IICF’s new Philadelphia chapter announces 1st fundraiser

According to PropertyCasualty360, the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation‘s new Philadelphia Chapter will hold its inaugural fundraiser event on March 30 at Fado Irish Pub on Locust Street in the City of Brotherly Love. Proceeds will benefit Cradles to Crayons. Details, as well as how to obtain tickets to the event, can be found in the PropertyCasualty360 article from Feb. 28, 2017.

Advertisements

Top international minds to address the power of diverse thought, innovation at Women in Insurance Global Conference

The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) will host an international audience of 650 attendees in New York for its third Women in Insurance Global Conference, June 7-9, at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. Discussing meaningful topics of diversity and inclusion, the Women in Insurance Global Conference will explore the global impact of innovation, specifically the advantages and power of diverse thought on issues of innovation, and the importance of a fully inclusive work environment.

wigc-header_pngToday’s industry leaders are confronting issues related to gender, generation and a more globally dispersed and culturally unique workforce. They are also transforming challenges into opportunities for an ever more inclusive workplace. The Women in Insurance Global Conference will host acclaimed keynote speakers, dynamic panel discussions and interactive breakout sessions that address a range of today’s most relevant diversity and inclusion topics.

Notable speakers will discuss global industry innovation and the business case for diversity, including keynote speakers:

  • Victoria Budson, Founder and Executive Director of the Women and Public Policy Program – Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government
  • Dawn Frasier-Bohnert, Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer – Liberty Mutual Insurance
  • Ivy Kusinga, SVP, Chief Culture Officer – Chubb
  • Morris Tooker, Chief Underwriting Officer – The Hartford
  • Bo Young Lee, Global Diversity & Inclusion Leader – Marsh
  • Yuhan Li, Founder – Yidu Cloud
  • Jennifer Brown, Founder, President & CEO – Jennifer Brown Consulting

During the three-day event, IICF will announce the winners of its Inclusion Champion Award, bestowed at each Women in Insurance Global Conference. The award recognizes those within the insurance industry who have championed the cause of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and who are personally committed to community service. This year, both a woman and a man will be honored as Inclusion Champions. Nominations are being accepted via IICF’s website.

“From the start, the Women in Insurance Global Conference has exceeded our expectations in terms of attendance and the commitment and passion of those individuals who contribute to it,” explained William E. Ross, CEO of IICF. “Each year we have an eager gathering of attendees – men and women – committed to making our industry stronger through greater inclusiveness and diversity of thought.”

Early registration for the conference runs until April 12, and interested attendees can register up to and including the start of the conference.

For additional information, please contact Betsy Myatt at emyatt@iicf.com.

About the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation

The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) is a unique nonprofit that unites the collective strengths of the insurance industry to help communities and enrich lives through grants, volunteer service and leadership. Established in 1994, IICF has contributed $25.3 million in community grants, along with more than 240,500 volunteer hours, to hundreds of charities and nonprofit organizations, reinvesting in local communities where funds are raised. IICF is a registered nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code. Learn more at www.iicf.org.

Twitter danger for realtors: provocation, provocation, provocation

Twitter is not a toy, and certainly not something to be used in haste. Just ask Tony Brust, who until last Monday was a real estate agent in Illinois.

On Jan. 31, Brust took to social media to criticize recent political commentary from well-known comedian Patton Oswald. The war of tweets became heated, and in what can only be called a complete lapse of judgement, Brust tweeted a reference to Oswald’s wife, Michelle McNamara, who died unexpectedly in April 2016, saying “I’m a psychic and I am channeling his wife’s opinions.” Oswald and many of his followers took offense, and the debate went – as they say – viral. Inundated, Brust deleted his Twitter account.

screen-shot-2017-02-06-at-10-01-35-am

An image of Tony Brust’s tweet about Patton Oswald’s wife was shared and reshared despite Brust deleting his account.

Brust was fired that day. His employer, Michael Maloof, told the Chicago Tribune, “We were made aware that this had gone on and we parted company.” As of Feb. 6, all of Brust’s social media accounts and his personal website were unpublished. Even his Zillow profile was removed.

The social media lesson here is simple: Don’t be a jerk. Name calling and offensive comments negate the merits of any argument you might be making. And, most importantly, Twitter is not a conversation. It is a permanent digital record subject to review and interpretation by anyone with an Internet connection.

If your livelihood depends on the public choosing you as a professional product or service provider, Twitter debates on any topic – including politics – should be avoided. For real estate professionals specifically, these online spats serve only to expose your reputation to unnecessary risk and can significantly damage your business. What you might think of as a witty comeback can take on a life of its own in ways you cannot imagine – and there are real-life consequences.

If you doubt this, Google “Tony Brust AND real estate.” You won’t find anything about Brust’s advocacy for clients, big sales or his real estate career highlights. What you will find on that first page of your Google search – the holy grail of search and a key to online reputation management – are references to Brust, his infamous tweet and dozens of news articles about the whole affair. And this new reputation – one wholly indifferent to his past real estate career – will follow Brust for a long time.

But it isn’t just heated political commentary that can cause real estate professionals harm. Far too many Realtors post their listings on personal Twitter or Facebook pages – separate from their “business” social media accounts. And under Article 12, Standard of Practice 12-5 of the National Association of Realtors’ Code of Ethics, this is advertising. And if the agent in question hasn’t clearly included information identifying him or herself as a real estate professional and the company for which he or she works, that is a violation of said Code of Ethics.

Social media is a powerful tool for Realtors. It can also be a damaging weapon if not handled with care. Brokerages’ must have clear social media policies and include social media in their crisis communications plans.  Agents would do well to learn a lot more about the platforms they use as well as various social media communications’ best practices to avoid unintended problems.

You wouldn’t try to sell a house without studying real estate and being trained. The same commitment and effort is needed when using social media to promote your business.