships
Quick Links

Board of Trustees

Margaret Accordino, ARM


Khadine Adams


Meg Allwein*


Lauri Atkinson


Michael Boa


Alyssa Bouchard*


Brian Bowerman*


Noelle Codispoti, ARM*


Glenn Dorr


RB Drennan, Ph.D.*


Karen Epermanis*


Brittany Foye


Jacob Galecki


Wesley Griffiths


John Hammond*


Josh Hart*


Derek Hazeltine


Jeffrey D. Henry, M.Ed.


Alan F. Hoffmann*


Peter Hohman, FCIP, CRM, CAE, ICD.D


William J. Hold


Cynthia Hornby


Mike Kelly*


Tim Kelly


Matt Kletzli


Julia Kramer


Jeff Lamb*


Lance A. Lancour


Tim Leman


Lyric Lewis, AIC, FLMI, AIAA, ACS


Steve Marohn


Stephanie McElroy


John Meder


Peter Miller, CPCU


Christopher Place, FSA, EA*


Paige Stiefel


William Tarinelli, Jr.


Jason Terrell


Jacob Timmins*


Jason Warden*


Dr. Alan C. Williams, Emeritus


Decker Youngman



* Executive Committee Member

2014 Conference: Secure Your Spot!

If your organization has not yet signed on as a sponsor, there is still time! On October 2-4, 2014 in Dallas, Texas, Gamma Iota Sigma will present the 43rd Annual International Conference, Industry Legends Past, Present and Future. This is the premier event for the insurance industry to engage the next generation, with 2014 shaping up to be the biggest and best conference yet. The agenda includes:
  • Two-day career fair
  • Keynote speakers
  • Educational sessions
  • On-site first-round interviews
  • Plenty of networking events
Last year, 405 students from 38 colleges and universities across North America participated, and we are expecting 500 students in 2014! This year's accomplished group is looking to meet you!

Our students are the future leaders of the insurance industry - support their passion and come and meet them! Sponsorship opportunities are going fast: find a package that's right for you.

Thank You, Sponsors!



Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers





Atlantic Specialty Lines, Inc.

Brown & Brown

The Hartford

Hull & Company

Liberty Mutual Group

Lockton Companies

Markel Corporation



A.M. Best Company

Amerisure Mutual Insurance Company

Assurex Global

Burns & Wilcox

Casualty Actuarial Society

CNA Insurance

Derek Hughes/NAPSLO Educational Foundation

Munich Re

RIMS Student Advisory Council

RT Specialty

Society of Actuaries

Spencer Educational Foundation

Swiss Re


Wells Fargo Insurance Services



ACE Group


American Association of Managing General Agents

Chubb & Son

The Institutes

The Insurance Institute of Canada

Lloyd's America

The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research

National Interstate Insurance Company

Professional Liability Underwriting Society

The Surety & Fidelity Association of America

The Surety Foundation

Westfield Insurance


Zurich Insurance



All Risks, Ltd.

Arthur J. Gallagher

The Cincinnati Insurance Companies

Ezra Penland Actuarial Recruitment




Accident Fund Holdings, Inc.

Boyden World Corporation

EMC Insurance Companies

GAINSCO Auto Insurance


General Re

Gibson Insurance

Hoffman & Associates Insurance

Regional Excess Underwriters


Sponsor Listing as of July 30, 2014. View the list online.

Summer Spotlight: Sarah Shelton '14
Alpha Lambda Chapter



Sarah Shelton

Missouri State University

Alpha Lambda Chapter

Majors: Finance, Risk Mgmt. & Insurance

Graduation: May 2014


You just graduated, what is next for you?

I have accepted a Risk Management Analyst position at Willis in Overland Park, KS to begin at the end of July. I am excited to begin my career with Willis, because the structure of the training program fit really well with my career goals; the Willis Cause and culture seems to fit well with my values; and the people I met along the interview process were all extremely welcoming. At Willis, I hope to learn about everything from current trends and the latest risk management tools to how to build relationships with corporate clients. Having completed two very different corporate risk management internships, I am excited to learn the other side of the business and gain a new perspective.


What are your summer plans besides work?

So far, this summer has been one big whirlwind. As a graduation gift, I went on a weeklong lighthouse trip to Cape Cod and Maine. Since then, I have been busy with family, weddings, and Royals games. After a two-month break from school and work, I have now moved into my own place and will be starting work in less than one week.


What do you hope to accomplish personally in the next year?

My goals for this year all involve trying to make the infamous transition from college life to the real world. This includes learning to make something other than Easy Mac for dinner, getting on a schedule that does not involve pulling all-nighters, and reading books that do not have McGraw Hill written on the front cover.


