Acentria Unmasqued Conference Recap

Acentria Unmasqued Annual Conference 

Just one week after Acentria’s own “Fat Tuesday” we continue to parade on. With over 400 attendee’s, Acentria‘s Annual Conference was one for the record books this year. We Unmasqued with our highest attendee level of employees and carrier sponsors while we built valuable team bonds, networked with existing and new partners as well as learned insights into company culture, ways to think outside the box and were reminded of the importance of making the most of moments in life and to appreciate what’s right before us.

Mitch Weinstein and Mike Freeman of Acentria Insurance during Opening Ceremonies
Kendall McEachern, CEO

Opening General Session on Friday started with a grand parade entrance lead by the Jammin’ Jambalaya Band and a Second Line consisting of valuable carrier sponsors and Acentria company executives including Kendall McEachern, Kevin Mason, Mitch Weinstein, Mike Freeman, and Mary Lawless. Kelly Johnson, from our Seminole office, sang our National Anthem and Presenting Sponsor, Applied Epic introduced our first guest speaker. Tony Moore, the Culture Architect , spoke to our Krewe and carrier partners about the importance of company culture, cultivating it, believing in the importance of the culture we build as an agency and living day to day. Tony captured our attention with humor and objectivity and kept us wanting more, “That’s Cool”!

Breakout Sessions are an intricate part of Acentria’s Annual conference. This years Breakout Sessions snack break was sponsored by Imperial PFS, a valued partner for insurance premium financing. The Breakout Sessions were sponsored provided poignant department-specific updates from our carrier partners. In Personal Lines, there were market and company updates from Universal Property

In-Depth Breakout Sessions

& Casualty, AmWins Group, Tower Hill Insurance Group, Imperial PFS, Frontline Insurance, US Premium Finance, and Wright Flood. The Commercial Lines breakouts had updates from Burns & Wilcox, CRC Group, Socius, Imperial PFS, CAIS, XS Brokers, AmWins Group, Bankers Insurance, and Brown & Riding. Liberty National Life, AmWins Group, Sun Life and Benefits Mall provided valuable updates and information for the Benefits departments of Acentria. Having time to listen and engage with each of these carriers is valuable to all.

Kechi Okwuchi, winner of the Golden Buzzer on America’s Got Talent, and a survivor of a catastrophic plane crash was this year’s Keynote Speaker. Her story of survival, bravery, and acceptance was beyond inspirational. She reminds us that anything is possible as long as you don’t give up on yourself, embrace your dreams and accept a little help now and then. There may not have been a dry eye in the room while she sang after her Friday Keynote speech or during our awards dinner. Kechi has been gifted, not just with a beautiful voice to sing with but a powerful voice to remind us each to live life and don’t let fear hold you back.

P1 Finance and Tony Moore (not pictured), Team Building Judges
1 of 29 teams presenting to the judges

Team Building this year was a special endeavor. In an effort to try something new, the team created an opportunity not just for the team members of Acentria to come together but our carrier partners to partake in as well. Acentria had their very own Bourbon Street Brigade. The team building brigade consisted of a series of clues, challenges and construction in a race to find pieces to each teams own wagon in order to build, then decorate the wagon as a float in order to participate in the Mardi Gras parade, Acentria style. As teams raced to find, build and decorate the wagons, they discover that it was all in the name of a give back for children in the Orlando and South Florida areas. Each team wagon was donated to The Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families and the backpacks which held the first clue to find the wagons were donated to the children of a local preschool in Fort Lauderdale. In total, we donated 30 Radio Flyer Wagons and over 50 backpacks. The teams then were judged by participating Team Building sponsor P1 Finance and Tony Moore. Participants sang, danced, high stepped, called cadence and even reenacted conference scenes on the parade route. The room was filled with laughter, joy, a little relief and great pride in the ability to donate back to our local community.

Team members enjoyed the Cocktail Reception, sponsored by Socius, just before attending The Inspire Awards Dinner sponsored by Servpro. Dinner was full of excitement and surprise as the names were called in recognition for team members across all of Acentria and Kechi graced us with a closing song. Not to mention, the New Orleans themed dinner and all the delicious accompaniments – Christian Class and the entire team at the JW Marriot Grand Lakes of Orlando did a fantastic job again this year for us.

