PLUS, the Professional Liability Underwriting Society, held its 35th Annual Conference last week in San Diego with three amazing days of education, networking, business development and entertainment. “You could feel the buzz,” said PLUS CEO Robbie Thompson. “People were incredibly excited to be together with their industry peers and friends, and it felt like the first real post-pandemic event.”
For many, it was their first PLUS event: 46% were first-time attendees, including a record number of young professionals. Additionally, PLUS recognized 19 past presidents. “It was great to see so many young professionals and new attendees joining industry veterans in camaraderie, networking, and education in an event focused exclusively on those in the entire PL industry,” Thompson said. “With the help of our Future PLUS and DEIA committees, we focused on creating a welcoming environment for all by adding special networking events while also celebrating our history, and it enhanced the overall attendee experience.”
This was the largest PLUS Conference since 2018 and with 94 sponsor companies, it had the greatest number of corporate supporters in event history. “The industry strongly showed its support for this event and for PLUS through sponsorship and participation,” said 2022 PLUS Conference Chair and PLUS President, Jay Karp of Travelers.
The Conference featured six educational CE panels that had standing-room-only crowds. One highlighted session featured industry luminaries Jeff Klenk of Travelers, John Lupica of Chubb, Michelle Sartain of Marsh, Christine Williams of Aon, and Mike Price of AIG. “We were pleased to welcome these distinguished panelists who generously shared not only their time, but also their vast expertise with the audience,” said Karp.
In addition to the PLUS panels, the event featured sponsor-led sessions on a wide variety of topics. “These sessions provided a platform for companies to showcase experts – from both inside and outside their respective organizations – who delivered rich and relevant content to a captivated audience,” said Karp.
PLUS has a reputation for featuring preeminent keynote speakers at the Annual Conference, such as past presidents, leading authors, renowned economists, famous actors, business professionals and comedians. This year Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard kicked off the Conference. Lori Greiner, self-made inventor, entrepreneur, and Shark Tank star, was the keynote at the PLUS Foundation Women’s Leadership Luncheon. Attendees also enjoyed both a happy hour and a breakfast discussion with soccer legend Cobi Jones.
“PLUS continues to deliver great keynotes and great content every year and this event continued that tradition,” said PLUS Immediate Past President Jen O’Neill of Marsh.
The Conference also provided the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of some prominent industry professionals. Dan A. Bailey of Baily Cavalieri was announced as the 2022 PLUS1 Award recipient. Paul Greve of Markel was given the 2022 PLUS Founders Award. Ayesha West, Drew Crocitto, and Nicole McAuley were the 2022 PLUS Emerging Leader Award winners. The PLUS Foundation awarded Bonnie Boone the Excellence in Diversity Award for her career-long commitment to advancing diversity in the profession. “It was a privilege to present the awards to these outstanding members of the professional liability community,” said O’Neill.
As always, the professional liability insurance industry gave back to the community that graciously hosts its annual Conference. This year, $70,000 was raised and provided by the PLUS Foundation to Zero8Hundred, a San Diego-based non-profit whose mission is to ease the transition from military service to civilian life and careers. During the Conference, a group of industry participants also packed hundreds of boxes with essential supplies for homeless veterans and deploying soldiers. “We are so honored and humbled to be able to help this great organization and we thank everyone that contributed to making this donation possible,” said PLUS Foundation Immediate Past President, Allison Cooper of AIG.
PLUS now turns its attention to the 2023 Annual Conference, which will be December 4-6 at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. PLUS is planning to build on the success of 2022, and 2023 Conference Chair Nicole Sheth of Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan, LLP., is excited about the challenge. “We are looking forward to creating a once-in-a-lifetime experience only possible at a hotel as stunning as the Cosmopolitan and in a city as exciting as Las Vegas,” stated Sheth. “You won’t want to miss it.”