What was a pivotal moment in deciding to pursue a career in insurance?

I do not know if there was one pivotal moment that led me to a career in insurance; it was more of a culmination of many events. When the 2008 housing bubble killed my dream of being a real estate agent, my family doctor starting talking to me about actuarial science as a career. As I started looking into taking actuarial exams, I landed a Risk Management Internship at O'Reilly Automotive. This internship opened my eyes to the corporate side of risk management, and I realized that my place in the industry was not in actuarial science. Two weeks later, I switched my major to Risk Management and Insurance.


How has GIS helped prepare you for where you are now?

GIS has helped prepare me for a career in risk management and insurance in many ways. Since joining GIS my sophomore year, I have learned about the industry through educational sessions held at conferences, practiced my networking and interviewing skills at countless GIS events, and made connections that I will be able keep throughout my career.


What would you say to students considering a career in insurance?

To students interested in pursuing a career in insurance, I would say to try to get involved outside of the classroom in any way possible, as early as possible. Joining a professional organization, such as GIS, or getting internship experience will do two things. First, you will be able to practice skills you learn in the classroom and get hands on experience. Second, you will inadvertently start to network with people of the industry, and those connections will prove invaluable in the future.


Did you benefit from scholarships or other resources from any of Gamma Iota Sigma's partner organizations?

I am grateful to have received multiple scholarships and resources from GIS's partnerships. I have been a Spencer Scholar for the past two years, and am currently pursuing my ARM designation through the Institutes. I have also received multiple scholarships from the Ozarks Area chapter of RIMS, who has worked very hard to include the students in the organization. I have worked with them over the past two years to create and maintain their chapter website and have enjoyed countless dinners and networking events with their members.


What is your hometown?

Kansas City, MO


What is your favorite hobby?

In my spare time, I really enjoy attending sporting events with my friends and family. I love the competitive atmosphere surrounding sports, and the company is always great. 


A city where you would love to work...

Chicago or Kansas City (of course!)


A place you would most like to visit...



GIS Career Center: Targeted Recruiting
Build Your Pipeline, Attract Top Talent  
Are you looking to hire the best and brightest students preparing for careers in the insurance industry? Visit the GIS Career Center, a resource to reach Gamma Iota Sigma members exclusively, where you can easily:
  • post your internships for FREE!
  • post entry-level job opportunities
  • search student resumes
  • set up a resume alert
  • manage applicants
Our 2,100+ student members are majoring in Risk Management, Insurance, Actuarial Science and more, including Statistics, Finance, Business and Mathematics. Don't miss out - your future employees are looking for the opportunity to work with you!

View rates and post now!
Summer Spotlight: Jean Celestin II '14
Alpha Kappa Chapter


Jean Celestin II

Illinois State University

Alpha Kappa Chapter

Major: Insurance

Graduation: May 2014


You just graduated, what is next for you?

Mid-June, I started as an Underwriting Trainee at Chubb in Chicago in their Department of Financial Institutions. The exciting part in this new chapter is using the knowledge I gained in college (and prior) to the real world and benefit of my company. My education continues every day, and I hope to grow into the best professional I can possibly be.


What are your summer plans besides work?

I generally don't make plans. I like to go with the flow and see what life throws my way. Some exciting things that have happened so far are the start of an insurance softball league and the signing of my first real apartment in downtown Chicago!


What do you hope to accomplish personally in the next year?

I am a basketball fanatic and have always been interested in being a referee. I am currently looking into obtaining my license to ref basketball games in Chicagoland!


What was a pivotal moment in deciding to pursue a career in insurance?

My decision was made when I met Jim Jones and Debbie Babcock from the Katie School of Insurance. Jim did a great job of explaining what a career in insurance looked like, as well as providing many workshops to develop the skill set future employers were looking for. Debbie was my go-to person for anything and everything. She is like a second mother to me, and I can't thank her enough for all the amazing opportunities she has presented to me, and to so many other Katie School students.


How has GIS helped prepare you for where you are now?

Gamma does a wonderful job educating and connecting its members. With respect to education, there are so many opportunities within the insurance industry that I would not be aware of without attending different GIS sponsored events. We didn't cover topics such as the excess and surplus lines in our insurance curriculum; however, Gamma sponsors the NAPSLO Symposium in Chicago to expose us to that side of the business. In terms of connecting members, you think of networking; it's a term that seems to be overused, but is so vital to the industry. Networking is the exact reason I was able to acquire internships and secure a job right after college. There are so many great people in the industry with great advice to offer. I had a binder full of business cards I acquired over the years of attending different on-campus events and GIS conferences. Even in my short time at Chubb, I found myself referring to that binder to contact old mentors or ask questions of experienced professionals.


