Agency Leaders Executive Retreat

March 17 to 20, 2024 Omni Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC
About Speakers Schedule Registration Hotel Information

About the Event

Join us March 17-20, 2024 at the beautiful Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC for the highly anticipated Agency Leaders Executive Retreat - crafted and designed exclusively for agency owners, principals, and those on a direct path towards future agency leadership. Learn from some of the industry’s foremost thought leaders and subject matter experts as they delve into the hottest topics facing owners today, network with your peers from across the state, and enjoy all that the beautiful Grove Park Inn has to offer!

Company and vendor representatives are welcome and encouraged to attend the Agency Leaders Executive Retreat. While there is not a trade show, this event provides a unique and valuable opportunity to network with agency decision makers in a relaxed and informal setting. We hope to see you there!

Online registration is now CLOSED. Contact Allyson Knott at for any questions or inquiries.

Contact Information

Allyson Knott, CMP


Explore the schedule by expanding the dates below. 
Sunday, March 17
4:30pm - 6:00pm
Welcome Reception / Meet & Greet

Dinner on Your Own


Monday, March 18
7:30am - 8:30am

8:30am - 9:45am
General Session - A Different Approach to Business Relationships
Speaker: Brandon Smith

During this session, Brandon shares two dynamic stories of how he leveraged a youth sports sponsorship to generate a 2100% return on investment and grew his Facebook page by 350 local followers in less than 48 hours which then generated over $58,000 in first-year revenue. Using these stories, he will teach you how to build genuine relationships in business, broaden your business’s reach on social media, and generate dozens of leads within your community. You will leave this session with a proven game plan that will help you consistently bring about a positive ROI while investing in your community at the same time.

9:45am - 10:00am

10:00am - 11:00am
Breakout Sessions (choose one):

#1: The Latest on the 2024 Elections: Two Top Political Scientists Share Key Insights
Speakers: Joe Stewart, Dr. Chris Cooper, Dr. Michael Bitzer

#2: Do as I DO, Not as I Say: The Key to Leading Salespeople in Today’s Marketplace
Speaker: Steve Heroux

#3: Redefining Success (WIN Members Only)
Speaker: Carey Wallace

The road to success does not look the same for everyone, and many times it takes many roads to get there. In this session Carey Wallace will share her journey to success and how it has morphed and changed over time.  She tackles the many challenges that women face as the build a career, raise a family and try to balance it all.  She will share her experiences; talk through how she redefined what success looks like and the many lessons learned along the way.
11:00am - 11:15am

11:15am - 12:15pm
General Session: If You Build It, They Will Come
Speaker: Steve Heroux

Imagine building an agency that attracts incredibly talented producers and supremely engaged CSRs who help drive countless five-star reviews, endless amounts of referrals, never-ending renewals, higher employee retention, and more consistent revenue, just to name a few. That’s your “Field of Dreams.” Can you comprehend what would happen when THEY ALL COME? Well, it will never happen if you don’t start with the foundation of your field, which is the sales process. Most importantly, your direct success lies in your ability to teach, train, and coach your producers and CSRs to execute YOUR SPECIFIC sales process. This is why generic, one-size-fits-all, magic selling systems and methods don’t work. You’ve got to teach, practice, drill, rehearse, role play, repeat, but only if you want your sales team to sell a ton of insurance.

Lunch on Your Own / Optional Activities

We've arranged several optional activities for you to continue the networking and relationship building with your peers while enjoying all that Asheville has to offer. Please note that space is limited for each activity. 

- WIN Networking Outing (by invitation only for WIN members)

- Brewery Crawl
Led by IIANC's own Aubie Knight, we'll make our first stop at New Belgium. Next, we'll hop over to downtown Asheville to visit several of the popular breweries. *Note that the price includes roundtrip transportation only. Any food/beverage purchases will be at an additional cost. 

Tuesday, March 19
8:00am - 9:00am

9:00am - 10:30am
General Session: Little Lessons
Speaker: Stephen Harvill

From our first book - THE DNA OF CREATIVE VENTURES we have 17 small ideas that lead to big results. This is a well defined roadmap to a way of thinking and how to leverage opportunity and decision making. Incremental steps become actionable ideas that will allow you to attack new strategies and build career advancing skills. . The best part is LITTLE LESSONS are doable . They are accessible to everyone and when applied the move careers forward. 

10:30am - 10:45am

10:45am - 11:45am
Breakout Sessions (choose one):

#1: Greatest of all Time – A proven path to mastering client retention.
Speaker: Brandon Smith

In the insurance industry, the emphasis on new business often overshadows the equally vital aspect of client retention, with only 30% of agencies maintaining a balanced approach. Consider this: most conferences and training programs heavily prioritize marketing, lead generation, and sales, leaving retention in the shadows. Brandon, having recognized this gap, created a retention specialist role in his agency, leading to remarkable improvements in retention rates and cross-selling opportunities. Join us for an enlightening session where Brandon shares his proven systems and strategies to help you strike the right balance between acquiring new clients and retaining existing ones.

