Troy Schmidt, The Highlands Insurance Group, was reinstalled as president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Baton Rouge during ceremonies held Jan. 19 at Baton Rouge Country Club. He has one year left in his two-year term as president.

Schmidt succeeded John Didier, Blumberg and Associates, who remains on IIABR’s board of directors.

The officers were installed by Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon.

Schmidt, a 24-year veteran of the insurance industry, got his start in insurance while in college at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette) in the Risk Management Program led by Dr. Bill Ferguson. “Dr. Ferguson recommended that I get some industry experience before graduating from the program,” Schmidt said. He (Schmidt) approached Mark Romero then at Dorsey Insurance Agency in New Iberia, “multiple times” about getting an internship. “He finally gave in and interviewed me and gave me a position at Dorsey Insurance,” Schmidt said.

Education has always been important to Schmidt. To that end, he has his CPCU (Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter), ARM (Associate in Risk Management), and AIS (Associate in Insurance Services) designations. He is currently working on his CLCS (Commercial Lines Coverage Specialist), AU (Associate in Commercial Underwriting), and AAI (Accredited Advisor in Insurance) designations.

Schmidt told the Reporter that he chose to get a degree in insurance right out of high school because he wanted to work in an industry that will always need people.

“I take pride in being a freak of insurance. I chose insurance as a career, and very rarely do I think of it as work,” Schmidt added.

After graduation, he went to work for Safeco Insurance Company as a commercial lines underwriter, eventually becoming a senior commercial lines underwriter. He was at Safeco for five years before joining CNA, “because I wanted to work on large commercial accounts.” In 2008, he received the National Pinnacle Award from CNA.

Schmidt was with CNA for seven years before coming back to the agency side of the business in 2012. He is currently the commercial lines manager for The Highlands Insurance Group were he has been for the last five months.

Schmidt has been on IIABR’s board of directors since 2012. When he first got on the board, he helped with the golf tournament. He held the president-elect position for two years before becoming president.

In addition to his service to IIABR, he is a past president of the Bayou Chapter of CPCU.

Misty Bunch, BXS Insurance, was re-installed president-elect, and Wendy Bates, Perkins-McKenzie Insurance Agency, continues as secretary-treasurer.

Schmidt is looking forward to getting back to in-person functions this year. The association is planning to have a charity golf outing that will be held at the Topgolf facility on Mall Drive in Baton Rouge May 5. The facility, which opened a couple of years ago is a driving range and entertainment center. Topgolf players hit golf balls that are equipped with microchips that track accuracy and distance and score each drive. There are 72 bays to tee off from, 24 on each of three levels, where topgolfers can choose from several games and enjoy drinks and food.

At year-end, the proceeds from the golf outing will go to the Trusted Choice Disaster Relief Fund. “I received help from the Trusted Choice Disaster Relief Fund after the Baton Rouge flooding in 2016, so this charity is really important to me,” Schmidt told the Reporter.

In addition, IIABR will hold its Fall Social on Nov. 5 and schedule interesting speakers for member meetings throughout the year. It is Schmidt’s hope that more member agencies will get engaged in doing things again.

In addition to Schmidt, Bunch, Bates and Didier, board members installed were Carter Fourrier, Fourrier Agency; Kase Gonzales, First Louisiana Insurance; Tommy Mann, Bourg Insurance Agency, and Andrew Redpath, Baton Rouge Insurance Agency.