Some four and a half years ago, I was asked to join Summit Professional Networks – then Summit Business Media – to become the Editor in Chief of National Underwriter Life & Health. I jumped at the chance. I have revered both National Underwriter Life & Health and National Underwriter Property & Casualty for my entire career as an insurance writer and editor, and to even be considered for the job of leading one of these institutions was an honor in itself.
With the help of the editorial team, we swiftly established a strong new direction in terms of enterprise content, breaking news and analysis. I worked hard to build a better relationship with our audience, and to always, always, always put out something that I felt represented the best of my craft, respected the business of insurance and served the professionals who read our content. In all things, strive for excellence. There is no other way.
In time, I was given the further honor of overseeing all of Summit’s insurance publications, including both editions of National Underwriter, and our websites LifeHealthPro, ProducersWEB and PropertyCasualty360. We redesigned and re-launched certain titles, folded others into existing titles, made waves, won awards and in a few cases, really made a difference. It was all the best work I had ever produced, and I felt that everything I had done in my career to that point was so that I could lead these great brands – these great people – as best I could. They deserved nothing less.
But with all things, there must come change, and today, that change is my departure. This will be my final editorial for National Underwriter, and by the time you read this, I will already be gone. And while I look forward to a new chapter in my career, I will always look upon this one with great fondness and satisfaction. Here is where I joined with the oldest and the finest tradition of insurance journalism in American history. Here, I served an audience filled with those noble souls who serve the insurance world, not because it is something that they do, but because it is something that they are. Here, I wrote stories that really expressed things I felt had to be said, made points that had to be made and told stories that had to be told.
But most importantly, here is where I tried, to the best of my ability, to live up to the words of National Underwriter’s legendary founder E.J. Wohlgemuth:
“…where the interests of the insurance business and the public which it serves, after making every possible effort to harmonize those interests, conflict, the National Underwriter believes that the best interests in the insurance business are served by taking the stand of the public. In the final analysis, the insurance business can only be successful if it is conducted on the basis of the truest and best service of which it is capable to its clients and the public. This, I take it, is a fundamental principle and the one which has kept the National Underwriter from being a mere paid organ of special interests. Its policies are based on the broad foundation of good citizenship and the recognition that insurance, as well as all other business, exists primarily not for the men who are engaged in it, but for the people whom they serve.”
Thank you, E.J. for giving me such direction. Thank you, my friends and colleagues, for working with me to achieve the many wonderful things we have achieved. And thank you, dear reader, for affording me a little time every month to offer my thoughts on something that I hoped would matter to you. I will miss many things about this job, but none so much as you.
Be well. Do good. And stay in touch.