NAAIA Chicago became the first local chapter to be established and was awarded its charter on June 12, 2003. The organization was subsequently incorporated in December of the same year. As a founding member and in his role as president, Matthew Cooper assembled a group of dedicated industry professionals who shared a common goal to expand the representation of African Americans within the insurance industry. The organization has maintained an unwavering focus and dedication to efforts which support individual and collective career success. Commitment to the vision is evidenced by a keen focus upon continuing education, career management, professional development and relationship management.
We strive to achieve our mission by delivering programs which address specific and significant career development needs. We will impart knowledge via formal and informal mentoring. Therefore, our members are informed, educated and empowered as a result of programs and activities that promote continued learning, growth, development and a focused approach to career management and community service. The Chicago Chapter was recognized by the National organization and honored with the first Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award during the 2007 annual conference. The National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA) was founded in 1997 by Jerald L. Tillman, LUTCF, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Early in his career, Jerald, as he interacted with professional organizations, realized that there was a disconnect with fellow black insurance industry professionals. As a result, he began pondering the idea of establishing an association for black professionals involved in all aspects of insurance. After twenty years of juggling between building his insurance agency and a national network of black insurance professionals, NAAIA was chartered in Cincinnati on March 5, 1997 as a tax exempt association under the IRS 501©6 code.
Today, the organization membership has grown to just under 400 and we remain true to the original mission as defined by Jerald. Simply stated, our mission is to increase the number of African Americans in the insurance business at both the corporate and agency levels. NAAIA serves as a support group to encourage successful career advancement by promoting the highest educational and ethical standards while networking effectively in and outside of the industry. NAAIA takes pride in working with current industry associations and resources in various collaborative efforts to promote diversity and mutual interests.