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Colleen Clarke Elected to AAEI Board of Governors

by Roanoke

Roanoke Insurance Group, Inc.  is proud to announce the election of Colleen Clarke, Vice President of Surety & Trade Relations, to the Board of Governors for the American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI). Clarke serves as co-chair of the AAEI Customs Committee and continues her industry leadership by advising members on the facilitation of lawful trade.

Members of the AAEI organization will benefit from Clarke’s expertise in customs and government trade topics as well as her past experience in assisting importers and customs brokers through surety bond issues of all kinds.

This appointment further acknowledges Roanoke’s ongoing commitment to provide resources and actively participate in the industry.

 

 

“Working alongside Colleen for many years, I’ve seen how dedicated she is to helping clients,   sharing knowledge with colleagues and advocating for the industry. She truly “knows her stuff” and I’m confident she will be also be a great asset to the AAEI. Congratulations Colleen. We are proud to have you on our team.” – Karen Groff, President, Roanoke Insurance Group Inc.

Clarke began her career in 1988 with Washington International Insurance Company. She handled a range of important responsibilities for the surety across the organization including the customs claims and underwriting units. Clarke has also served  with the following organizations:

  • Customs Commercial Operations Advisory Committee (2009-2012).
  • Member of the Trade Support Network Trade Leadership Executive Committee.
  • Member of the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation private sector working group.
  • President of the International Trade Surety Association (2015-2020)

In response to her election, Clarke says,

“I am honored to be elected to the Board of Governors by the AAEI members.  I sincerely appreciate the trust instilled in me by the members.  I look forward to working with AAEI’s leadership and the Board of Governors to accomplish the goals of the association on behalf of its members.”


Roanoke Opens Office in Toronto

by Roanoke

Roanoke’s Expansion into Canada Explained

On March 17, 2021, Roanoke announced a major milestone that positively impacts our customers, our business and our team.

We issued a press release that proudly announced the opening of a new Canadian company headquartered in Toronto, ON. The new organization, Roanoke Insurance Group Canada, Inc., part of Munich Re Specialty Group, N.A., leads our expansion into Canada. RIG CA is a retail and wholesale broker representing several top-rated insurance and surety bond companies.

The new organization is led by one of Roanoke’s own industry veterans, Glenn Patton. He will serve as Managing Director of the Canadian operation.

“I am very excited for this new opportunity to expand Roanoke’s presence and serve the logistics industry in this growing market. I have had the privilege of working in the Canadian insurance marketplace for over 3 years, and I look forward to building strong relationships with our Canadian partners and clients”, states Glenn Patton.

Although Roanoke has been working with Canadian partners for over 25 years, establishing a Canadian entity enables Roanoke to provide a stronger and more seamless service experience to clients with cross border operations. RIG CA is positioned to support the Canadian trade industry with unique and expertly crafted insurance and surety bond solutions designed to meet the needs of freight brokers, freight forwarders, customs brokers and others in the supply chain.

RIG CA is an affiliate of Roanoke Insurance Group Inc. (RIG), a prominent specialty broker to the logistics and trade industry in the United States since 1935.

Roanoke focuses on a  full scope of insurance, surety bond, ATA Carnet products and risk management services for companies involved in transportation, logistics or shipping whether your operations are digital or traditional.

Contact us at 800.ROANOKE (762-6653) or infospot@roanokegroup.com to learn more about our Canadian and cross border products and services.


Happy President’s Day

by Chell Rodriguez

In observance of the holiday, our offices will be closed on Monday, February 15th and reopen on the 16th resuming normal business hours. Happy President’s Day!


Happy Holidays From Roanoke!

by Roanoke

Warmest greetings and best wishes for happiness in the new year from all of us at Roanoke!

This year’s corporate donations have been made to American Logistics Aid Network and Americares.


Billie Sullivan – In Memoriam

by Karen Groff

Last updated on December 8th, 2020

It is with tremendous sorrow that I must inform you that Billie Sullivan passed away early on the morning of December 1, 2020 rather unexpectedly with heart complications. Fortunately her beloved son was by her side. Billie had two children, Sean and Nicole and three grandchildren, Chloe, Michael and Ryan, and she had been excitedly awaiting one due in the next few weeks.

Billie Sullivan, Vice President Underwriting, had worked for Roanoke for 40 years, and her claim to fame was bringing Roanoke the ‘Transportation Advantage Policy’ (TAP) when she joined the company (some remember it was once called the ‘Anduril’ program). She worked in Roanoke’s Long Beach office, closely with Gina Patterson for decades. Billie and Gina supported all of the Roanoke offices and clients with dedicated TAP service and underwriting, and did so with passion. Concerning her long and formative time spent with Billie, Gina says,

“I was very surprised when I received the opportunity to work with Billie in my 2nd month at Roanoke.  It turned out that she had asked for me out of a field of other candidates, and as I grew to know her, I realized it was due to her appreciation of the curiosity that drove me – one curious mind to another. Billie had a pure love of learning and acquiring new information.  She thought I was absolutely crazy to pursue designated studies, but she supported me in my academics nevertheless.  As I frequently would tell her “inquiring minds gotta know!”