 

2019 Acentria Annual Awards & Recognitions

All Day Everyday Award: Adrienne Kuhar
All for One…One for All: Cindy Jewett
Mic Drop Award: Aaron Thomas
Bright Future Award: Paul Tucker
Bob Marley Award: Kristy Sanders
Compass Award: Robin Rudd
Calmer of the Storms: Kathy Weigant
Wikipedia Award: Mike Lee
Grandma’s Dumplings Award: Mike Monroe
Lean On Me Award: Denis Janousek
Glow Stick Award: Yvette Nunez
GO 365 Winner: Denis Janousek
Blue Vase Winner: Roger Perkerson
New Business Producer of the Year: Shawn Budney
Overall Top Producer of the Year: Jeff Baiza
New Business Rookie of the Year: Jo Chonko
Overall Rookie of the Year: Vik Patel
Employee of the Year: Stephanie Earnest

Our Saturday session was full of important Acentria updates, news, insights and information about where we are headed as an agency operating in over 50 offices across 4 states and growing. Acentria’s CEO, Kendall McEachern provided valuable feedback and special thanks to some of the Acentria team members working hard behind the scenes. Charlie Lydecker, CEO of Foundation Risk Partners joined in the conversation too. Rob Strano of the Golf Academy, golf coach, and golf tv host joined us as Guest Speaker. After 15 years s a professional golfer, Rob Strano has his own golf academy with instruction provided for all ages and abilities. Rob shared insight into stepping out of your comfort zone to “Unmasque” or reveal the keys to being a greater version of yourself, raising others up with our own kind words and to be a difference-maker in your own life as well as the life of others. You can learn more about Rob and even watch him on NBC’s Golf Channel. Tom Leek, Chief Legal Officer of Foundation Risk Partners, joined the Acentria stage along with Debbie Tappin, Mary Lawless, Jessica Davis, Doreen Castro, Steve DeSorbo and Blake McEachern to review Acentria departmental updates for Claims, Operations, Personal Lines, Benefits and Council updates. We all learned something new and were able to bring back valuable insights to the agency staff not able to attend.

The final part of Saturday’s session and the culmination of the 2019 Annual Acentria Conference wrapped up with the Blue Vase speeches. Each year a handful of Acentria employees are chosen to present their very own “Blue Vase Story”, based on the book The Go Getter. Brian Stanton, President o of our Fort Lauderdale office made the introductions for this year’s speeches by Denis Janousek, Zandra Morgan, Christy Williams, and Roger Perkerson. Each story was different, heartwarming, vulnerable and evoked tears of all kinds. The stories shared are personal to each presenter and gives their Acentria family a window into what makes them each who they are.

For those of you who attended, we hope you enjoyed this years conference events and sessions as well as took home valuable insights and information. We look forward to the year ahead and seeing you at the conference next year.

 

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Rob Wagner

Executive Vice President
Southwest Florida Region

Jason Cruse

Executive Vice President
Central Florida Sales

Mitch Weinstein

Partner

As partner of Acentria Insurance, Mitch plays an integral role in mergers & acquisitions. He focuses on seeking out strategic like-minded partners and agencies, across the southeastern United States, to partner and join the Acentria family.

Mitch has over 42 years of business leadership experience that ranges from law enforcement to the finance, healthcare and insurance industries. He was instrumental in developing the nation’s first “at-risk” managed care network for physical and occupational therapy serving the worker’s compensation industry. This network paved the way for a new managed care system, based on incentives.

Mitch is passionate about giving back to the youth of his community. He is an active supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Polk County and believes in helping all young people reach their full potential. He is also the founder of Fallen First Reserve which is a non-profit organization dedicated to financially assisting those family members of First Responders killed in the line of duty and military members killed in action. Mitch also serves on the board for Fund the First.

Mary Lawless

President & Chief Operating Officer

As President and Chief Operating Officer, Mary brings over three decades of industry expertise to Acentria Insurance. With a strong focus on Mergers & Acquisitions, Mary is passionate about partnering with new agencies and leaders to continue the overall upward growth of Acentria. She works in conjunction with the CEO to lead and deliver specialized sales products, services and industry leading capabilities while implementing business and sales strategies to the Acentria sales team and carrier partners. Mary has direct oversight of all operational leaders throughout the entire organizational footprint and is responsible for operational financials and budgets.

