The NAIW/IAIP History

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In 1938, Elsie B. Mayer and C. Bertha Rachofsky joined with nine other Denver insurance women to form an organization for educational purposes. To launch the organization they had to: Solicit prospective members; and Convince employers of the non-union nature of the association.

The first meetings were devoted to insurance education and discussion of a national organization. Because of the favorable response to the local group in Denver, Elsie and Bertha began to investigate the possibility of a national association. The organizational meeting was announced in National Underwriter magazine and all insurance groups were invited to send representatives.

The organizational meeting was held June 21-23, 1940, at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Denver. Elsie Mayer was appointed general chairman. Sixty-five delegates attended representing 19 groups from Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington. Total registration was 187. The meeting resulted in the formation of the National Association of Insurance Women (NAIW), with the following slate of elected officers:

President, Elsie B. Mayer, Denver, CO

First Vice-president, Eugenia Smith, Los Angeles, CA

Second Vice-president, Anita M. Richardson, Tacoma, WA

Corresponding Secretary, C. Bertha Rachofsky, Denver, CO

Recording Secretary, Ethel A. Brink, Tulsa, OK

Treasurer, Berneeda Faulk Crum, Wichita, KS

Executive Board
-Ada V. Doyle, Caldwell, NJ (chairman 2-year term)
-Mildred Robertson, Nashville, TN (2-year term)
-Erma V. Scottum, St. Paul, MN (1-year term)
-Gussye Bennett, Dallas, TX (1-year term)
-J. L. "Lou" Ward, Atlanta, GA (1-year term)

NAIW was organized with 17 groups representing 2,000 members. The constitution and bylaws were adopted, as well as the creed: "Fellowship-Loyalty-Education". The first program cover depicted all the means of transportation into Denver and proclaimed, "Colorado, Here We Come". Nashville, TN was selected as the first convention site (1941). St. Paul and Atlanta also submitted bids. The Board of Directors accepted an invitation from the representative from Atlanta to hold the pre-convention Board meeting in Atlanta. In 1944 a Regional structure was created, and in 1987 State Meetings were instituted.

The original triangle pin, representing our creed of "Fellowship, Loyalty, & Education" was copyrighted in 1945. The first national committees were: Organization, Membership, Welfare, Ways & Means, Education and Employment. 1942 marked the first appearance ofThe Bulletin, the association's official publication. The name was changed in 1950 to Today's Insurance Woman and changed again in 2001 to Today's Insurance Professional.

National Insurance Women's Day was recognized by the Federal Government on May 10, 1957 and then expanded to "NAIW Week" in 1988. Each local chapter celebrates this week during the 3rd week in May beginning on a Sunday.

In 1968 NAIW established a professional designation that could only be earned by a member, CPIW or Certified Professional Insurance Woman, in the late 1980's a second designation was added to reflect the fact that our membership demographic included men, the new designation was CPIM or Certified Professional Insurance Man. In 2011 a new designation was established, the CIIP or Certified Insurance Industry Professional and any member holding a CPIW or CPIM designation had the opportunity to change it over to the new all encompassing designation.

Education has always been the cornerstone of the association and our premier courses targeted public speaking. Originally called LACE (Let's All Communicate Effectively) and the advanced course ETC (Education Through Communication), they were combined into a single course called CWC or Communicate With Confidence and the final change in name kept the initials CWC but changed the title to Confidence While Communicating. The CWC Speak-Off is the highlight at any Local, Regional or National meeting.

Time has brought many other changes to the association. To recognize its Canadian and other international members, the word International was added to the official corporate name in 1967. Puerto Rico also affiliated with the association in 1980. State meetings were added in 1989.

In 2011, NAIW adopted the dba trade name, International Association of Insurance Professionals, to better reflect the diversity of its membership.