By Lindsay Reed
Willis Insurance agent Bob Allen, of Cassville, was presented with two prestigious awards at the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents' (MAIA) annual Leadership Conference in July. Allen received the E. Ellwood Willard Outstanding Service Award and a special presidential citation.
"It was a very big surprise," said Allen. "They set up a partition and my wife, Laura, daughter, son-in-law, granddaughter, son, daughter-in-law, as well as Annette (Henderson), Jerry (Marple) and Mark (Smith) from the agency were all there. They came out about halfway through the presentation. I didn't know anything about it. It was a very special night."
Allen was chosen for the E. Ellwood Willard Award, which is MAIA's top honor, for his life-long dedication to the insurance industry and the MAIA association.
"Any agent who has attended any association function of the past few decades has undoubtedly met and knows tonight's honoree," said Mollie Wells, MAIA board president. "That's simply the size of the shadow he casts."
The special presidential citation is reserved for an agent who has made a significant contribution to the MAIA association over the last year. According to Wells, Allen was chosen for both honors for his efforts to build a stronger association and industry. He was also instrumental in raising funds for MAIA's new facility in Jefferson City.
Allen has been a member of MAIA for many years. He was elected to the board of directors in 1990, and served as board president in 1998 and 1999 under the presidential slogan, "Communicate with Pride." MAIA named Allen Insurance Person of the Year in 2000.
As Missouri's first Trusted Choice chairman, Allen helped establish the branding program for independent agencies and companies as well as insurance consumers across the state.
Allen has served on and chaired many MAIA committees, including the Membership Committee, the Public Relations Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee. He is currently chairman of the Building Fundraising Subcommittee.
Allen began his career as an underwriter and marketing representative. After a few years, he received an opportunity to buy into Willis Insurance Agency. Allen has handled new business for business insurance products and personal lines at Willis Insurance for over 30 years.
Allen has a bachelor of science in marketing from Northwest Missouri State University.