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By a nose...

* In this issue we reproduce a letter sent by the Empire Safety Council to the Governor, calling for the immediate termination of the Internet Point Insurance Reduction Program (IPIRP). The letter calls for criminal charges for state official misconduct by those scheming to continue ineffective driver safety programs by fabricating scientific research; fraudulent driver safety courses; defrauding the public; compromising public safety. The Council has a point that we have presented in these pages before: PIRP programs need to have teeth and deliver the real results desired, or why use them at all? This is a cause that should be taken up by the industry as a safety driven business.

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M&A a Go Go keeps go go going forward: the merger of The Capacity Group of Companies and EPIC Insurance Brokers & Consultants, the national retail insurance brokerage and employee benefits consulting firm, forms a giant-sized new enterprise, becoming one of the largest full-service independent insurance brokerage groups in the nation. From 15 locations across the country, The Capacity Group offers top-rated providers of specialty insurance and financial services solutions. EPIC, founded in 2007, already one of the 20 largest U.S. retail insurance brokers, ranks #26 among the top commercial insurance broker/consultants globally, with a reputation for service excellence. "The Capacity Group has been delivering strategic guidance and service around the risk management, insurance and benefit consulting needs of our clients for more than 25 years," said The Capacity Groups President and Chief Executive Officer, Robert Lull. "We believe the decision to join with EPIC will help us deliver an even broader and deeper set of capabilities and added value to our clients, with the same commitment to service delivery excellence that has always been a hallmark of our firm. We are thrilled to join forces with a unique and successful company like EPIC." EPIC will now operate as The Capacity Group-an EPIC Company, and The Capacity Groups leadership team will continue to play vital roles within the larger EPIC organization. Said EPIC CEO, John Hahn, "We found a strong cultural partner in The Capacity Group, in an important and highly desirable region where we have wanted to be an even larger partner in the community and see strong opportunities for growth. The Capacity Group, under the leadership of their executive team alongside their impressive team of owner-operators, will add significant value to our clients across the country and create further opportunities for our employees' long-term growth and career success." EPIC Northeast Region President is Thomas O'Neil. The addition of The Capacity Group significantly expands EPIC's capabilities, adding more than 280 top professionals in an additional 15 locations and a strong client base centered in the Northeast.

Winner by a Nose: An anti-arson dog whose "nose" figured in dozens of arson convictions, was named New York's top fraud fighter for 2016.

The trained yellow Labrador retriever, Scooter, had a memorable 10-year career before passing away in October 2016. She investigated several hundred fires with the Rockland County Sheriff's Department, and also worked cases for adjacent counties. Her longtime handler, Det. Doug Lerner (pictured above), accepted the Fraud Fighter of the Year award posthumously from the New York Alliance against Insurance Fraud earlier this month. The Alliance comprises more than 100 insurers combating insurance crime by educating New Yorkers about fraud's high costs to consumers throughout the state. Scooter was a rescue dog, and joined the Rockland County fire unit in 2006. She and Lerner were inseparable in teaming to investigate fires. Arson dogs such as Scooter can smell 100,000 times better than humans. She could discover tiny amounts of gasoline or other fire starters amid piles of blackened ruins. Her evidence proved crucial in helping earn arson and insurance-fraud convictions, said Alliance chair Jim Berrigan, in presenting the award. The conviction rate is four times higher for law enforcement departments with canine crime fire fighters. Scooter was graduated from a rigorous national training program to become a certified arson dog--where only about one of 10 canines graduate. Most are Labrador retrievers. Their keen noses and inquisitive, outgoing personalities make them natural fits for scouring rubble for clues, the Alliance stated. The training of Scooter and her handler was funded by a grant from State Farm.

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Jodie A. Papa, Manager and Licensed Adjuster for the National Fire Adjustment Co., Inc. (NFA) has been named Fourth Vice President of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA). Ms. Papa is the Officer in charge of Membership and Education for NAPIA. The NFA is a fourth-generation family owned and operated public adjusting firm that began in Buffalo, New York in 1922, and is North America's largest public adjusting and loss-consulting firms. NFA has expanded covering losses both in the United States and Canada. Jodie Papa was Treasurer, Secretary and Board Member for NAPIA. She has worked for NFA since 2001, has been a Licensed Adjuster since 2006, and was elevated to Manager in 2015. She is a graduate of Niagara University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting.

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Jason Galiano has joined York as Vice President of Sales for York's Public Entity division. As the largest third-party administrator (TPA) in public entity, York Public has been a trusted public entity partner for more than 50 years, partnering with more than 5,800 public entities and public employers, including states, cities, schools, counties, utilities and parks. Jason will focus on the eastern half of the US, especially in the Northeast. "We are thrilled to have Jason join the Public Entity team," said Jon Lord, Managing Vice President of Sales for Public Entity. "His 20+ years of experience in managed care and in partnering with public agencies gives him deep understanding of the issues our clients face and how to create effective claims and managed care solutions for them and their injured workers." Jody Moses, President of York Public Entity, said "The addition of Jason to our team reinforces our commitment to delivering excellent service and results to our public entity clients. Jason will play a key role in helping York continue to expand our presence in the Northeast and to enhance the solutions we bring to our clients." Prior to joining York, he was Group Vice President of Sales for Concentra. Jason earned a BS degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a Master of Science from Northeastern Illinois University, and is pursuing an Executive MBA at the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. He will be based in York's Downers Grove, IL office.
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Title Annotation:[FOREWORD]
Author:Acunto, Steve
Publication:Insurance Advocate
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Mar 27, 2017
Words:1092
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