She empowers her team members and because of it, is well respected by her peers and those she leads. Since her time with Acentria, Mary’s leadership has contributed to the agency’s exponential growth from 15 to well over 50 locations, increasing employment to over 700 team members, across the southeastern United States. Due to her leadership and contributions to the insurance industry, she has been nationally recognized as one of Insurance Business America magazine’s Elite Women and serves as a valuable member on the Executive Committee for Foundation Risk Partners, Acentria’s parent company. Prior to joining Acentria Insurance, Mary led operations for another national broker. Throughout her tenure, she has held a variety of management positions in Personal Lines, Select Business and Employee Benefits. Mary specializes in agency operations, partnerships and acquisitions and is truly passionate about developing team members to become great leaders.

When not shaping the future industry leaders at Acentria Insurance, Mary enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, Pat and their family and friends.

Kendall McEachern

Co-Founder

Kendall was a fundamental part of Acentria Insurance. As a co-founder, he brought more than 30 years of industry expertise to Acentria, helping transform the organization into a leading insurance provider. Beloved by team members, carrier partners and clients, he oversaw more than 400,000 insured multi-family units with property values greater than $22 billion, and over four million square feet of commercial office space and real estate buildings. Kendall has received numerous industry awards to include being recognized as a National Top Producer and Agent of the Year by both Insurance Business America and Insurance Journal. Away from the office, he served as chairman for the American Heart Association, actively participated in his church and golfing, watching sports and spending time with his family. Kendall passed away in January of 2021, leaving a lasting legacy on Acentria’s culture, success, industry-wide reputation – and on all of us fortunate to have worked alongside him.

Liz Bevelacqua

Senior Vice President
Personal Lines Sales

Doreen Castro

Senior Vice President
Personal Lines Operations

Jessica Davis

Senior Vice President
Marketing & Branding

Jackie Shaw

Senior Vice President
Commercial Lines

Nathan Marks

Executive Vice President
Northwest Florida and Tallahassee

Alan Florez

Executive Vice President, National Sales

Alan leads new business growth strategies and expansion, guides the development of resources and training for Sales Producers and their partnerships with Carriers. With over 15 years of industry experience, Alan also leads the Acentria Public Risk divisions working with municipalities and government entities for their coverage needs. He was appointed to the Halifax Health Board of Commissioners December 2020 and also serves as an Executive Committee member for our parent company, Foundation Risk Partners.

Previously, Alan served as Governor Jeb Bush’s Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs and Special Assistant. He is a former member of the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees and currently volunteers his time with the Florida Council of 100, Futures Foundation of Volusia County Schools and the Community Foundation of Flagler and Volusia. Alan holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Central Florida.

Brian Stanton

Executive Vice President
West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Florida Keys

Chris Tolland

Executive Vice President
Northeast Florida Sales

Luke Wolkers

Executive Vice President
Benefits

Eric Austin

Operations Lead
Port St. Lucie & West Palm Beach

Alex Doberstein

Vice President
Benefits Resource Leader

Teresa Fillmon

Vice President
Small Business Unit

Anne Kraus

Vice President
Panhandle of Florida Region

Kevin Mason

Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder

As Chief Executive Office of Acentria Insurance, Kevin focuses on developing insurance solutions that strengthen Acentria’s presence in the market and its commitment to client-relationships and exceptional service. With over 35 years of industry experience, he specializes in the overall growth of Acentria as is passionate about bringing new talent to the organization both organically and through mergers and acquisitions. Through his leadership and the support of the Executive Leadership team, Acentria Insurance instills a positive corporate culture which has led the agency in being recognized as a leader within our industry as a Top 100 Workplace, Employer of Choice, Best Agency to Work For and several other national and regional accolades.

Before co-founding Acentria Insurance, Kevin served as Branch Manager for another national broker. Kevin holds the prestigious title as an Agent of the Year and five-time National Top Producer. He is also a key member of the Foundation Risk Partners Executive Committee, which is the parent company of Acentria Insurance, while also serving as the National Director for Carrier Relations. In addition, Kevin oversees the Sales Leadership Council, which encompasses sales leaders across the entire FRP footprint in an effort to develop and refine shared resources while offering producer training and development programs.

Kevin received a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from the University of West Florida. He is very active in his community and served over a decade on the Board of Directors of Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation and remains as a trustee, which funds over 14 children’s charities along the Florida Panhandle. He is also a member of the Destin Chamber of Commerce, Community Association Institute and Florida Association of Insurance Agents. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys golfing, tennis, boating and spending time with his wife Laura, and their children.