Industry the December 2021 issue

Meet the Newest Industry Talent

Council Foundation scholarship winners share why they want to work in brokerage.
By Brianne Spellane Posted on November 30, 2021

Each intern received $5,000 toward their college education.

The Council Foundation was first organized as The Foundation for Agency Management Excellence (FAME). In 2016, the FAME model was restructured to include all majors and all schools, with scholarships awarded based on internship performance.

Since the redesign, 59% of scholarship winners have remained in the industry, with 50% working in brokerages and 9% working in carrier companies. Comparatively, under the FAME model, this number was less than 33%.

A core part of the Foundation’s mission is to help the commercial insurance brokerage industry attract the next generation of talent.

The Foundation’s scholarship program partners with member firms of The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers using firms’ summer internship programs to introduce students from across the country to both the property/casualty and employee benefits sectors. Upon the conclusion of their internship, students must formally be nominated by the respective brokerages at which they interned, and awardees are then determined by an independent committee. The ultimate goal is to expose the upcoming young professionals to the vast opportunities within the industry and to keep them in the business—and, ideally, in Council member firms—after graduation.

“Recruiting the next generation of industry leaders continues to be one of the top challenges our industry faces year after year. Internships are a proven way to both introduce and keep talented young professionals within the walls of our member firms,” says Ken Crerar, president and CEO of The Council.

“The idea, of course, is for these interns to have exceptional experiences, earn financial aid, and be hired back to their sponsor firm after graduation,” says Crerar. “We’ve found this to be a winning formula to help address the talent gap and are grateful to our member firms who continue to invest time and resources in these students, understanding they are the future of our business.”

Click here for a complete list of the 2021 Council Foundation Scholars

During my internship at Sterling Seacrest Pritchard, I was treated almost like a new hire. My time was always occupied with interesting, creative, yet meaningful assignments. I received remarkable training, and all my questions were welcomed. With opportunities to sit in on meetings and hear from representatives in different sectors of insurance, my eyes were opened to the limitless possibilities for growth and a successful career within the insurance industry.
Raniesha Colebrook, 2021 Council Foundation Scholar, Georgia State University

While the insurance industry continues to struggle to attract the next generation of its workforce (less than 25% of the industry is under the age of 35, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), the sector is predicted to add 200,000 new jobs by the end of this year.

To help Council member firms address the current talent gap, and in conjunction with the work of The Council Foundation, Leader’s Edge began a limited-series podcast at the beginning of 2021 called “Falling Into It.” The podcast was created to give young professionals a fun space and engaging platform to share how they came to the industry and what they have learned since. The idea was for this new generation of insurance professionals to learn from each other and for them to share some ideas with Council member firms that are working to find new ways to recruit and retain the next generation. We’re asking questions such as, What has led to their success? What do they value in their employer? Why, ultimately, did they choose to work in the industry?

Over the course of the last 12 months, we’ve heard from young professionals who majored in risk management and insurance but from just as many who did not. The feedback we’ve received prompted a recent decision to make our “limited” series something more regular. We’re hearing and sharing stories that resonate with other young professionals and with the firms The Council works with on a daily basis.

Click here for the full slate of “Falling Into It” podcasts.

Is there someone on your staff with a great story to share? Contact Zach Ewell at

Brianne Spellane Director of Membership, The Council Read More

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