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PIACT supports next generation of insurance professionals at Goodwin College

(LEFT TO RIGHT) PIACT Government Affairs Counsel Campbell Wallace, Esq.; PIACT President Peter Frascarelli, CPIA; Goodwin College Assistant Vice President of Strategy and Business Development Clifford E. Thermer, Ed.D.; Goodwin College Business Administration Program Director Ernest Varela, Ed.D., CFP; and PIACT Immediate past President Augusto Russell, CIC, met Nov. 21 to discuss the future of the insurance industry. PIACT also made a donation to the college.



EAST HARTFORD, CONN. PIACT President Peter J. Frascarelli, CPIA, and Immediate past President Augusto Russell, CIC, met with Goodwin College Assistant Vice President of Strategy and Business Development Clifford E. Thermer, Ed.D.; Vice President for Advancement Brooke J. Penders; Director of Advancement Holly M. Winters; and Business Administration Program Director Ernesto Varela, Ed.D, Nov. 21 to present the school with a donation to support the colleges newly developed insurance-focused curriculum, which the association has helped to develop.

PIACT officers toured the East Hartford campus and presented the college with a check to support current and prospective students in the insurance program, including the licensing training portion of the program.

"We are pleased to present this check to Goodwin College and look forward to the continued development of this important program," said Frascarelli. "We anticipate bright and successful Goodwin graduates will join and ultimately lead our independent agencies and our industry in the near future, and we are proud to be part of their development."

Since fall 2013, PIACT board members have collaborated with Goodwin College, a nonprofit college since 1999, to develop a program to boost Connecticuts job market and bolster the perpetuation of the states well-earned reputation as a leader in the insurance industry.


Goodwin College Vice President for Advancement Brooke J. Penders gives PIACT representatives a tour of the campus. The sixth floor of the main campus building overlooks the Connecticut River.

The collaboration has culminated into insurance-specific coursework through Goodwins business program, which currently offers associate and baccalaureate degrees and certifications. The courses include property/casualty; customer-relations management; insurance-software management and social media; and organizational communication. These courses target the changing world of insurance, with an eye toward Millennials. According to Thermer, Millennials form relationships in different ways–such as through video or text messaging–and a face-to-face interaction is not always enough, or even preferred, to maintain those connections.

One program highlight is the paid externships with PIACT-member agencies, for top-tier students. To qualify for a guaranteed interview with a PIA-member agency, a student must have a 3.0 grade-point average, and show aptitude in the insurance coursework. Once placed with an agency, students who receive externships will work a minimum of 180 paid hours.

"We see PIACT as successful, small-business entrepreneurs, and thats what we want to create in our students," said Thermer. "When they come to you as apprentices, they will have the skills necessary to be successful in the insurance industry."

PIACT is a trade association representing professional, independent insurance agencies, brokerages and their employees throughout the state.

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