My Night with InsNerds

I was among those fortunate to spend an evening with Tony Cañas, Carly Burnham, and Nick Lamparelli at the Inaugural Meetup in Philadelphia PA on 6-9-17. It turned out to be a most memorable event!

As a millennial, whose socialization is heavily technology driven, my communication with Tony had been done through various electronic platforms. Thus, receiving the invitation to the inaugural meet up set in motion my initial “flight or fight response” filled with apprehension and pensiveness regarding a face to face exchange became apparent. Which is ironic as the foundations on which insurance were born were dependent on the in-person exchanges and solidarity gained through handshakes. Never the less, an opportunity, to personally meet the inquisitive and ingenious wizards behind the curtain of and Profiles in Risk was an opportunity a millennial in the insurance industry had to take!

To set the scene, the meet up is occurring in the city of brotherly love, in the center of the city, on the wisps of the recent release of “Insuring Tomorrow: Engaging Millennials in the Insurance Industry” an insightful collaboration by Tony and Carly. On that night, I was to find out Nick is quick to point out his lack of involvement in the book while unknowingly he is the driving “adult supervision,” as explained in podcast 1 that enables the authors to stay focused and accomplished such an achievement. However, back to the scene, appropriately, the gathering is in a prominent sports bar in the recesses of Philadelphia. What better location to gather professionals involved in the mitigation of risk than that of an organization in an industry (distribution of alcoholic beverages) persecuted for its contribution, and at times, the proximal cause of debauchery among the young and old.

Needless to say, in true “nerdism” I showed up in casual attire consisting of a superhero T-shirt (the Flash) as an homage to the group. However, it is apparent I may have been the only one inclined to do so. I know for myself many networking events consist of individuals of diverse and seemingly unrelated backgrounds. This event was different, this night was a pinnacle of collaboration with insurance and risk management at the apex of every exchange. Exchanges in which the use of insurance jargon like “PIP”, “High severity, Low frequency,” and “Risk rating,” were not lost or met with glazed over facial expressions.  This truly was an opportunity to let our insurance nerd flags fly high.  That night I talked to individuals involved in international insurance and shared experiences that superseded my own realm of personal insurance. Like underwriting losses involving collisions with exotic animals (Rhinos, Tigers, and Water Buffalo) in lands like Africa and Egypt. But, through the cloud of insurance jargon and podcast interviews, a resounding synergistic relationship arose.

Mark and Tony in respective Flash and Superman tshirts.

With each exchange, obstacles pertinent to the pending influx of Millennial employees in the workforce came to light. First, the surmounting financial baggage new graduates are carrying out with them upon graduation and its impact on the financial/salary expectations held. Second, how current incentive strategic initiatives are not aligned with the needs of incoming Millennials. Third, the realization that the insurance industry has been slow to transition to accommodate a generation with lofty expectations of transparency. All issues addressed in some fashion by the book, i.e. I am not going to be the spoiler, it is worth the investment.

In closing, unlike the fable of a night with Warren Buffett, my evening with can be surmised with this statement:

“I came in like a Flash, my exchanges were Super, the Bat helped break the ice, and Mr. Incredible hopefully caught every sound bite (my homage to the podcast and superhero T-shirts)”

But in all seriousness, I am fortunate the first meet up was in my backyard and look forward to following as its makes strides to address our future talent crises in the insurance industry.


With Sincerest Thanks,

Mark J Tarmann Jr. CPCU, MBA, ARM, AIC, AIS, AINS, API

Forward-thinking researcher in Millennial employee development and small to medium enterprise succession.


Note from Tony: We will continue hosting quarterly meetups, join our mailing list to make sure you don’t miss one near you!

About Dr. Mark Tarmann Jr., CPCU, MBA, ARM, AIC, AIS, AINS, API

Dr. Mark J Tarmann Jr. is the innovator behind #LaisseznotLazy, a dynamic speaker, researcher, and author dedicated to Millennial employee development, retention, & leadership succession in the industry of risk management. He was awarded his doctorate in business administration by Walden University in 2017 for his research on small to medium enterprise (SME) succession planning and millennial employee development. His ambitions include a desire to contribute to society by leaving a lasting impression among all he interacts with, and share his gift in education through teaching, training, and leadership.

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