5 Reasons to Attend the 2019 Birmingham Independent Insurance Agents’ Gala

The BIIA Gala is two weeks away and we are very excited about this year’s event! We are excited to see everyone and have a great evening as we raise funds for the American Heart Association and the March of Dimes. If you are debating whether to attend, here are five reasons why you should join us!

A Fun Evening Out on the Town

The BIIA Gala is a night filled with fun. The evening starts with drinks and dinner. During this time, the DJ will be energizing the festive atmosphere while you peruse and bid on the many silent auction items. Then, it’s time to enjoy some casino style games including Black Jack, Texas Holdem Poker, roulette, slots, and craps. Don’t know how to play? Not to worry! We hand you the fake money to gamble with, and the dealers help you understand the rules. This is the perfect time to learn a new game or to sharpen your skills!

New Venue with Amazing Views of Downtown Birmingham

Every few years, we change the venue to showcase more of Birmingham. This year, the event will be held at The Club. This amazing venue sits atop Red Mountain and has breathtaking views that overlook Birmingham. Originally built in 1951, The Club has recently undergone a renovation to become more modern and inviting. The renovation finished last month, so you will be one of the first to see the new style!

One Event to Benefit Two Charities

In previous years, we have one beneficiary per event. This year, we are supporting two local non-profits: the March of Dimes and the  American Heart Association. BIIA President, Vickie Fuller, has been personally touched by both organizations, and wants to give back for all the support they have given her family. All proceeds from the will be are donated to these charities, so come out and have fun!

Opportunities to Win Unique Silent Auction Prizes

The board is busy collecting items from around the city for the silent auction. Some items include two tickets to the Alabama Symphony Orchestra performance of your choice, family outing packages to Alabama Splash Adventure, Let’s Play Birmingham and High Point Climbing & Fitness, gift cards for local eateries, scholarships to CIC and CISR courses, overnight stays at Hilton Pensacola Beach and The Lodge at Gulf State Park, trips to Tuscany and Antigua, and much more!

Giveaways, giveaways & more giveaways

There are loads of chances for you to win prizes! Door prizes will be announced throughout the evening. Then, after casino game play, cash your winnings in for tickets for the casino giveaway items. Lastly, someone will walk away with the grand prize of $1,000! In order to win, you must be present, so come and join us!

Are you as excited as we are?! Then Order Your Tickets today!

About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.

Visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org for more information. Visit shareyourstory.org for comfort and support.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country.

You are Invited to the 2018 BIIA Christmas Open House

You are invited to attend the Birmingham Independent Insurance Agents’ annual Christmas Open House and Installation of Officers. The event will take place at noon on Wednesday, December 5th at The Big I  (141 London Parkway Birmingham, AL 35211).

Come meet your BIIA board members, listen to festive holiday music, and enjoy lunch while you learn about what we’ve done as an organization in 2018 and how we plan to benefit the community in 2019.

This year, we are collecting toys for Christian Service Mission. Please bring an unwrapped toy to donate to them. Your toys will help bring joy to a child in need this holiday season.

Also, we are collecting children’s books to benefit Better Basics. Please bring a new unwrapped book to help promote literacy. Better Basics helps to advance literacy in the Birmingham community. They need children’s books ranging from board books, to picture books, to leveled readers, and easy chapter books.

To attend the Christmas Open House, please reach out to Emily Carr, or call the Big I office at 205-326-4129.

We hope to see you there!

2019 BIIA Gala Date Announced


The 2019 Birmingham Independent Insurance Agents’ association (BIIA) is pleased to announce the annual insurance gala will be held on January 25, 2019!

In previous years, we have been able to award beneficiaries more than $10,000. The beneficiaries for the previous two years have received around $20,000 each. For 2019, we plan to have two beneficiaries: American Heart Association and the March of Dimes!

By sponsoring or donating to the event, attending the event, or participating in the silent auction, you will have a direct impact for two amazing non-profits!

Mark your calendars for January 25th!



August BIIA After-Hours Event Recap and Photos!

We had a blast gathering for our latest after-hours event on Thursday, August 30th. About 40 agents, carriers, brokers, and wholesalers met after work at Oak Hill Bar and Grill to network and socialize with other industry workers.

