ARM Veteran and Past President Craig Payan to Head ARM of Illinois

Itasca, IL (PRWEB) July 01, 2014

Payan has been transitioning out of the retail operations in his agency, and will assume the role of Executive Director on July 1, 2014.

A veteran in the insurance industry and with ARM, Payan served as Chairman of ARM International, Inc., where he also served as Vice Chairman and Director. He has been active in leadership roles within ARM of Illinois in the past, including serving as both President and Vice President.

Payan is a charter member of the Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI) designation issued by The Institutes, and is a licensed producer of life, health, casualty and fire in the state of Illinois. He was named IIA of Illinois Chairman of the Year and IIA of Illinois Young Agent of the Year. Payan has also received the VIP Award and Rotarian of the Year Award from the Oak Forest Rotary Club.

Payan comes from an insurance family – people who have been around organizations and associations. “Craig’s father was president of the Big I of Illinois and the Big I National,” says Gary Semmer, Executive Vice President & Partner at Esser Hayes Insurance Group and interim Director of ARM of Illinois. “His brother Clark is president of Big I California. When you mention the Payan name in those circles, everyone knows them.”

Semmer says Payan was a natural choice. “He has 25 years of being an ARM agent, and he has served as Chairman at the national level, as well as on the board of directors and as ARM of Illinois president.”

In his first year, Payan plans to reestablish the connection between the agents and current ARM programs and products. “Redirecting attention to those national programs and reintroduction of those to the ARM of Illinois agents will be beneficial for them as well as for other states.”

He also plans to look aggressively at new products for agents. “Bob’s most notable achievement has been putting together the school program, and that’s the kind of thing we’re looking for – programs with exclusive distribution rights that other agents don’t have. That kind of differentiation is going to be a continued focus for us,” says Payan.

The timing, Semmer says, couldn’t have been better. “Craig was looking for something to do at the end of his agency career, something he was passionate about. He and Bob had worked together for years. When there’s change, there’s often opportunity.”

Payan says “I’ve always enjoyed the business side of the industry – the markets, and negotiations, even the organization and the administration of the association had always attracted my interest. When Bob resigned, he pulled me aside and offered to get Gary Semmer to talk to me about it. From there, we reached an agreement.”

Payan calls this Chapter Three of his insurance career, having started in the Producer Offspring Program (POP) at Commercial Union Insurance Company before joining his father’s insurance agency. “This is my third insurance gig,” he says.

Semmer says of Payan: “Craig is a visionary, and he’s passionate about ARM. There was no question when I presented him as a candidate to the ARM of Illinois board. It was unanimous, and it was a no-brainer.”