Chapter Volunteer Profile
By Patrick Raleigh, Merrill Corporation, IASA Land O' Lakes Chapter Past President

Featured Volunteer: Alicia Gates, Compliance Accountant, American Modern Insurance Group Inc., IASA Southwestern Ohio Chapter President

eInterpreter: What was the first IASA Chapter event you attended and what inspired you to go?
Gates: My first event was a Spring event. I had been told there would be individuals from all the major insurance companies in the Cincinnati area in attendance. At the end of the event, there would be opportunity to network over cold beverages. I had just recently returned to the insurance industry and thought it would be a great way to jump back in.

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eInterpreter: What is the biggest benefit of having access to insurance education locally to you and your company?
Gates: Since myself and several others within my company are CPA's, there is a continuing education need. The events are always a good time and provide CPE, so it kills two birds with one stone! 

eInterpreter: If money was no object...what would you love to do for a living?
Gates: I would start an animal rescue center, as I have always had a passion for animals. I would also be a professional beach bum on the side!

eInterpreter: Do you have any hobbies that could affect your personal insurance premiums? 
Gates: I have always loved thrilling activities like bungee jumping and SCUBA diving! However, after starting a family, the adventures have been fewer and farther between. 

eInterpreter: Do you volunteer for any other organization other than the IASA? If so, which organization and why?
Gates: I am active with my church, volunteering my time and talents, based on their needs. I find that when I volunteer, I get as much out of it or more than the organization. 

eInterpreter: Besides family and friends, what 3 things could you NOT live without?
Gates: This would vary based on time of year, but during the winter, it would be tea, my phone, and TV as I tend to hibernate a bit when it is cold. During the summertime, it would have to be tea, a beach, and adult beverages. 

How did you first get started in the insurance industry?
Gates: I started my career at EY right out of college. I was assigned to the insurance team and worked primarily on life insurance accounts. After EY, I went to work for a local accounting firm, focusing on audits primarily of manufacturers. After I made the move to leave public accounting and into industry, I got into the P&C insurance industry with American Modern. It was great to get back to something that was familiar yet different and challenging at the same time!

eInterpreter: What would you say to a colleague, or even a peer at another company, who has never attended an IASA Chapter event about getting involved?
Gates: I would say to anyone that has never attended an IASA Chapter event to just try one! I think they will be very presently surprised at the relevant topics and the great opportunity to network with other peers. Then after they have attended and want to return for another event, I would remind them that the events are organized solely by volunteers just like them and there is an opportunity for them to get involved as well.  

eInterpreter: What is your current job and what aspect of your position do you find most rewarding?
Gates: I am in accounting compliance at American Modern Insurance Group. The aspect of my position that I find most rewarding is that I get to help solve problems. When there is a new accounting pronouncement or an issue comes up, I will research the guidance to provide a proposed solution. 

eInterpreter: So after a tough your release a good workout, a certain food, or something over ice?
Gates: Some days I wish that a good workout was my release; however, it usually is not. Usually, a really good dinner and something over ice will do the trick...or maybe just something over ice!