Restructures For The Future
Allen J. Keesler, Jr.
Chairman of the Board
the Board of Directors of Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) voted
to create a self-insurance trust to provide workers’ compensation
to Florida employers. The rest is history. During the past eighteen
years the insurance operations (now known as Associated Industries
Insurance Company, Inc. and Associated Industries Insurance Services,
Inc.) have become one of the premier workers’ compensation operations
in Florida. The purpose of creating the insurance operations was to
provide workers’ compensation coverage to small- and medium-sized
employers who could not obtain coverage in the marketplace at that
time due to the restricted writings of many major carriers and to
provide funding for the governmental and political operations of AIF.
The association has received a royalty fee since the very first day
of operations of the trust. This has resulted in millions of dollars
being forwarded for operations of AIF and millions of dollars being
available for campaign contributions.
point in time the insurance companies, for a myriad of reasons, must
discontinue the very significant funding of AIF. We are in the process
of a transaction with regard to the insurance companies which will
necessitate a major reduction in the funding to AIF from them, and
this will require AIF to once again return to dues-based funding like
most associations. During the past eighteen years the funding from
the insurance companies have enabled AIF to build an infrastructure
of buildings, computer systems, and personnel which would never have
been possible through membership dues alone. This infrastructure is
in place and will last for many years in the future, and the members
will never be asked to pay for facilities. Also, for many years none
of the dues will have to go into the purchase or upgrade of the computer
system, which are essential for the operations of a first class association
in this day and time.
the association has undergone a major structural reorganization where
we have significantly reduced our internal administrative staff. We
will continue our lobbying team that has served the association so
well for so many years and we will be adding to the lobbying team
now and in the future. The focus of the association will be narrowed
to concentrate on lobbying state government and engaging in political
operations, which is where our members tell us they want us to be.
the restructured association in Tallahassee, AIF President
& CEO Jon L. Shebel has today appointed Stephen
B. Trickey, a long-time AIF officer and the creator of
Florida Business Network, as Executive Vice President & Chief
Operating Officer. Trickey will be responsible for the day-to-day
operations of the association.
T. Bishop, III, President & CEO of the The Windsor Group, Inc.
and a long-time AIF lobbyist, has been appointed by Shebel as Chief
Lobbyist for the association and he will in that capacity be the person
responsible for the daily operation of the lobbying effort and the
coordination of the lobbying team. Bishop already serves as the Chief
Political Officer for AIF.
Spearman and Mike Zagorac, two of the most
prominent lobbyists in Tallahassee, will join the AIF lobbying team.
Both Spearman and Zagorac are members of various AIF boards, and they
will be volunteering their services to enhance the lobbying operations
move forward into this new era, the millions of dollars provided over
the past eighteen years by the insurance operations have given us
a very significant financial base, which is seldom available to non-profit
business associations. The association in the future must look totally
to the business community through dues and special projects to fund
the ongoing operations of the association. We will be contacting you
in the future with regard to your future investments in the work of