What would you say to students considering a career as an underwriter?

The role of an underwriter seems to be evolving. From my time in school and short tenure in the real world, I can see how underwriting is moving away from being a full-time analyst, to a combination of analyst, marketer, and consultant. In my opinion, that is exciting because I enjoy the interaction with brokers and adding value to the transaction. There is no right or wrong path, but starting on the carrier side is a great way to begin your career.


Did you benefit from scholarships or other resources from any of Gamma Iota Sigma's partner organizations?

I was a recipient of scholarships from the Angus Robinson, Jr. Memorial Foundation, FAME, Spencer Educational Foundation, and various Katie School Awards and Programs. Each award or program I was associated with helped in my professional development. Financial awards gave me peace of mind and the opportunity to focus on my studies while being a full-time student. Programs run through the Katie School of Insurance and other opportunities at RIMS got me prepared for the insurance industry. The Katie School exposed me to different sectors of the industry while providing countless opportunities to learn and network. Other organizations such as RIMS and Spencer provided the Risk Management Challenge, which allowed students from Risk Management schools across the nation to showcase their knowledge, teamwork, and collaboration. During the process I grew my knowledge base, polished public presentation skills, and built the courage to speak about Insurance and Risk Management strategies in front of a room full of brilliant professionals.


What is your hometown?

Crystal Lake, IL


What is your favorite hobby?

Playing and watching collegiate or professional basketball. GO BULLS!


A city where you would love to work...

Southern California


A place you would most like to visit...

Sydney, Australia

NEW Career Resources Hub
#GammaIS Insuring the Future of Insurance

GIS has launched a comprehensive online Career Resources Hub, a widely collaborative effort carried out in partnership with trade groups and professional associations to avail the industry's collective resources to the next generation of insurance professionals.
Through a combination of dedicated career path pages, career tools, roadmaps, surveys, and quizzes, the new Career Resources section introduces students and young professionals to the many different insurance industry careers available and provides resources to help them find their fit. Not only can students access valuable career planning and professional development resources, they can also learn about the organizations offering these resources.

Thank you to the many partner organizations who generously availed their resources and extensive knowledge to this project!
Read the full press release here.

Summer Spotlight: Ali Rosenberg '15
Beta Alpha Chapter


Ali Rosenberg

The University of Iowa

Beta Alpha Chapter

Major: Finance & Management,

Risk Mgmt. & Insurance Certificate

Graduation: May 2015


You have one more year before graduation; how are you spending the summer?

This summer I was selected for the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices (NAPSLO) Internship Program, where I will be spending four weeks with a wholesaler brokerage firm and five weeks at a surplus lines insurance carrier. I am eager to participate in this rotational program exploring a variety of operations and different lines of coverage. After this summer, I hope to find where my talents will best fit for a career after graduation. 


What are your summer plans besides work?

I have been exploring new cities and meeting many people thanks to my NAPSLO Internship. I love being outdoors as much as possible and enjoy biking, running or attending cookouts with family and friends. This August I will also be participating in Leadership Iowa University, which is a weeklong program designed for aspiring leaders.


What do you hope to accomplish personally in the next year?

I have had a great three years at The University of Iowa and am looking forward to an amazing senior year. I know time will fly, so I want to make sure I enjoy the times spent with my friends and show my school pride. This academic year I will be the Executive Vice President for GIS and President of Women in Business. My goal within both of these organizations is to lead them on the right path to success that will continue after I graduate. I want to leave the University of Iowa with a lasting impact and unforgettable memories.


What was a pivotal moment in deciding to pursue a career in insurance?

After attending the 42nd Annual International Gamma Iota Sigma Conference in Charlotte, NC, I knew insurance would lead me to a successful and rewarding career. At the conference I was able to meet other Gamma students, attend educational sessions on topics not taught in the classroom, and interview with potential employers. The conference further displayed how devoted the industry is in educating and obtaining young talent. 


How has GIS helped prepare you for where you are now?

Gamma Iota Sigma increased my knowledge and exposure to all the opportunities within the risk management and insurance industry. Thanks to GIS, I have been able to define my passion and am on the successful track to finding a rewarding career.


What would you say to students considering a career in E&S?

A career in the excess and surplus lines industry will provide you with an exciting, rewarding and prosperous career that will push you to your fullest professional potential. There are numerous opportunities that will suit a variety of skill sets and personalities. E&S lines are fast-paced, innovative, and a competitive segment of the insurance industry that is eager to find talented students.


Did you benefit from scholarships or other resources from any of Gamma Iota Sigma's partner organizations?

