Brantley Center Modernization

BOONE—The Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina (IIANC)  made a $250,000 gift to the Brantley Risk and Insurance Center at Appalachian State University. The gift was used to help modernize the center located in the Walker College of Business. Aubie Knight, CEO of IIANC, presented the check to Walker College of Business Interim Dean Heather Norris  in November 2015.big_i_check_group.jpgA $250,000 gift was presented in support of the Brantley Risk and Insurance Center at Appalachian State University. The gift from the Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina will fund a modernization of the center to better meet student needs. Attending the check presentation were Greg Langdon, left, Brantley Center associate director; Heather Norris, dean of the Walker College of Business; Ray Tedder, Brantley Center advisory board member; David Marlett, professor of risk management and insurance; Jeff Haney, Brantley Center advisory board member; Karen Epermanis, professor and Brantley Center director; Dave Wood, Joseph F. Freeman Distinguished Professor of Insurance; Aubie Knight, IIANC CEO; and Neil Annas, Brantley Center advisory board member.

“We are very grateful to the IIANC for its 25-plus years of involvement with the Brantley Risk and Insurance Center in support of our students,” said Norris. “This most recent financial investment by the IIANC will help us enhance and make more versatile the spaces where our risk management and insurance students collaborate, learn and grow to become the next generation of successful insurance industry leaders.”

Appalachian’s risk management and insurance (RMI) program is among the “10 Largest Risk and Insurance Schools,” according to Risk Management magazine, and aims to prepare graduates for careers through ample opportunity for interaction and networking with industry professionals.

“Our long-standing partnership with the IIANC and its member companies has been the cornerstone of the risk management and insurance program at Appalachian,” said Brantley Center Director and RMI Professor Karen Epermanis. “This gift allows us to embark upon a much-needed modernization effort within the Brantley Center so that our students can capitalize on the educational opportunities afforded them. Beginning this fall, we will remove walls and reconfigure the floor plan, which will double the usable physical space to facilitate improved networking, study and research between students, faculty and community members.”

The IIANC has a long history supporting the RMI program at Appalachian, and the organization was recently recognized as the center’s “Founding Strategic Partner.”

“The IIANC is extremely proud that we are able to support the RMI program,” said Knight. “The RMI students at App State are receiving a first-class education in insurance and risk management and they will undoubtedly play a critical role in the future success of the insurance industry. We feel very strongly, that as an association, we need to support these students and help in every way that we can to nurture the educational opportunities that they are afforded. With the strong RMI programs here in North Carolina, we are optimistic that there will be a steady stream of industry leaders for generations to come.”

“It is a pleasure for IIANC to contribute to the RMI program at Appalachian,” said IIANC Secretary Jeff Haney, who is president of ECM Insurance Solutions of Charlotte. “They continue to graduate quality students who are the future of our industry. What they do with the students in the classroom is great, but what they do with them outside of the classroom through the Brantley Center is fantastic. The students are prepared to face the work world and they embrace it ready to contribute. We are honored to have a small part in this success.”