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Take a look back at our annual conference, held this past June in Buffalo, New York!

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Published by NYIA, 2017-07-31 15:08:24

2017 Annual Conference Review

Take a look back at our annual conference, held this past June in Buffalo, New York!

by Christopher Behrend PEOPLE. PURPOSE. PASSION.

NYIA 2017



3 days
235 attendees
105 member companies
8 sessions
42 silo tour adventurers
1 giant dance floor
and a whole lot of
fun in Buffalo!

NYIA 2017 Annual Conference • Review

thank you message

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Thanks to the devoted membership of the New York Insurance Association, the 2017 Annual Conference
at the Hyatt Regency in Buffalo, New York was another great success. The theme of the 2017 conference
was People. Purpose. Passion. and this year members came together to purposefully pursue a passion for
constantly improving the property and casualty insurance market.

More than 230 insurance industry professionals traveled to New York’s Queen City to hear from 17 expert
speakers. This year’s agenda included some of the most critical topics facing property and casualty insurers
with sessions on cyber risk, fraud, disruptors and the investment environment. Attendees also had the
opportunity to hear from the New York State Department of Financial Services as well as key legislators
from the Buffalo area.

In addition to the informative education sessions, 20 vendors participated in the exhibit show and provided
information about the services and products they provide. Those who enjoy hitting the links participated
in a golf tournament and a putting contest—complete with the chance to win $10,000. After the banquet
dinner on Thursday, attendees enjoyed the musical stylings of local band Me and the Boys.

We hope to see you at next year’s Annual Conference in Saratoga Springs, New York at the Saratoga Hilton,
Wednesday, May 30 through Friday, June 1. Please share this review with your industry colleagues so they
can get a sense of what NYIA has in store for the 2018 Annual Conference.


Steven Coffey Ellen Melchionni
NYIA Chair NYIA President


the location
Buffalo, New York

NYIA 2017 Annual Conference • Review


this year we learned…


Scott Fischer, executive deputy superintendent of the New Ellen Melchionni, NYIA and Scott Fischer, New York State
York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) delivered Department of Financial Services
the keynote address at this year’s conference outlining
the agency’s various initiatives, including revamping the
market conduct exam process and increased involvement
in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. He
also emphasized that one of DFS’s top priorities is efforts
to stop fraud. Fischer indicated that DFS was going to look
to continue their collaborative efforts with the industry,
pointing to cyber security as an example. He said that DFS
strives to make decisions based on facts and logic, which
will be essential as the relatively new agency leadership
concludes this inaugural year in their regulatory roles and
sets the direction for future regulation in New York.


The conference officially got underway Thursday morning James Trainor, Aon
with featured speaker James Trainor, senior vice president Cyber Solutions
with Aon Cyber Solutions Group, who discussed The Group, delivering
Changing Tides of Cyber Risk. Trainor, who is the former his presentation
head of cyber for the FBI, kicked off the conference by
sharing his keen insights on information security. Insurance on The Changing
companies are certainly aware of the risks related to cyber Tides of Cyber Risk
attacks and breaches, but as the issue continues to rapidly
develop, Trainor’s analysis was valuable for attendees
to hear. It is particularly important for the property and
casualty industry to consider all facets of our unique position
when it comes to cyber—protecting ourselves as companies
as well as offering cyber protection to policyholders.

NYIA 2017 Annual Conference • Review

A dynamic discussion on
Fighting Fraud Together
featured a panel of fraud
experts whose collective
experience totaled nearly 180
years. As fraud costs New York
$2.3 billion a year, discussions
focused on how to better
communicate to the public
that insurance fraud is a crime
thats everyone pays for.


