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Society of Certified Insurance Counselors Honors Laura Rowe for Five Years of Dedicated Leadership and Professional Development

Laura Rowe

Laura Rowe

Laura Rowe, AAI, CIC of GHM Agency of Waterville was recently recognized for professional leadership and advanced knowledge by the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors.

Rowe was awarded a certificate of achievement recognizing five consecutive years of successfully maintaining the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation. The CIC designation requires an annual continuing education update ensuring that her education is always up-to-date and relevant.

“The dedication and commitment represented by the CIC program sets the standard within our industry,” said Mike Pierce, president of Allen Insurance and Financial, of which GHM is a division. “Laura’s emphasis on professional development positively sets a great example for her colleagues, both within our company and in our industry in Maine.”

ABOUT THE CIC PROGRAM: The CIC Program is nationally recognized as the premier continuing education program for insurance professionals, with programs offered in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, the Society of CIC is a not-for-profit organization and the founding program of The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research.

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Meesha Luce is Maine’s Young Agents Committee Chairwoman

Meesha Luce, ACSR

Meesha Luce, CPIA, ACSR, a personal insurance account executive at Allen Insurance and Financial,  is the 2023 chairwoman of the Maine Insurance Agents Association’s Young Agents Committee.

A member of the MIAA Young Agents Committee since 2013, Luce was named the MIAA Young Professional of the Year in 2017.

She said: “I’m looking forward to building on all the work done by the committee over the past few years. We’re all so passionate about what we do  and I can’t wait to translate that energy into projects to help shape the future of our industry in Maine.”

Past chairwoman of the MIAA Young Agents Committee is Ashley Purington of Gosline  Insurance Group’s Gardiner office.

Luce joined Allen Insurance and Financial in 2006. She is based in the company’s Rockland office.  She holds the Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA) designation from the American Insurance Marketing and Sales Society and the Accredited Customer Service Representative (ACSR) designation from the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America.

ABOUT MAINE YAC: The MIAA Young Agents Committee focuses on activities and communication to build insurance industry leadership potential among those in the industry who are younger than age 40 or have been in the industry for fewer than five years. More information: https://www.maineagents.net/YoungAgents/Pages/AboutMEYAC/default.aspx

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Update: Allen Leadership Team and Board of Directors

Allen Insurance and Financial, Maine’s largest employee-owned independent insurance and financial services agency, is pleased to announce changes to the company’s leadership team and an addition to the company’s board of directors.

“Thanks to our team of now more than 90 employee owners, Allen continues to grow and thrive,” said J. Michael Pierce, company president. “This leadership team is well poised to embrace our goals for continued growth and exemplary client service in 2023 and beyond.”

Effective Jan. 1, 2023, the Allen Leadership Team is comprised of Pierce, Dan Bookham, Peter Williams and Susan Howland.

DAN BOOKHAM has been named senior vice president for business development. Bookham joined the company in 2012 as a commercial lines producer and was appointed vice president for business development in 2016

PETER WILLIAMS has been named senior vice president for commercial lines. With Allen since 1990 and previously serving as a company vice president and commercial lines producer, Williams is known for his work with some of Maine and New England’s largest and most complex insurance risks.

SUSAN HOWLAND has been named senior vice president for human resources and operations and effective Jan. 1 joins the company’s board of directors. Howland joined the company in September 2022.

Photos, from left: J. Michael Pierce, Dan Bookham, Peter Williams and Susan Howland.

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Powering AIO’s Third Annual FILL THE STRAND Event

On Monday, January 16, 2023 AIO Food and Energy Assistance will host its third Fill The Strand food and funds drive to benefit AIO’s Food Assistance, Energy Assistance, Weekend Meal, and Diaper Assistance Programs. This event challenges the community to fill every seat in the historic theater with bags of food and funds for AIO’s programs. AIO has raised nearly $50,000 in the first two Fill the Strand events. The goal for the third event is to raise $25,000.

