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Jan 14
Template Tuesday

Today we got to enter into the LMS and check out the features for ourselves. There are a lot of templates we have access to and from looking at them there are so many ways to learn. Making learning more interactive and less dull is a top priority for this system and the ways in which we can implement the information really mixes it up. There are wheels, videos, multiple choice, fill in the blank and some other buttons to add into photos we already have. I'm excited to put the plans I've made into action with this system. Being able to see the ideas come to life in a new visual sense is satisfying especially when there are so many ways to do it.

I only have two more days here in the office with Big I before I return to school in Ithaca. I will be sad to leave but, very excited to get back on campus and learn more about Television Radio. Being able to see how my major can relate to the real world makes my classes seem more valuable than I initially thought. I'm excited to start the module work tomorrow! ​

Jan 13
Video Killed the Radio Star!

Today's work revolved around potential videos that are going to be made regarding our onboarding process. Big I is making an effort to become more modernized and being able to onboard people from a remote location is part of that. Having these videos will allow for the members to learn about the organization and the different departments on their own time in a quick and easy way. Hopefully this will result in more efficient meetings and new ideas being discussed. 

Audio isn't enough anymore we like to learn visually. Making videos similar to these ones are among the things I learn at Ithaca in the Television Radio department. I'm excited to see how this organization will make my ideas come to life in a way that's different to how I would in the classroom. I'm excited to start a module with the new LMS soon!


Jan 13
New Year’s Resolutions…

By Jim Lombardo, CPCU, AAI, AIM, MBA, AVP of Learning & Development​​

Happy New Year!! I hope you all have recovered from the holidays and are raring to go in 2020!!

I had a very interesting conversation with someone the other day when I was asked if I had any New Year's resolutions.  She was surprised when I said I didn't...BUT I did tell her the following:

I am a firm believer in setting goals and working toward them. I have had a lot of success over my career when I had very clear goals and worked, bits at a time, to hit them. Here is the wisdom that a mentor shared with me many years ago when setting goals- they have served me well.

1. Be Realistic- don't make goals that are truly unattainable- it is ok to stretch yourself but don't get crazy!

2. Plan ahead- make your goals something that you can plainly see coming to fruition but need some planning and a little effort- don't make goals at the last minute or out of emotion.

3. Talk about it- there is a lot to be gained from sharing your goals with some key contacts- friends, family, co-workers- depending on your relationship with them, they can serve as a coach, mentor, support or just act as a reminder to keep you focused on your goals

4. Reward yourself- this is why I like smaller sub goals within your main goals- they are good for tracking, rewarding and helping you stay on track in a positive manner

5. Don't beat yourself up- Let's face it – sometimes “life gets in the way"—and you might miss a sub goal, veer off course or fail to put in the work... don't quit- just keep moving!

If getting your CE credits taken care of earlier rather than later is one of your goals, take a look at our upcoming webinars. These are not only timely, but can be helpful in your professional and personal life to help you attain one or more of your 2020 goals.​

Newly Enacted & Pending Legislation for NY Producers​​

Insuring Condominium and Homeowner's Associations​

Alphabet Soup: The Mistakes & Coverages- DO, EPLI, FLI & EBL​​

Jan 10
Cubicle Girl

​In my cubicle I had a call with a reference today and I asked her about her experience with the LMS. Luckily, she spoke fondly of it and educated me on some of the features that I wasn't aware of. This woman runs a non-profit organization that helps people enact change in the world and fight poverty. It was very interesting hearing her perspective of teaching through a learning management system (LMS). Some of her participants have never used the internet before and they were able to complete the trainings she created with the system. As fascinating as that is, it made me feel really privileged to be able to have access to the internet and education in general. That's something we don't think about often in our day to day lives once we're stuck in a routine.

Today we also took the next steps of contract reading, and debriefing on our next moves to get closer to a module being created. I enjoy seeing all of the teamwork that goes on here and how there are efforts made by multiple people to get things done. This also is the end of my first full week of work in a cubicle and it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. Having a space to work and spread out all of your papers is helpful and makes life easier when working on projects. Also wanted to thank all of my consistent readers I couldn't have gotten here without all of you! #cubiclestrong #workgrind 

Jan 10
NYSDFS Creates Consumer Protection Task Force

​The New York State Department of Financial Services announced​ on January 9 that it has created a new Consumer Protection Task Force. Housed within the department, the task force "will provide formal input on the Department’s consumer engagement, policy development and research.," according to a DFS news release.

The release also said, "One of the task force’s first priorities will be to help DFS build support for and implement the extensive consumer protections proposals included in Governor Cuomo’s 2020 State of the State agenda​, including measures to strengthen regulatory oversight of debt collectors, crack down on elder financial abuse, increase access to affordable banking services, and strengthen the state’s consumer protection laws to protect New Yorkers against unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices.​"

The task force's twelve announced members come from a variety of consumer-oriented organizations, including AARP, Consumer Reports, the Empire Justice Center and the National Urban League. Representatives from legal services centers and law schools are also members. ​The department did not name any independent insurance agents​ to the group.

