New officers and directors elected for Vermont Insurance Agents Association

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Wed, 11/08/2017 - 9:55am -- Denise Sortor

Erin Odell, a second-generation principal at the Odell Insurance Agency in Bradford, was elected president of the Vermont Insurance Agents Association (VIAA) during its recent 111th annual convention at the Hilton Burlington. For the past year, Odell was vice president of the association. She also serves the insurance community as a member of the AIPSO Vermont Board of Governors and the Agency Council on Technology Committee and Task Forces. Odell is Vermont State Champion for the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (Big “I”) INVEST Program and past president of the Applied Systems Local Chapter.

Odell’s agency focuses on providing personal, small business and farm insurance in the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire. Erin was an early adopter in technology and has implemented several initiatives to provide safe and secure service to clients. Previously, Odell worked in technology business development in North Carolina, corporate recruiting and marketing for the largest home health care company while managing a statewide sales force. She also worked at VISA in Washington, D.C., conducting data research.

A resident of Bradford, Odell is involved with many community organizations such as Make-A-Wish, her church and Cottage Hospital; and she served three years as coordinator of Co-Op’s Wish Kid Golf Classic Tournament. She is vice president of the Cohase Chamber of Commerce and serves as head of the organization’s Economic Development Committee. In addition, Odell is an incorporator for Wells River Savings Bank and a member of the Bradford Merchants Association.

As a recipient of lifesaving transplants, Odell is an advocate for organ donations, conducting presentations around the country for doctors and medical students as well as patients on the organ donor waiting list and their family members. 

Odell holds the designations of certified insurance counselor and certified insurance service representative from the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a master’s of business administration from Plymouth State College.

Paul Plunkett of the Hickok & Board Insurance Group in Burlington was elected vice president of the VIAA, and Alan Kinney of Kinney Insurance in St Albans was elected secretary-treasurer, succeeding Plunkett. Ron Bixby of the Ludlow Insurance Agency in Ludlow was re-elected national director.

Michael Barrett, president of the Barrett Insurance Agency in St. Johnsbury, was elected to the board as a director. Barrett runs the family business with his wife, Jennifer, and they live in Waterford with their son, Ethan. They took over the agency as a second-generation husband-and-wife ownership team in 2015.

Before joining the agency, Michael had a successful radio broadcasting career at local stations, and now he can be heard weekly on Kix 105.5 WKXH on “Good Policies,” talking about insurance with the station’s Shawn Knight.   

Barrett attended Lyndon State College in Lyndonville. He serves as the emcee for the Relay for Life of Caledonia County in tribute to his mother who passed due to ovarian cancer. He holds positions on the Waterford Development Review Board and Planning Commission; and serves as a trustee for the Eugene McDounough Scholarship Fund and as an advisory board member for the St Johnsbury branch of Union Bank.

The following agents also serve on the VIAA board of directors: Chip Ams of Finn & Stone Insurance in Manchester; and Daniel J Rodliff of NFP Property & Casualty in South Burlington.  

About Vermont Insurance Agents Association (VIAA)

The Vermont Insurance Agents Association is a statewide trade association representing nearly 100 independent insurance agencies in Vermont, with 900 employees. VIAA member independent insurance agents represent more than one insurance company and as a result, can offer clients a wider choice of auto, home, business, life and employee benefits. Founded in 1906, VIAA’s mission is to be an advocate for independent insurance agents and to satisfy the professional needs of its members.