“Fill The Strand has become our signature event of the year, providing food and money at the most critical time” says AIO Executive Director Joe Ryan. “Visits to our food pantry market have more than doubled in the past year. Fill The Strand is essential for AIO to keep pace with our growth. The more food and money we raise, the more assistance we can provide.”

Coordinators encourage community organizations, businesses, and residents to do food and fund drives within their groups, workplaces, and neighborhoods to help with the drive. The food and funds collected will go directly to AIO’s programs that support Knox County families.

Monetary donations are welcome – and in fact your dollar goes further since AIO can purchase food through partners at a competitive price. Individuals can fill one theater seat with a bag of food or sponsor a bag at $25. Your $25 monetary donation can buy up to $100 worth of food. Those interested in sponsoring a bag through a financial donation can make it online at aiofoodpantry.org/strand.

Non-perishable food with a current expiration date is appreciated (no glass please). AIO would be grateful for donations of the most needed items including: ready rice pouches, macaroni and cheese and pasta; cereal and oatmeal; pop-top canned foods and Chef Boyardee meals; single serving lunch items; kid-friendly snacks; 100% juice boxes; shelf stable milk; snacks (granola bars, peanut butter crackers, 6-pack raisins). Whether a monetary gift or food donation – your support will help the people in our community who need it the most.

Food collection sites have been established at area businesses, including Allen Insurance & Financial offices (Rockland and Camden), The Strand Theater, First National Bank (Rockland branches), Main Street Market (Rockland) and AIO Food and Energy Assistance (Rockland). On January 16th volunteers will be at the Strand Theatre between 9:00-2:00pm to receive food and funds donations.

Drive-up and drop-off service, powered by volunteers from Allen Insurance and Financial, will be available or come in the Strand Theatre to deliver your food and funds donations.

AIO is grateful to the generous support of its sponsors. Leadership level sponsors include First National Bank and First National Wealth Management, Fisher Engineering, Rockland Plaza, and The Rope Company. Partner level sponsors include Camden Real Estate, Gartley & Dorsky, Knights of Columbus Council 136, and Lyman Morse. Champion level sponsors include The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, 250 Main, Journey’s End, Allen Insurance and Financial. A list of all sponsors can be found at aiofoodpantry.org/strand.

For more information about the event and how you can participate please contact event coordinator Leila Murphy, email hidden; JavaScript is required.

About AIO Food and Energy Assistance
AIO has provided nutritious food and heating assistance to Knox County families. Funding and
access to AIO’s programs are more critical than ever as food insecurity in Knox County is projected to continue to increase. Knox County currently has the 4th highest food insecurity rate in the state. Child food insecurity is estimated at 28%. During the past year, AIO has supported
5,896 households, 15,672 individuals, and distributed 12,325 weekend meals packages for elementary school students throughout Knox County. AIO’s Energy Assistance Program helps households with heating assistance or electrical disconnection prevention – which is critical as winter begins. Last winter AIO distributed 691 energy assistance vouchers, totaling $208,000 in support. AIO provides a direct path for donors for assist our community by putting your donation to work immediately.

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Welcoming Alison McDonald

Alison McDonald

Allen Insurance and Financial is pleased to announce that Alison McDonald of Union has joined the company as a receptionist.

Alison is a graduate of Camden Hills Regional High School and has attended the University of Southern Maine.

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Leann Cailler Earns Safeco Insurance® Award of Distinction

Leann Cailler

Leann Cailler, ACSR, CPIA

Leann Cailler, a personal insurance account executive with Allen Insurance and Financial, has earned the Safeco Insurance Award of Distinction and has been named a producer of the year for 2022.

This recognition is achieved only by a select group of agents across the country who sell Safeco Insurance.

The Safeco Award of Distinction honors outstanding agents who have developed a solid partnership with Safeco. Only 150 agents nationwide earn this award.

Cailler, of Waldoboro, has been with Allen Insurance and Financial since 2007. She holds both the Accredited Customer Service representative (ACSR) and Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA) designations. This is her second year receiving the Safeco Award of Distinction.

