CONTACT: Darel Cramer, communication assistant
or Mary E. Christiano, director of communication
Fax: (888) 225-6935
Web site: www.pia.org
FOR RELEASE: Sep. 9, 2011
Industry veteran takes leadership position at PIA Management Services
GLENMONT, N.Y.–PIA Management Services Inc. announced it has retained Mark J. LaLonde, CPIA, CIC, AAI, an independent insurance agent for 30 years, to take a leadership role in the organization. PIA Management Services is the umbrella corporation that manages the Glenmont, N.Y.-based Professional Insurance Agents associations of New York State, New Jersey, Connecticut and New Hampshire.
LaLonde will serve as president, a position newly created as part of the organization’s perpetuation plan. Ken Bessette, who has served PIA for 28 years, most recently as president and chief executive officer, will retain the CEO title.
“The PIA Management Services board made a deliberate decision to identify a leader who can best represent the members of our PIA affiliate organizations and take them into the next decade,” said Bessette. “Mark’s familiarity with our association and the job our members do every day will undoubtedly prove a benefit to the entire organization.”
LaLonde has been a PIA member since establishing his own independent agency, Upstate Insurance Agency Inc., in 1985. The agency underwent several mergers and acquisitions and after being acquired by Oneida Financial Corp., operated as Bailey Haskell and LaLonde Agency, employing some 90 individuals at seven offices around New York.
His work with PIA includes serving as president of PIANY, the New York PIA affiliate, in 1998-99, and as chairman of the PIA Management Services board from 2005-11. PIANY past President John Bailey has assumed the interim position as board chairman.
In April this year, LaLonde was awarded the PIA National Professional Agent of the Year for his unparalleled support of PIA and the independent agency system. He was nominated for this award after receiving a similar honor from PIANY in 2010. In 2000, LaLonde was presented with a presidential citation from PIANY recognizing his work on behalf of the association, and in 1996, he was honored with PIANY’s Committee Chair of the Year award for his volunteerism and guidance as chair of the PIANY Education Committee.
LaLonde also served as a member and chair of the Glenmont National Alliance Committee, which oversees and conducts property/casualty education and the Certified Insurance Counselor and Certified Insurance Service Representative, under the auspices of the National Alliance, sponsored by the Professional Insurance Agents of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.
LaLonde is a graduate of SUNY Utica-Rome, and has been an active participant in his community. He has served as president of the Oneida Rotary Club; trustee of the Oneida Library; chair of the Oneida Recreation Commission; and director of the Oneida Chamber of Commerce. He will relocate to Glenmont, N.Y., with his wife Donna.
PIA Management Services Inc. is the umbrella corporation that manages the Glenmont, N.Y.-based Professional Insurance Agents associations, representing independent insurance agencies, brokerages and their employees in New York state, New Jersey, Connecticut and New Hampshire. PIANY, PIANJ, PIACT and PIANH is a partnership of four state trade associations representing independent insurance agencies, brokerages and their employees throughout their respective states.