Moderator: Floyd Holloway, Counsel, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company Panelists: Kevin Gallagher, director field operations –
Northeast Region, National Insurance Crime Bureau; Frank Orlando, director of criminal investigations – Insurance Frauds Bureau, New York
State Department of Financial Services; David Rioux, vice president special investigations, Erie Insurance Group; and Candace Vogel, chief
special investigations unit, Erie County District Attorney’s Office

Equally experienced in both traditional and startup
spaces, our presenters discussed the variety of
models and the overall themes of innovation,
transformation and disruption. The conversation
cut through the hype and gave the audience a real
look at what the insurance marketplace looks like
today and how it will further evolve in the future.
Panelists seemed to agree that borrowing the best
from traditional and startup models will benefit the
entire insurance market.


Panelists Michael Cronin, Cronin Consulting Services, Inc.; Alex
Tsetsenekos, Archimedes Analytics LLC; and moderator Bernard Turi,
Utica National Insurance Group


During Friday morning’s opening session,
a panel of Buffalo-area legislative leaders
answered questions about their priority issues
and provided perspective on property and
casualty legislation being considered.
Legislators spent a considerable amount
of time discussing how New York’s laws
could be changed to enable companies to
be innovative and update the state’s archaic
legal structure.


Senator Jacobs; Assemblymember Hawley; Assemblymember Peoples-Stokes;
Assemblymember Walter; and NYIA Legislation and Regulation Committee Chair

William Melchionni, AIG


Harry Starrett provided astute analysis of the economic
realities at play and what insurance companies may
expect moving forward when it comes to the investment
environment, identifying where insurance companies can
potentially look to find good relative value and attractive
risk adjusted returns.

Harry Starrett, New England Asset Management Group and
NYIA Chair Steve Coffey, Broome Co-operative Insurance

Always last, but never least, on the ...AND SMALL COMPANIES
program was the annual Small Company
Roundtable moderated this year by
Norman Orlowski, president and CEO of
Erie and Niagara Insurance Association.
The roundtable was the perfect
opportunity for regional companies to
discuss common issues of concern and
best practices.

NYIA 2017 Annual Conference • Review

always time for golf


we caught up with old


NYIA 2017 Annual Conference • Review


Your feedback is important to the success of our events. We analyzed the survey results,
and here is how the Annual Conference Survey breaks down:

• 63 conference attendees responded to the survey, • Nearly 90% of respondents find it valuable/
with 52% of the respondents representing primary beneficial to have legislators speak at the
insurer member companies. conference.

• 63% of respondents indicated that they prefer • More than 80% of respondents visited the exhibits
to keep the format of the conference as is rather on Thursday. Nearly two thirds reported that the
than making Thursday a full-day program. Of exhibitors offer services/products that are of
the respondents with primary insurer member interest to their company.
companies, 68% prefer to keep the current format.
Of the respondents with reinsurer member • 96% of respondents feel that NYIA should continue
companies, 45% prefer to keep the current format. to offer exhibit space at future conferences.

• 98% of respondents feel that opportunities to • 84% of respondents would like NYIA to continue
network at the conference are sufficient or more to offer an optional group activity. Some of the
than sufficient. types of activities respondents are interested in
are: racino, SPAC, tour of racetrack, historical tour or
• Respondents recommended the following topics museum, and horse training.
for education programs: cybersecurity regulation,
technology and specifically insurtech, corporate • Respondents recommended Lake Placid (or another
governance leadership and management, shared location in the Adirondacks), the Sagamore, Turning
economy and board of director education and Stone, Catskill Casino, and Buffalo again for future
certification. conference locations.

• More than 60% of respondents like to have a • The majority of respondents rated the topics and
variety of entertainment (something different every speakers at the conference as good or excellent
year). (with good being a 4 and excellent being a 5 on a
scale from 1 to 5).
• More than 90% of respondents find it valuable/
beneficial to have regulators speak at the • Overall, respondents liked the location of the
conference. conference—with more than 90% rating the Buffalo
Hyatt as good or excellent.


we visited the Buffalo


NYIA 2017 Annual Conference • Review

Conference attendees traveled to the historic
canalside district of Buffalo to learn about the
arduous experiences of grain silo workers of
the 19th century. Sean the Irish grain scooper
transported tour participants to the past with his
authentic stories of life, toil and danger inside the
concrete structures that once held more than one
million bushels of grain.


