Long-time IIAT employee, insurance expert and instructor, Jim Gavin, is the winner of the Paige Eiland Political Action Award, presented at IIAT’s Annual Awards Ceremony and Business Meeting in Round Rock on June 25, 2021.
The Paige Eiland Award recognizes an agent whose political involvement has had a great impact on the independent insurance agency system. The award has only been presented six times since its inception 16 years ago. It was last presented in 2018 to Bob Shepard of Harlingen. The award is named for Paige Eiland of Stanton, Texas, a longtime IIAT member who worked tirelessly on behalf of agents in both state and federal political arenas.
Jim’s career in the insurance industry is long and diverse. He started in 1973 with Chubb Insurance Group as a personal lines underwriter. In 1975, he joined the Continental Insurance Group and was transferred to New Orleans where he worked as a commercial casualty underwriter and was soon promoted to a managerial position. In 1978, Jim moved to Houston to serve as Assistant Branch Manager in charge of production and underwriting. In 1980, he was promoted to Branch Manager in Oklahoma City, responsible for Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico.
In 1982, Jim entered the agency business in Wichita Falls as a partner at Allred Thompson Mason Daugherty, where he stayed for 20 years before joining IIAT. Jim’s encyclopedic knowledge of insurance and his keen insights into coverage issues made him a go-to, reliable insurance expert for staff and IIAT members. Countless insurance agents have benefitted from the classes and webinars Jim has taught over the years. “He has a knack for making sense of the most complicated insurance issues and for making the most mundane insurance topics interesting,” said IIAT President & Executive Director Marit Peters.
“Jim is always working behind the scenes on important issues for independent agents. He has a wealth of insurance knowledge and an innate understanding of the political process. I’ve depended on him to help with our legislative agenda for the past 15 years. There is nobody that is more deserving of this award,” said IIAT’s Director of Government Affairs Lee Loftis.