Her dedication to her clientele was fierce – her motto was that if she taught her clients how to correctly use insurance to improve and protect their businesses, that would be the best way to educate them and ultimately keep them out of business pitfalls, and she was exceptionally good at all of it.  She made dedicated friends with most of her clients who remained steadfastly loyal to her for decades. They loved her.

Billie would share her years of experience and knowledge with anyone who asked. When presented with a dilemma, she would work the figures and terms/conditions until she came up with a solution that worked for everyone. The transportation industry, Roanoke Insurance Group, her clients, and her colleagues all lost one of the brightest and most experienced minds in the domestic transportation fields with her passing, and I lost a mentor, a friend and a soul sister.”

Billie’s understanding of the transportation-related insurance needs of our clients, and her connection with the logistics industry, ran deep. In fact, Billie was the first woman to set foot into Lloyd’s of London to conduct transportation insurance business of this nature. Early in her career faxing was the optimal mode of communication, so underwriters never saw or heard her—they just knew that this “Billie” character had a good book of business. When the Lloyd’s underwriter finally met her for the first time in London, he said “You’re Billie?!? Good gracious, we always thought you were a man!” It was not normal for women to be in this business, and that is why many refer to her as a trailblazer. Billie loved this story, just as much as she loved sharing her knowledge of the business with anyone wanting to learn. I am blessed to be one of the people she taught and I am just a long list of those she helped and supported in their careers.

One of those whose life and career was blessed by Billie is Vice President of Business Development, Glenn Patton. Patton says,

“When I started Roanoke at the age of 26, Billie took me under her wing and taught me everything she could. I so admired how much she knew and how well respected she was in the industry. I had the privilege of working with her for 22 years and even till the day she passed, I was always learning from her. Billie was not only a mentor to me, but she was like a second mom, always looking out for me. I will miss Billie dearly.”

Another Roanoke colleague who was deeply impacted by her long tenure working with Billie, Karen Rzeszutko, Vice President Head of Underwriting says,

“It was a privilege and honor to have worked with Billie.  She was a pillar in the industry, supportive, gracious and kind.  She will so deeply be missed by me and those who had the great honor of knowing her.”

And Rick Bridges, VP of Business Development, shares a story of Billie’s devotion to helping our clients,

“Thanksgiving is a time in which I always look back to how much of a mentor Billie was to me and advocate she was to our clients for one particular experience that I will never forget. A client at the time had the contract to deliver the ballots following the invasion of Iraq. This was to be ten 747s from four countries delivering ballots to a still hostile region. Most insurers would have run away at the prospect of insuring this, but Billie’s perseverance convinced underwriters to insure this and on Thanksgiving day of 2004 we got it done. All that aside, she will be missed as a friend, confidant, and a true pillar of knowledge. She is a bright star shining down on all of us.”

Other interesting facts about Billie surround her longtime seat on the AEMCA Board, active member of the LAACA, and participation on the Planning Committee for the highly acclaimed AirCargo Conference. If you ever forgot to dot an “i” or cross a “t”, she was there to fix it, and if you were ever new to attending an association event or conference, all you had to do is stick by Billie’s side, and you’d know all the key players before the end of the night. It was like you’d instantly become recognized and significant, just because you knew Billie!

Without a doubt, there is and will always be a ‘Billie Fan Club’ among the TAP clients she developed over the years, demonstrated by their fierce loyalty with decades of client retention. Billie is a shining example for all of us—that being a person who cares about others, lifts them up and supports them will reap the benefits of loyalty and meaningful relationships in return.

Here is Billie’s bio and a link to her WIT-LA Global Trade Catalyst Award recognition.

Our hearts and prayers are with Billie’s family, friends and colleagues. I, along with you, will personally cherish many fond memories and remember her always.

Karen M. Groff, President
Roanoke Insurance Group, Inc.

 


Thanksgiving 2020

by Chell Rodriguez

 

Roanoke will take time to celebrate family and friends this Thanksgiving by closing our offices at 1:00pm on Wednesday, November 25th and reopening at 8:30am on Monday, November 30th.

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday!


Veteran’s Day 2020

by Chell Rodriguez

Today and every day, we humbly thank our American service members and their families for their courage and sacrifice.

On Veterans Day, we take a special moment to honor and remember those who have served and those who made the greatest sacrifice for our country.


Happy Halloween!

by Roanoke

Ghostly Greetings from Your Friends at Roanoke!

We hope you carve out some time for some ghoulishly good fun.
Have a safe and Happy Halloween!


Labor Day 2020

by Chell Rodriguez

In recognition of Labor Day, our offices will close at 3pm on September 4th, remain closed on September 7th and reopen for normal business hours on September 8th. Have a safe weekend!


Fourth of July Hours

by Chell Rodriguez

In honor of Independence Day, our offices will close at 3pm on July 2nd and remain closed on July 3rd. We will reopen for normal business hours on Monday, July 6th.

Wishing everyone a Safe and Happy 4th of July!