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A Day of Learning and Collaboration: Rathbun Insurance Hosts Wilson Talent Center Students

At Rathbun Insurance, we aim to live out our value of 'Give It Away To Keep It' by investing in the future, and what better way to do so than by providing hands-on experiences for students eager to explore the world of business and risk management? Today, we had the privilege of hosting nine students from Wilson Talent Center Business and Risk Management Class (WTC).

In our quest to create a valuable learning experience for these students, we leveraged our longstanding relationships with key partners – Allen Neighborhood Center (ANC), Auto Owners, and Wilson Talent Center. Together, we orchestrated a unique opportunity for the students to engage in a real-world insurance renewal meeting, gaining insights that go beyond the confines of a classroom.

Leading up to the event, Rathbun Insurance Chief Executive Officer Ben Rathbun and Commercial Account Manager Cheryl Grimes engaged in the annual renewal meeting preparations. However,

this time, there was a twist. The WTC students, led by instructor Monique Colizzi joined them via a virtual meeting, actively participating in the preparatory discussions. Together, they delved into understanding Allen Neighborhood Center, its distinctive exposures, and how these factors translated into their actual insurance policies. The collaborative effort resulted in a set of thoughtful questions tailored for the renewal meeting, specifically addressing ANC's unique needs.

The day began with a comprehensive tour of Allen Neighborhood Center, led by ANC Executive Director Joe Enerson and Finance and Business Manager Dane Dario. ANC, a place-based organization, serves as a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization and promotes the health and well-being of Lansing's Eastside community. The tour allowed students to connect the dots between the exposures discussed during the preparation and the real-world scenarios they observed in the ANC space.

Following the tour, the students took charge, leading the real commercial renewal meeting under the guidance of Ben and Cheryl. It was a moment of application, where theoretical knowledge met the practicalities of the insurance industry.

But we didn't want to stop there. After the renewal meeting, we invited the students back to the office, where they were joined by Rathbun Insurance President, David Finkbeiner and Karen Tabor, Marketing Rep at Auto-Owners Insurance, representing the carrier side of a renewal meeting. This unique perspective allowed the students to witness how an independent agency collaborates across relationships to ensure businesses have the coverage they need. 

After lunch, the students got some insight into the workings of Rathbun Insurance's small business. Laura Stoken, COO, Jen Bates, VP of Sales, and Ashley McClure, VP of

Finance, guided them through a real-life business issue. Together, they navigated the steps and partnerships needed to arrive at a solution. The day concluded with the students feeling empowered and ready to conquer the world as they delved into Sales 101 with Rathbun Producers Darren Bardell and Heather Kim.

We extend our heartfelt appreciation to Allen Neighborhood Center for opening their doors and collaborating with us on this educational initiative.  Thank you to Karen from Auto-Owners for generously dedicating her time to provide these students with valuable insights into the carrier side of the insurance industry.

We are excited about the positive impact this experience will have on the students. It's through collaborative efforts and shared knowledge that we can shape the future leaders of the business and risk management landscape.