I was awarded the Anita Benedetti Student Involvement Program Scholarship, which afforded me the opportunity to attend the Risk Management Society (RIMS) Conference in Denver this past April. Being an Anita Benedetti Scholar was a true honor and a spectacular opportunity. I attended many insightful, educational sessions that covered topics outside my risk management and insurance coursework. I was also able to connect with many ambitious students and influential professionals.


I have been fortunate to receive multiple scholarships due to my academic achievements within my risk management and insurance studies. I was a Spencer Educational Foundation Scholar and have also been awarded scholarships through the Greater Quad Cities RIMS Chapter, Iowa Insurance & Financial Services Education Foundation, and the Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa. This financial support has allowed me to continue to excel in my studies and reach my goals.


What is your hometown?

Des Moines, IA


What is the most meaningful way to spend your time?

Time spent with my family and close friends is most meaningful to me. Nothing is better than surrounding myself with people I love and support.


A city where you would love to work...

After spending the majority of my summer in Kansas City, MO, I know it would be a place I would love to work. I am also interested in exploring new cities.


A place you would most like to visit...

Lloyd's of London or the Greek Islands!

Summer Spotlight: Logan Mendenhall '14
Alpha Epsilon Chapter 

Logan Mendenhall

Indiana State University

Alpha Epsilon Chapter

Major: Insurance and Risk Management

Graduation: May 2014


You just graduated, what is next for you?

I will be working for All Risks, a wholesale excess and surplus lines brokerage, in their Phoenix, AZ office. I'm excited because this is the exact job I saw myself doing once I learned about all the sides of the insurance industry. As the middleman in the transaction, I hope to learn about the retail and the carrier side of the E&S market while developing my own skills as a broker.


What are your summer plans besides work?

I had four weeks from the time I graduated until I had to report to All Risks' home office in Baltimore for training, so I just spent as much time with my friends and family as I could since I will be moving so far away from the Midwest.


What do you hope to accomplish personally in the next year?

I picked up the game of golf around two years ago since it's a valuable skill to have in the insurance industry, so being in Phoenix with nice weather essentially all year, I would like to improve my golf game.


What was a pivotal moment in deciding to pursue a career in insurance?

For me personally, it was receiving the Gongaware Scholarship from Indiana State University, which is specifically for insurance and risk management, but my pitch to others when trying to convince them that insurance is a great career path is the quite simply variety within the industry. No matter what someone's personality is, there is a position within the industry for them. Analytical types might try underwriting or becoming an actuary; those who love people or sales can be on the retail side; and if someone enjoys both sides then they might find a career they enjoy as a broker.


How has GIS helped prepare you for where you are now?

Coming into college, my only real knowledge of the industry was essentially just that of local agents. GIS introduced me to a whole new world of insurance, and a sense of where everything fits and how it all works together. Gaining this understanding early on helped me explore the different areas of the industry in-depth and figure out what I wanted in a career, while developing countless relationships with insurance professionals and other GIS students.


What would you say to students considering a career in E&S?

Plain and simple: do it!  E&S gives you something new and different each day, so it keeps your job exciting throughout your career. Marcus Payne always says, "I never knew how bored I was until I got into excess and surplus lines insurance." Luckily for me, I won't have to experience the boredom!


Did you benefit from scholarships or other resources from any of Gamma Iota Sigma's partner organizations?

I was a Spencer Scholar and an Anita Benedetti Scholar. Beyond the obvious financial benefits, the Benedetti scholarship allowed me to attend the RIMS Conference this past year, which was an unbelievable experience.


What is your hometown?

Oblong, IL (pop. 1,466)


What is your favorite hobby?

I don't necessarily have one thing I do regularly, but I enjoy any outdoor activity.


A city where you would love to work...

The city I will actually be working in, Phoenix.  Beyond that, I would love to work in London.


A place you would most like to visit...

I was fortunate enough to be able to study abroad in college so I have seen a lot of Europe, but I would love to visit Cape Town, South Africa or Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Calling All GIS Alumni!
Stay in Touch for the Latest News and Updates!
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Help us keep your contact information currentGIS boasts an annual membership of over 2,100 students and an alumni base of more than 20,000 individuals from our 60 chapters, and we need your help in updating our records. Use the link below to update your details, and pass it on to fellow alumni!

Scholarships: Investing in the Future
We Help Match Talent with Resources

Does your company or organization offer scholarships to students? Let us help spread the word among Gamma Iota Sigma members! Email us the details or for further discussion.


We hope to see you in Dallas!

Noelle Codispoti, ARM
Executive Director, Gamma Iota Sigma                                       View our profile on LinkedIn Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook