He has earned the insurance designations of Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), and brings 35 years experience in claims, education/training, recruiting, and field sales leadership at the territory, regional and state levels. He has spent the majority of his career supporting and consulting independent agency owners, brokers, aggregators, producers and CSRs; the last 23 years being here in Michigan.
DeMartis, speaking by phone from his Rochester Hills, MI. home where he resides with his wife Gina and their spirited dog Rudy, said he’s so impressed with what PIA offers its members and said he’s equally looking forward to introducing new agents to the program and counseling current members on all the membership benefits at PIA.
“I like the fact that MI PIA is a smaller group that’s trying to grow,” he said. “It’s not really profit-driven but more hands-on with support for independent agents. I’ve worked with independent agents most of my career in the field. It’s in my nature to support them and listen to them.”
Both MI PIA Director Tim Breadon and MI PIA President Erin Dey noted that DeMartis extensive experience in working with independent agencies made him the perfect candidate for the job. His experience also includes providing independent agencies with full consultation services in the areas of marketing, operations and financials through industry benchmarking, and he has also partnered with internal and external consultants to assist agents with IA acquisitions. Breadon noted DeMartis’ “hands-on” agency field experience will be a great asset.
“We are thrilled to have Rich on board as MI PIA’s membership director,” Dey said. “The association is in growth mode, and with Rich’s efforts we are excited about the coming years’ opportunities. While Rich’s main focus will be to grow membership, he is also responsible for maintaining the already established relationships with our members.”
DeMartis plans to counsel current members on membership benefits they may be underutilizing and said he listens to agents and makes recommendations specific to their goals.
“Most agents aren’t aware of all the resources at their fingertips,” he said. “I want to make sure that each agent maximizes the benefits and resources geared to their agency. One agent will feel really strongly about the political advocacy PIA provides. Another might really like the Market Access program. Another will find that SBAM membership is really going to help them.”
He said he’s excited to work with the YIP (Young Insurance Professionals) group, and said membership in PIA makes so much sense for young agents.
“It takes time to build up a book of business,” he said. “If you have an association backing you , it’s easier as you try to grow. I love counseling and guiding new agents. … With the Market Access program we can give them access to carriers and provide the advocacy and support they need to grow.”
“It’s a relationship business,” DeMartis said. “If you have strong relationships and you really have a genuine desire to help people it’s an extremely rewarding career.”
When he’s not in the office or consulting with clients, you can find DeMartis at the bowling alley, tennis courts, golf course (he’s a lefty so he hits from the opposite side of the tee), or even at the basketball courts.
“I played college basketball, so I still try to run down the court once in awhile … that’s in my blood,” he said. DeMartis had the opportunity to travel to Europe playing basketball for his college team ( C.W. Post ) before transferring to the State University of New York, College at Oswego, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He also served as a volunteer baseball and basketball coach for 15 years. Ric and Gina have two sons, Dan & Joe, who are both graduates of the University of Dayton.
You can meet Rich at MIPIA’s Un-Convention October 24th-26th in Midland, MI or contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (248) 537-221 to go over your membership benefits.