WASHINGTON, April 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Donna Cunningham, CPIA, President of ADP/Statewide Insurance of Florham Park, New Jersey, has been named the 2013 PIA National Professional Agent of the Year. The award was presented by the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) during a gala awards ceremony on April 12, 2013 in Arlington, Virginia.
The PIA National Professional Agent of the Year Award is the association's highest national award of distinction. It is presented annually to one outstanding professional insurance agent who is a member of PIA. Nominations for this award are made by PIA state and regional affiliate associations.
"Donna Cunningham realized early on that to be successful, she needed to immerse herself in the business of insurance," said PIA National President Andy Harris, who presented the award. "That started her commitment to education — for herself and her employees."
"Donna has extended her involvement in the industry to her carriers, and to PIA," Harris said. "She has served as Chairperson of the Travelers Insurance Company Agents Advisory Council and as a member of the agent councils at Skylands and Peerless. For more than a decade, Donna has served in virtually every volunteer capacity with PIA of New Jersey. She was President of PIA of New Jersey in 2010-2011. New Jersey honored her as its Agent of the Year last year."
"Donna isn't afraid to tackle new frontiers to support causes she believes in," said PIA of New Jersey Executive Director Diane Fowler, who accepted the award on behalf of Cunningham. "Several years ago, she was the driving force behind the creation of PIA of New Jersey's Women's Business Forum, which established a series of programs to provide female insurance professionals with career development and networking opportunities. She continues to be actively involved in this program, which has a loyal following among agency and company personnel alike."
During her term as President of PIANJ, Cunningham led an effort to establish programs designed to assist newer producers of ethnic descent to gain the markets and skills needed to build a successful agency. She established this initiative not only to help producers get started in the business but to ensure that communities with large ethnic populations were adequately served by professional insurance agents.
Fowler added that a member of Donna's agency family was being married that day, so she couldn't accept the award in person, although she very much wanted to do so. "As always, Donna put the feelings and interests of others before her own. That's Donna."
Fowler added, "[Cunningham] is the epitome of the term 'Professional Insurance Agent;' always there to serve her clients, a strong advocate for the causes she believes in and a staunch supporter of her very loyal staff — her agency family. She is an excellent example of all that every PIA member should strive for: a true professional who always works to help others and give back."
While Cunningham was unable to accept the award in person, she said, "This is truly an honor which I accept on behalf of all the insurance professionals who always do their best for their clients and the companies they represent. Throughout my career, PIA has provided me with the resources necessary to become truly a 'professional insurance agent' as well as the tools to allow us to mentor new insurance professionals, which helped us grow our agency."
Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses. PIA members are Local Agents Serving Main Street America (SM). PIA's web address is www.pianet.com.
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SOURCE National Association of Professional Insurance Agents