Check out some photos from the event and be sure to join us next time!



Join the BIIA Team for the Birmingham Heart Walk!

The Birmingham Independent Insurance Agents association is putting together a team for the Birmingham Heart Walk, and we want YOU!

The 5K walk will be held at Railroad Park on Saturday, June 9th at 7:30 am. The event is free, but BIIA is looking to donate at least $5,000 from its members. Funds raised will go to American Heart Association for heart disease and stroke research.

“We try to be active in our community. Each year we host the annual Gala benefitting a local non-profit and The Heart Association is one of the beneficiaries for the 2019 BIIA Gala. Their annual heart walk is the perfect way for BIIA members to come together, connect, and support them,” said Vickie Fuller, President Elect.

Heart disease kills thousands of Alabamians each year. The American Heart Association has given more than $10.6 million in research funds in Alabama. The Birmingham Heart Walk is another opportunity to help raise funds for the organization.

“Our members are what makes the association great, and this is a great opportunity for BIIA members to come together for a great cause,” said Fuller.


1. Donate!

All donations help to raise awareness. Individual and corporate donations can really add up.

2. Join!

Represent BIIA by joining our team and participating in the walk. After signing up, contact Sarah Walker to let her know what size t-shirt you want.

3. Share!

Help us get the word out by sharing this opportunity with coworkers–along with sharing posts across social media!

For more information about the Birmingham Heart Walk, and to sign up, visit BirminghamHeartWalk.org

Here’s What People Are Saying About The BIIA Gala!

In two weeks, the Birmingham Independent Insurance Agents association’s annual gala will be held to benefit Hope Lodge. The board has been busy planning and working hard to make it an event you definitely will enjoy! But if you are still on the fence about whether to attend, here’s what people are saying about the event:

To Be Social!

“I am looking forward to seeing some old and new faces and fostering my relationships in the insurance business. We have such a great community of insurance professionals in Birmingham and I am glad to be a part of it,” Brian Smith, Best Insurance Agency.

“What I look forward to most about the gala is the opportunity to meet with friends and associates from other agencies and carriers in a fun environment and  to support great, local charities. It’s also a time to meet new people and get to know them apart from insurance-related matters,” David Greene, HRA Risk Services

To WIN Prizes!

“Some of my best memories of the BIIA Gala are of watching my fellow agents, company underwriters, and brokers win nice prizes and see their reactions. We always have nice prizes. And we always raise a nice donation for the charity we are supporting each year,” Brian Smith, Best Insurance Agency.

“I am sure all of the attendees will want to stick around for the many door prizes and the grand prize give away at the end!” Mark Hughes, O.M. Hughes Insurance

To Get Awesome Silent Auction Items!

“I am excited that this year’s event will benefit Hope Lodge which is such an important program of the American Cancer Society. This year’s event will feature some great silent auction items,” Mark Hughes, O.M. Hughes Insurance.

“The silent auction is always a great chance to win some awesome items. They have gift cards, brewery tours, vacation stays, and more. I love seeing the wide variety of options to bid on,” Ivie Isler, USI Insurance

To Attend A Fun Charitable Event!

“Last year’s Gala was so relaxed and casual. The casino dealers were totally fun and helped everyone understand how the games are played. The food was delicious, there was great wine from Rush Wines, and Chris the DJ played amazing music.” Margaret Ann Pyburn, CobbsAllen.

“The door prizes are incredible! I get to gamble with someone else’s money. Silent auction items are very nice and affordable! The charitable cause alone is the very reason why you should be there!” Bill Jacka Jr, Insurance Office of America.

“I enjoy attending the BIIA Gala because it is a great time to catch up with other agents and carriers in an informal setting that is also for a great cause. I think everyone will enjoy playing the casino games and bidding on their favorite items in the silent auction,” Mark Hughes, O.M. Hughes Insurance.

The gala will take place on Friday, January 26 from 6-10pm. The beneficiary of this gala is the American Cancer Society’s Joe Lee Griffin Hope Lodge. The event will include dinner and drinks, a silent auction, casino style games, and plenty of door prizes. It will be held at LINC Point–the same location as the 2017 event.