Allen Insurance and Financial is a multi-year President’s Award and Premier Partner agency, recognition given only to the best independent insurance agencies that sell Safeco. Safeco is a Liberty Mutual Insurance company.

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Greg Karlik Joins Our Benefits Team

Greg KarlikGreg Karlik has joined the benefits division at Allen Insurance and Financial to work with individual and group health insurance clients.

Following a three decades-long career in the television broadcasting industry, Karlik has spent the past three years as a licensed insurance professional in the individual health insurance market place, helping customers manage and better understand, what, for many, is a stressful decision-making process.

He is a graduate of the University of Vermont and the University of San Francisco, where he earned a Master of Business Administration.

Karlik and his family live in Northport. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife, their children and two dogs as well as gardening and exploring the Maine outdoors.

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Welcoming Susan Howland as Director of Human Resources

Susan Howland, director of human resourcesSusan Howland of Camden has joined Allen Insurance and Financial as director of human resources.

“Susan’s diverse business background and extensive leadership experience make her a tremendous asset for our company,” said Michael Pierce, company president. “We are looking forward to the contributions she will bring to our team and our employee ownership culture.”

A  native of Manchester, Maine, Howland has both a bachelor’s degree (international affairs and economics) and a master’s degree (economics) from the University of Maine.

She has held senior executive leadership positions at credit card company MBNA; at  Wayfarer Marine in Camden; at the Penobscot Bay YMCA and at Maine Sport in Rockport.

“Now more than ever, I love working with people, to help them advance their career and realize their full potential. Creating a positive environment where people are empowered to provide outstanding customer service is exciting work.  To have the opportunity to work here at Allen with this fantastic team of employee-owners is truly remarkable. I am absolutely thrilled,” Susan said.

Howland lives in Camden with her husband, their two children and two dogs.  Outside of work, she enjoys attending her children’s sporting events. She is a runner and an avid basketball fan.

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Jennifer Coffin Earns Safeco Insurance® Award of Excellence for Superior Underwriting Skill

Jennifer Coffin, ACSR, CPRMJennifer Coffin, ACSR, CPRM, a personal insurance account executive with Allen Insurance and Financial, been honored with the Safeco Insurance Award of Excellence, an honor recognizing superior underwriting skill.

This recognition is achieved only by a select group of agents across the country who sell Safeco Insurance. This is the second consecutive year Coffin has earned this recognition.

“Excellence in underwriting means bringing exceptional customer service together with a deep understanding of the complexities of insurance coverage to create great outcomes for our customers,” said Scott Carlson, manager of the personal insurance division at Allen Insurance and Financial. “Jen and our personal insurance team do that daily by ensuring customers get the insurance coverage that works best for them. This recognition is well deserved and we’re especially proud of the number of consecutive awards Jen has earned.”

The Safeco Award of Excellence recognizes outstanding agents who have developed a solid underwriting relationship with Safeco and whose agencies have qualified for the Safeco Insurance Premier Partner Award, the company’s top recognition program. Fewer than 10 percent of agencies who sell Safeco have agents who receive this award.

Coffin, of Nobleboro, has been with Allen Insurance and Financial since 2004. She holds both the Accredited Customer Service representative (ACSR) and Certified Personal Risk Manager (CPRM) designations.

Allen Insurance and Financial is a multi-year President’s Award and Premier Partner agency, recognition given only to the best independent insurance agencies that sell Safeco. Safeco is a Liberty Mutual Insurance company.

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Wendy Byrd Earns Group Benefits Disability Specialist Designation

Wendy Byrd

Wendy Byrd, an account manager on the benefits team at Allen Insurance and Financial, has earned a Group Benefits Disability Specialist designation from The Hartford School of Insurance.

“Professional development is important to all of our insurance divisions but especially so in the ever-changing field of employee benefits,” said Dan Wyman, benefits division manager.

“Disability benefits are an important part of a benefits package and can make a real difference in the lives of employees and their families.  This program allows Wendy to better serve our agency’s group benefits clients,” Wyman said.

Byrd has been with Allen Insurance and Financial since 2017.