The FIA Central region committee members got together for their annual council meeting. Taking place in the picturesque town of Clarens in the Free State, there was plenty planned for the three-day meeting.
The Council meeting is used as a platform for all branches within the Central regions, which consists of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Free State and the Northern Cape, to discuss matters arsing within their individual branches, receive feedback from FIA Head office and to brain-storm how the region will work best to meet the needs of the members in the region.
Putting aside their competitive business nature, the council members worked together to discuss aspects and put together plans and initiatives that effect members and the insured person.
“A meeting where we invite the connected brokers. The ones that are active in the market but also connected to the needs and role of the industry – and then facilitate brain storming.” Says Liesl Ebershon, who represents the Short-term in the Mid-Free State branch.
“Brain storming allows for possible changes or ideas or best practices. It was interesting to see how each line of business has its own challenges but often they are the same challenges. It was delightful to see how open and honest we were allowed to be in order to bring real uncluttered info to the meeting.”
The council started on the Wednesday with the sun out in force. The council members not minding this too much as Clarens is known to get rather cold. Zip-lining and Archery were the order of the day and this allowed for everyone to let their guard down and interact with each other, often a little daunting, especially for the members who were attending their first council meeting, as vice-chair of the Northern Cape branch, Maggie Boshoff explains; “I found such great comradery amongst the attendees. Even though we as brokers are actually each other’s opposition, I have not often seen such closeness, friendship and support between ‘brokers’. A presentation by Auto & General was well received before more team building happened.
Day two was down to business with regional director, Wayne Axford giving the council a report on the items they have been working on. Advisory Council Chair, Theoniel McDonald, gave a presentation on what has been happening at Advisory level. Engagement and debate ensured as the members settled on matters they would like taken to the Advisory Council.
Regional manager, Julian Tharmiha gave feedback from head-office on where the FIA has come from and where it is going. He also discussed the roles and responsibility of each committee member while providing some interesting statistics and facts of membership
Day three started with a presentation from CIB, an FIA Partner for 2019, before Wayne and Julian gave their closing remarks and wished everyone a safe journey home.
During the session, a new council was elected, and we wish the following all the best for the coming year.
Regional Director : Wayne Axford (Durban)
Vice Director : Pravin Madanjeeth (North Coast)
Financial Planning : Wiann Van Zyl (Mid Free State)
Health Care : Greg Setzkorn (Durban) and Jean-Rick Odendaal ( Mid Free State)
Short Term : Mark Hirst (Durban) and Liche Strydom (Northern Cape)
Employee Benefits : Tarusha Sharma (North Coast)
Education & Training : Gay-Lynn Rheeders (Durban)
As a new member to the council, Bronwyn Bonthuys, Chair-person of the Maluti branch did not know what she was in for. “This was my first FIA council meeting. The archery that Auto & general sponsored was a lot of fun, along with their presentation being very informative. The FIA feedback received on the second day was interesting and I will be taking this back to my branch. The presentation by CIB on the last morning was useful and I learned so much in the 3 days.
These are just a few of the images from the council meeting. To view the rest of them, please visit the Facebook album here.