#2: Why Goals May Be Hurting Your Performance
Speaker: Steve Heroux

Just because you’ve been told the same things about goals for the last fifty years, doesn’t make them true. Most of what we believe in life isn't true, and the same goes for what we’ve been taught about goals. There’s a reason only 8% of people hit their goals, and we’ll dive into exactly why this happens. If upwards of 90% of the adult population is not hitting their goals, how do you think they feel walking around every day? Inspired? Motivated? Driven? Happy?!  Heck no!! Try disappointed, inadequate, incompetent, misaligned, failing, and the list goes on and on. Talk to any mental health professional on the planet and they’ll all tell you these emotions don’t exactly lead to high performance. And even more importantly, if you’re a salesperson, and you live each day dealing with those emotions and negative thoughts, what would make you think this leads to greater results and higher performance? We’ll also touch on the misuse and abuse of quotas in the next section, but this is the foundational principle as to why quotas REPEL results and don’t increase them.


#3: Unlock Your Staff's Instincts to Reach Their Full Potential
Speaker: Jason Sabo

Do you want to unleash your team's full potential? KOLBE Team Synergy workshops are a great way to determine each one of your employee's individual "Mode of Operation" and ensure they are being set up for success. KOLBE assessments increase efficiencies, communication, and employee engagement! 

11:45am - 1:15pm
Networking Lunch and General Session - Mastering Agency Technology: A Panel Discussion
Moderator: Carey Wallace
Panelists: Michelle O'Connor, Christopher Cook, Jack Wingate, Beth DeLaForest, and Mike Fusco

Join a powerhouse panel of independent agents as they share how they are utilizing AI, RPA, Data Analytics and Technology inside their agencies. We will highlight the tools, application and the impact it’s having on their agency’s performance. Carey Wallace will moderate the conversation while highlighting the financial and performance impact of each example that’s shared. 

1:30pm - 2:30pm
Breakout Sessions (choose one):

#1: Breaking Down Compensation
Speaker: Carey Wallace

In this session we will cover the current industry standards for solid compensation structures for roles inside the agency. We will cover the pitfalls of some common compensation structures, things to consider when putting together compensation plans as well as highlight other key benefits and non-financial components that should be highlighted as you attract and retain your most valuable asset-your people! 


#2: Shortcuts - The Path to Fulfillment in Work and Life
Speaker: Brandon Smith

We entered our industry for earning potential and lifestyle, yet we remain unsatisfied with the results despite being busier than ever. Ever wondered why some boast about working excessive hours as if it's an achievement? It's a poor use of time and life. Brandon believes that the key to living the life you desire starts with intentionality and creating a functional schedule. By having a plan and being intentional with time, you can break free from feeling stuck. In this wellness session, Brandon will guide you in prioritizing what truly matters and help you create a well-balanced schedule.


6:00pm - 10:00pm
Dinner & Entertainment
Why We Love the Movies: The magic and science of film. 

As entertaining as it is educational, this unique presentation takes you through the elements of the movie experience discussing, story, the narrative arc, music, emotions, psychology and the after effects of going to the movies. Filled with movie clips, music, interactive participation and Oscar's for those who know their stuff. 

This experience will take you to... The land of hope and dreams... The land of journeys and destinations... The land of life and death... Of laughter and tears... The land of imagination!

Make sure to dress to the nines for a night on the red carpet!


Online registration is now CLOSED. Please contact Allyson Knott at with any questions or inquiries.

Pricing (Agents):

Agents are classified as those who are employed by independent insurance agencies in the state of North Carolina. Company representatives, vendors, and exhibitors are not eligible to register for these functions/pricing (even if they are licensed agents). 

 IIANC Member AgentsNon-Member Agents
Full Conference Registration$299$599
Spouse / Guest*$199$199

*personal spouse/guest only - cannot be a co-worker or agency/company employee




Pricing (Company Representatives):

Networking Pass$499$999
Spouse / Guest*$199$199
*personal spouse/guest only - cannot be a co-worker or agency/company employee  



Cancellation Policy
Notice of cancellation for individual registrations for IIANC's Agency Leaders Executive Retreat must be submitted in writing to Refunds will only be given to cancellation requests received by close of business 10 business days prior to the event. Substitutions of attendees may be made in writing until five business days prior to the event. Any changes (including substitutions) made to an existing registration will incur a $25 processing fee. This cancellation policy will remain in effect in cases of inclement weather as long as the event/conference is not cancelled.


Omni Grove Park Inn
290 Macon Ave.

Asheville, NC 28804


Serving guests for over a century, The Omni Grove Park Inn welcomes you with a tradition of southern hospitality amidst the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Relax in our unique subterranean spa with an indoor pool or enjoy a round of championship golf on our Donald Ross-designed course. When it’s time to dine, enjoy one of our four locally-sourced restaurants. Then, retreat to stylish 5 star hotel rooms with stunning views and plush bedding. We know you’ll enjoy the classic comfort and modern convenience of our resort. 

Our room block at the Omni Grove Park Inn is sold out. There is still some availability outside of the block, but the rates will be higher. Here are some other suggested nearby hotels (you will need to contact each for their current availability and rates):

New this year - We have reserved a dedicated block of spa treatments and appointments exclusively for event attendees! These are available only to those who have registered for the conference (more information on how to book will be included with your event confirmation email). Due to the popularity of the Grove Park Inn Spa, these will sell out quickly so we encourage you to register and book as soon as possible!