Getting Involved… Virtually!

The following blog post was written by Merritt Tongen, AINS, a member of the iLEAD (Young Agents) Committee at IIANC.


How quickly things can change! IIANC’s iLEAD (Young Agents) Committee had planned lots of great networking activities in 2020 to connect with Young Agents around the state. We were really excited about a fun Happy Hour event that was being planned just for Young Agents to kick off IIANC’s InsurEXPO in downtown Winston-Salem in April. But then the COVID-19 outbreak hit and many of our iLEAD meetings and events were postponed or cancelled for the foreseeable future.

However, just because we are physically away from each other, we are still able to engage with our fellow Young Agents at events this fall!

For example… go ahead and mark your calendars for:  

IIANC’s Virtual Annual Convention on October 5 & 6

Registration will open in just a few days… and guess what? It’s FREE for IIANC members and PARTNERS! PLUS… on the evening of October 5th our incoming iLEAD Chairman is going to be leading a virtual Happy Hour for all of us younger folks out there… Make plans to join!

Attending any of our iLEAD or IIANC events gives you the opportunity to grow and mold your profession the way you want it. One can usually find helpful sessions which typically include marketing, breakthrough industry topics, and technological suggestions to help you manage your daily activity with proficiency. And let’s not forget a speaker you won’t want to miss!

It also gives you the chance to network with both independent agency personnel like yourselves and carrier partners/prospects. Our hope is that you leave feeling refreshed and more supported in your business than ever before! 

The iLEAD Committee is hoping to organize some virtual learning/networking opportunities in the coming months so you can see and connect with your peers around the state from wherever you are! Stay tuned for details on that soon!

No one has a crystal ball to foresee what the future will hold for in-person meetings, but we are all hoping that we can be together again soon to talk, network and learn from each other face-to-face!

In the meantime, if you are a Young Agent (an IIANC member agent age 41 and under), make sure you are signed up for our distribution list so you’re the first to hear of networking and professional development opportunities – whether in-person or virtual! Check out www.ileadnc.com to learn more!


Merritt Tongen, AINS, is an agency principal in Waynesville, NC. She attended NC State University and began her formal insurance career at Auto-Owners Insurance in Charlotte. Merritt moved around with Auto-Owners every two years, working in both Lansing, MI as a Home Office Underwriter and in Boise, ID as a Marketing Rep. Upon the birth of their first child, Calder, Merritt and her husband Mark moved back to Waynesville. Merritt is proud to represent as fourth-generation in her family agency, LN Davis Insurance, and her husband Mark currently works for Auto-Owners in their Asheville Claims division. You can typically find their son Calder crawling around Merritt’s office. The running joke at LND is that “it’s never too early to learn insurance.” Merritt is actively involved in the Haywood County Schools Foundation and Modern Professionals of Haywood County. She enjoys watching hockey with her husband and son and loves anything outdoors. She aspires to see all seven wonders of the world and visit every continent by the time she’s 40.

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