Tickets to the event are $70 for BIIA members and $75 for non-members and can be purchased here. Bulk ticket purchases of 12 and 20 tickets will receive a discounted price.



2018 Birmingham Independent Insurance Agents’ Gala

2018 gala

The Birmingham Independent Insurance Agents association’s annual gala will take place on Friday, January 26 from 6-10pm. The beneficiary of this gala is the American Cancer Society’s Joe Lee Griffin Hope Lodge.

Hope Lodge provides comfortable lodging to qualifying out of town cancer patients at no cost so they can focus entirely on their treatment. The lodge operates entirely on contributions from donors.

“I selected Hope Lodge as the beneficiary of our upcoming gala to support a program of the American Cancer Society,” said Mark Hughes, President Elect for BIIA. “Like many families, both myself and my wife have family members that have been touched by cancer, some of which at a relatively young age.”

The BIIA Gala event will include dinner and drinks, a silent auction, casino style games, and plenty of door prizes. It will be held at LINC Point–the same location as the 2017 event.

“The event always promises to be a good time, and it definitely fulfills that promise. It is great to socialize with people, enjoy good food and drink, and play games, all while benefitting a worthwhile charity,” said Hughes.

Tickets to the event are $70 for BIIA members and $75 for non-members and can be purchased here. Bulk ticket purchases of 12 and 20 tickets will receive a discounted price.

“We look forward to the support of our members at the 2018 gala so that we can make a meaningful financial contribution to the lodge to help them continue to provide this invaluable service to cancer patients,” said Hughes.


BIIA invites YOU to our Christmas Open House!

Each year the Birmingham Independent Insurance Agents association hosts a holiday event to invite its members to gather and enjoy music, fellowship, food, and prizes. The Christmas open house also allows members to meet the board members who represent them in 2018. This year we want to personally invite YOU to the open house on Wednesday, December 6th at noon. The event will be at the Big I at 141 London Parkway  Birmingham, AL 35211.

BIIA supports our local community during this event. We will be hosting a toy drive to benefit the Christian Service Mission. Help serve kids this holiday season by bringing an unwrapped gift for children 6-10 years of age. Toys such as Legos, books, educational items are welcome as well as gift cards.

BIIA will also donate money to local charities around the area. Want to know which ones will benefit? Join us to find out!

This year we will have Tracy Hipps with Christian Service Mission and Jennifer Cherry with American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge speak to us. The Hope Lodge is the beneficiary for the 2018 BIIA Gala. Come find out more about these two wonderful organizations!

To RSVP for the event, please email Sarah Walker with the names of those coming from your agency or company. Each agency/company member will receive two complimentary tickets. Additional member tickets are $10 each. Non BIIA member tickets are $30 each.

Want to know if your employer is a BIIA member? Check out all of our 2017 members!

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, December 6th at noon!

Partner with BIIA for the 2018 Gala!

Your Birmingham Independent Insurance Agents board members have been busy planning the 2018 Gala which will benefit the Joe Lee Griffin Hope Lodge. This organization helps house patients and families going through cancer treatments. We are excited and want to make this the best gala yet, but we need your help.

Please partner with us to make this a night to remember. There are multiple ways to partner:

1. Be one of our star sponsors. Your business logo will be on the Star Sponsor board at the event, and will also be in the program.


2. Donate items to be part of the Silent Auction. Past items have included overnight stays, $100 Amazon gift cards, jewelry, local entertainment packages, rounds of golf, art pieces, and more.

3. Donate items to be given as door prizes or casino prizes. Examples of previous door prizes include $25 gift cards to local eateries, Alabama and Auburn umbrellas, LED Smart HD TV, Insulated Tumblers, poker set, Visa gift cards, and more.

To be a sponsor, please send the Sponsorship Form along with the sponsorship amount.

Silent Auction and Door Prize items may be mailed or delivered to 141 London Parkway OR call the association office at 205-326-4129 to arrange for pick up.

For questions or other assistance, call Nancy Crowe at the above listed phone number or send an email.

Thank you for your consideration of partnering with BIIA. We really appreciate it!