then everyone got together
for our final evening

NYIA 2017 Annual Conference • Review



good food, great music and the
best people


NYIA 2017 Annual Conference • Review


lastly, we honored a very
special member

“Jay is a tireless advocate for the
property and casualty insurance
industry. He embodies the essence
of our industry as he is a loyal and
ardent supporter of philanthropic

causes and volunteerism.”
–Steven Coffey, president and CEO of

Broome Co-operative


Jay B. Martin

Counsel, Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company

At the banquet, Chair Steven Coffey recognized the members in attendance who previously served as chair of
NYIA. Everyone applauded NYIA’s previous leadership for their role in taking the association to where it is today.
This recognition was the perfect segue to Steve’s presentation of this year’s Chair’s Distinguished Service Award.
Longtime NYIA member Jay Martin, Counsel for Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company (MLMIC) was the
2017 honoree. Prior to joining MLMIC in 2015, he served as the company’s principal outside counsel for more than
30 years.
Jay serves on the NYIA Board of Directors and has been affiliated with the association for nearly 20 years.

NYIA 2017 Annual Conference • Review

Education & Conference Planning Committee

Acknowledgement and thanks to the committee members for their guidance and leadership

Chair, Craig MacCormac Charles Makey
Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Merchants Insurance Group
Company Mark Prechtl
Joanne Andela Chautauqua Patrons Insurance Company
Otsego County Patrons Co-Op Bernard Turi
Steven Coffey Utica National Insurance Group
Broome Co-operative Insurance Company Thomas White
Kimberly Davis Community Mutual Insurance Company
Underwriters Rating Board Thomas Ruane
Brian Heermance Security Mutual Insurance Company
Morrison Mahoney LLP Robert Faustman
Floyd Holloway Mutual Boiler Reinsurance
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company Thomas Spataro
Liesl Kreischer Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC
Millville Insurance Company of New York Edouard Vieux
Daniel Kusaila Swiss Re
Crowe Horwath LLP


Next year’s conference will be in Saratoga Springs, New York May 30–June 1.
Additional information will be available at If you would like
to participate as a presenter, sponsor or exhibitor, please contact the NYIA office at

Presenters Sponsorships Exhibitors
Cassandra Anderson Stacey Orlando Emily Walker
([email protected]) ([email protected]) ([email protected])


sponsors, thank you.

NYIA extends its gratitude to the sponsors below for their commitment,
consistent generosity and support to ensure the success of the 2017
Annual Conference. Without them this conference would not be possible.

platinum Chair’s Reception Cuisine Conference Bag

Hotel Key Cards Conference Program Pocket Agenda

Welcome Refreshments Banquet Dinner gold

Name Badge Lanyards Banquet Reception Cuisine

Golf Tournament & Golf Breakfast Banquet Centerpiece

Banquet Reception Beverage Session & Keynote Thursday Session Audio/Visual Thursday
& Banquet Dinner Wine

Banquet Reception Décor Chautauqua Patrons Refreshment Break Thursday

Insurance Company

Firmly Rooted Since 1877

529 West Third Street ~ P.O. Box 70, Jamestown, NY 14702

Golf Beverage Cart716-664-5813 / 716-484-2310 fax ~

Members’ lunch Session Friday bronze

Banquet Audio/Visual Members’ Lunch Beverage General Sponsor

Conference Token Breakfast Thursday Golf Transportation
Putting Contest
We value risk. R General Sponsor
Golf Lunch
Audio/Visual Friday

Breakfast Friday

Chair’s Reception Beverage Chair’s Reception Decor

2017 exhibit show

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NYIA 2017h Annual Conference • Review


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2018 annual conference
Saratoga Hilton
Saratoga Springs, New York
May 30 – June 1, 2017

Preparing for the Future

Don’t Forget

• Call for speakers open through December
• Solicitation for sponsors opens October 15
• Solicitation for exhibitors opens October 15
• Registration opens winter 2018
• Program details updated regularly on the website

130 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12210
p: 518.432.4227 • f: 518.432.4220

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