The release did not provide a schedule of task force meetings or when the group will first convene.

Jan 09
Queen of the Keyboard


The keyboards we have in the office are more dynamic than the ones we use at school. There is a nice bend to them and it makes it easier to have your fingers connect with the keys. I realized today that I can type without looking as much on the keyboard which makes life easier. I typed up all of the interviews that I had over the past week so that they were more coherent when reading. I'm supposed to have videos made up about the interviews in an effort to further inform our board of what we do at Big I New York. I brainstormed some video formats to try and get a better idea of what is going to be filmed.

It's interesting to see videos in the more professional sense compared to what I see in the classroom. It's the same techniques it's just more relevant to what we do here at the organization. In class we make videos on gameshows, comedic YouTube content, or funny interviews around campus. Whereas here it's informational and the viewers gain knowledge on how to better their agencies and be smart in the insurance world. At the end of the day the structures aren't that far off. Hopefully tomorrow I have a phone call with a reference for the LMS we are thinking about using. If all goes well, I'll be able to create some modules and see how the software works. #typingqueen #moduleready! ​

Jan 09
Two Minutes With Tim - NY Cyber Regulation - Do You Have To File the Notice of Exemption Each Year?

​Probably not. ​


cyberflyers_20192_200x259.jpgDo you need to submit a new "notice of exemption?"

Jan 08
Legislative Session Kicks Off: Five Issues to Watch from the State of the State Address

​Today, Governor Cuomo kicked off the 2020 legislative session with the State of the State address. This address is typically an opportunity for the Governor to outline major policy priorities for the coming year. During the address, Cuomo unveiled the broad strokes of an agenda which includes several items of interest to independent agents and brokers.Capitol_Winter.jpg

Small Business Tax Cut: The governor has proposed cutting the tax rate for businesses employing fewer than 100 workers and with less than $390,000 in income from 6.5% to 4%.

Gig Economy: The governor plans to introduce legislation to reclassify “gig workers" such as rideshare drivers, delivery workers, and other “gig workers" as employees rather than independent contractors. This issue has garnered significant attention – and criticism – following the enactment of a similar law in California. The full details are not yet available, but Big I NY will be watching this issue closely. We have concerns that, if not properly tailored, this bill could affect our members' ability to flexibly staff their agencies.

Paid Sick Leave: Governor Cuomo called for a mandatory minimum of 5 days of paid sick leave for small businesses and 7 days for employees of larger companies.

Cannabis Legalization: The governor called for the full recreational legalization of cannabis in 2020. In 2019, the state decriminalized cannabis but stopped short of full legalization.

$6B Budget Deficit: The state is facing a significant budget shortfall in 2020-21. The only measure aimed at closing the deficit was a proposal to shift additional Medicaid costs to local governments. While specific budget language has not yet been released, we will be on the lookout for any additional taxes, fees, or penalties that are often employed as revenue generators.

We will continue to keep our members apprised as more details become available. ​​

Jan 08
Corporate Female in Training

​When I do something right in my day to day work it feels good. I get a sense of accomplishment that is similar to scoring a goal and wanting to tell your friends how well you played. In the workplace it's gratifying because your team members know what it means to score that "goal" if you will. I had a phone call today where I negotiated the selling points for the plan and arranged it so that we could speak to someone about the program before we make the decision. I'm now waiting for further information so we can move forward with it. 

​Today concluded my interviews for the onboarding project I'm working on so I can take the next steps tomorrow. Similar to what I learn at Ithaca about making videos, there are so many things that have to go right before you can complete the project. I'm learning about that more here at Big I. ​In a meeting I had with our CEO I learned about being a woman in the work world and how females have to operate with more awareness than males do. Men have the privilege ​of not being called "crazy" and "out of line" as often and we have to be conscientious​ of it when functioning in the workplace. Being able to get your point across with confidence and precision is important. Reflecting on the day, I really enjoy being able to contribute to something that has power in an organization instead of a classroom. 

Jan 07
LMS and Sales!

​I had a meeting today with the member engagement AVP. We talked about her role and how to sell a pencil to someone with no hands. I took away that it isn't about the selling, it's about the personal connection and helping their needs. If you engage with someone and figure out what they're struggling with you can place a solution with a service or product we provide to fix the issue. It doesn't feel like sales it feels like you are helping them improve and get better at what they're doing! 

​I also had a meeting where we sat in on a demo for an LMS. The demo was successful and we will most likely proceed with it! Getting to collaborate and learn how to mediate and contribute to a discussion is really important and helpful in the workplace. Additionally, the presentation aspect makes you stand up for what you researched and actually have information to back it which feels awesome! #successfuldayintheoffice  

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