Young Agents’ Committee Day is Your Chance to Let Your Voice be Heard!

We are excited for the next Young Agents’ Committee Day which is Wednesday, August 16th and we want you to come out and join us!

There are four committees that you can choose to sign up for. They are Membership Development Committee,
Young Agents Conference Committee, Legislative Conference Committee, and the Excalibur Education Foundation Committee which puts on the clay shoot fundraiser each year. Each one serves an important part in our industry and each would benefit from your involvement and ideas.

So why should you sign up and come out to Young Agents’ Committee Day next week?

It’s your turn to have a say in the future plans of what the association will be doing

This past year has been filled with many fun, informative, and beneficial events, but we want the upcoming year to be even better. How do we do that? You! By coming to Young Agents’ Committee Day, YOU can make the events even better. Your insights and opinions matter. We want to hear what YOU have to say!

It’s a great way to network with other company/agency personnel

Committee Day brings company and agency people together to work on projects and events for the association. You get to meet and work/volunteer alongside people of all different backgrounds. This is a great opportunity to put faces with the names you see coming across your inbox and continue to build relationships with those people you already know.

Bring on new ideas of what our association can do to bring more value to its members

An association is only as great as its members make it. We constantly want to grow and be beneficial to members. Doing the same thing over and over again won’t add value. That’s where YOU come in! What do you want the association to do to be meaningful to you? How can we serve agents and company people better? You know what’s important to you. Young Agents’ Committee Day is your opportunity to let us know!

Become a leader in our association and industry

Have you heard your coworkers speak of insurance people outside of your office? Ever wonder who they are? By coming to Committee Day, you start or continue the process of being a leader in the association and in the industry. Hopefully one day others will talk about how knowledgeable and helpful YOU are!

Still one the fence about whether you want to join us for Young Agents’ Committee Day? Well, hold your breath and take a leap of faith to do something that could really benefit you. It’s as easy as 1,2,3!

1- Read the available committees and see which one appeals to you.
2- Sign up by emailing Sarah Walker and/or sending in the Young Agents’ Committee Day form.
3- Show up at the Big I (141 London Parkway  Birmingham, AL 35211) on Wednesday, August 16th. We promise you won’t regret it!


BIIA Wants to Connect with YOU on social media!

BIIA has been busy in 2017 trying to reach out and connect with our members. We want to keep you abreast of not only what is going on in our local association, but also of what is going on in the industry and in other partner organizations. To do this we launched our website and blog in March of this year. Now members can easily see what BIIA is about and how to become more involved, not only with our organization, but also in the industry. Stop by the website to find out answers to frequently asked questions, find out who is on the board, and obtain the application for those who want to join the Birmingham Independent Insurance Agents association.

We also jumped into the social media realm to directly connect with you. We launched our facebook, twitter, and instagram accounts at the end of 2016. Since then we have connected with many of you and are excited to interact with you through these outlets. If you aren’t following us, check out the links below to quickly connect with us.

Facebook          Twitter          Instagram

Last month we launched the BIIA page on LinkedIn. Since LinkedIn helps people network and make connections, it seems fitting that our association be part of that. By following BIIA on LinkedIn, hopefully you can turn secondary connections into primary ones—especially if you attend any of our events and are able to meet our members. You can follow our LinkedIn page here.

We want to be more visible in your life and assist you in any way that we can. Let us know what we can do. After all, we are Birmingham’s local insurance association.

Four Reasons why the YA Summer Conference is a MUST ATTEND event!

This year’s Young Agents Summer Conference is July 27-29th at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Front Hotel. It is sure to be a memorable event that you don’t want to miss. Here is a countdown of four BIG reasons why you will want to attend:

4. Because learning new insurance selling “tricks” is always a good thing, especially if it can give you a leg up over competitors!

3. Because learning is good, but learning while simultaneously being at the beach sure does beat a day at the office!

2. Because learning while at the beach is nice, but playing corn hole against agents and company reps is fun networking!

  • 1. Because learning while at the beach and networking while playing games is enjoyable, but rocking out with The Molly Ringwalds is something you’ll always remember!

Don’t miss out on your chance to learn, network, have fun, and rock out at this year’s Young Agents Summer Conference!

You can register online or download the form. For more information check out the AIIA website.

The deadline for the hotel cut off date is June 26th, so book your room today! (Hotel Code AYO)


121st AIIA Convention Recap

Live Music, Tradeshow, Motivation and Loads of Laughs

The 121st Annual Convention & Tradeshow is in the books! The weather was perfect for a poolside welcome dinner that included a local band called Mr. Big & the Rhythm Sisters. Our group danced the night away and completed the evening with door prizes.

On Thursday, our company reps hosted the Tradeshow where over 60 agents visited each booth for their chance to win the Agents Grand Prize of $1,000. Brad Young with Insurance Planning in Anniston was our lucky winner, thanks to Berkley Southeast Insurance Group for sponsoring the prize. As soon as the tradeshow finished, Matt Jones motivated the crowd with his “Life’s A Marathon” story that brought them the VICTORY!

On Friday, IIABA Chair-elect Vaughn Graham installed our new officers during our Business Session and afterwards, while the sun was shining bright…we crowned new cornholes champs! Friday evening included a seated-dinner and Comedian Tim Cavangh, who left the crowd rolling in laughter. The draw down was better than ever with a new twist. Those numbers that missed the $100 drawing got put back into the pot for a $200 prize. Once it was paired down to the final four, the crowd was able to enourage one of the four to keep going, so Jeremy Smith with Salter Insurance Agency was knocked out and Don Boatwright (ATA Work Comp Fund), Celina Pence (ICAT) and Brittany Kruszewski (Coastal Professional Insurance) decided to keep the rest!!!

In-coming President, Haig Wright announced next years convention will be at The Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama June 24-26, 2018!!!

BIIA Invites YOU to the May After Hours Social!

You definitely don’t want to miss the next BIIA after hours event which will be held on Thursday, May 18! Grab your coworkers and join us after work from 5 until 7 as we eat, drink, and socialize at Black Market Bar and Grill in the Colonnade off of Highway 280. This is a free event for BIIA members and is always an enjoyable time.

Check out the Invitation and be sure to email Sarah Walker to reserve your spot!

So why should you attend? Here are some reasons why we enjoy these events:

“I enjoy networking with my agents in a casual setting. You get to know people better outside of their office.”
Joanne Reed, The Sheffield Fund

“I always enjoy attending the BIIA after hours events because it is a great way to catch up with friends in the industry and to make new connections with other agents and insurance carriers.”
Mark Hughes, OM Hughes Insurance

“It’s fun to relax on Black Market’s patio and meet underwriters that may not get to visit the office. I like being able to put faces with names, or voices from the phone. Then we get to know each other better and build on the relationship that has already been established.”
Ivie Isler, USI Insurance Services

“The after hours events give you a chance to network with other agents and company people in a laid back casual atmosphere.”
George Boohaker, The Insurance Network Inc

What are some reasons you love attending the BIIA afterhours event? Let us know in the comments or on social media!

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AIIA Annual Convention & Trade Show

Since all BIIA members are part of the Alabama Independent Insurance Agents association, it is only fitting to let our members know about the upcoming AIIA Annual Convention.

The 2017 AIIA Annual Convention &Trade Show will be held June 7-9th at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, in Destin, Florida. The event promises to be a fun time with some amazing speakers including Motivational Speaker, Matt Jones; IIABA Chariman-Elect, Vaughn Graham; and Stand-up Comedian, Tim Cavanagh.

Though attendees will benefit from the conference sessions and trade show, convention organizers made sure to include time to socialize and network. The Welcome Reception and Dinner Pool Party will have live entertainment. Then there is the Corn Hole tournament and get togethers on the beach. Check out the Schedule of Events to see the specific times.

As a special treat, this year convention organizers decided to offer BOGO rates to Member Agencies. Register one agent at the full registration cost of $250, and the second licensed agent from the same agency will have no registration fee!  

Be sure to reserve your spot today! Find more information on the AIIA website.

  Matt Jones
​  Motivational Speaker
          Vaughn Graham
IIABA Chairman-Elect
Tim Cavanagh
​Stand-up Comedian