How The Insurance Industry Can Cultivate Black Talent


Tune in as host, Mitch Dunford, MBA; interviews Cameron Alford, UACRM, ARM; Darryl Coleman; and Rakeda Ervin about their personal experiences as African Americans working in the insurance industry and what the industry can do to attract and hire talented candidates from the black community. As we all know, the risk and insurance sector is starving for superstars and talented people to enter the industry. In this episode, we talk about how the African-American community is underrepresented in our industry. What can we do to successfully foster diversity and inclusion efforts?

In September of 2018, Marsh, in partnership with the National African-American Insurance Association (NAAIA), conducted a survey relative to diversity and inclusion and the journey of the African-American insurance professional. The study sought to understand why African-Americans remain underrepresented in the space and what insurance agents, brokers, and other stakeholders, including the African-American community can do to improve that representation. Do you know why the number of African-American insurance professionals is so low? What are the primary successes and challenges for African Americans in this space?

Listen now to learn what companies can do to attract, retain and mentor African-American talent so that diversity and inclusion programs work.

Cameron Alford is the Risk & Insurance Specialist for Evonik Corporation. He has served as founder and alumni char for Gamma Iota Sigma’s Diversity and Inclusion Council. GammaSAID (Solutions for Authenticity, Inclusion, and Diversity). He is currently an advisory board member for Butler University’s Lacy School of Business Young Alumni Advisory Council. Cameron is an active member of the New York Chapter of the National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA) and the New Jersey Chapter of RIMS. He holds both his Bachelors and Masters of Science in Risk Management & Insurance from Butler University and earned the Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designation. Cameron earned his University Associate CRM in August 2020. In his three years at Evonik Corporation, Cameron Alford has overseen and improved internal claims management for the marine cargo program, helped enhance the workers’ compensation process, and increased efficiency and compliance with the vendor risk management program.

Darryl Coleman is the Founder and President of Coleman search Group Inc. (CSG). CSG is a recruitment-consulting firm focused solely on the property/casualty insurance sector and has successfully represented more than 30 clients ranging from some of the world’s largest insurance companies to privately owned firms.  They trust Darryl’s advice because, as a former insurance executive with more than 20 years of corporate experience and unmatched talent reach, he can guarantee an exceptional, swift, and transparent experience that yields a balanced slate of high-quality candidates. His areas of expertise include operations, talent management, organizational development, strategic planning, and executive coaching. Darryl has invested more than 30 years in the insurance and recruiting arenas since 2006, he has served as a national recruiter and consultant to the property-casualty insurance industry. He has conducted more than 100 national talent searches that have included individual contributor, managerial, senior executive, and C-level searches. Additionally, he has helped companies identify executive talent for international roles and consults with and four client partners working in the property-casualty insurance space. Darryl began his insurance career with Aetna Life and Casualty and worked for six national property-casualty insurance companies. In addition to his insurance claims experience with Aetna, Daryl worked for CIGNA and then held claim, underwriting, or service leadership posts at USF&G, St. Paul Companies, see in a, and Safeco Insurance Company. While working in the insurance arena, Darryl served as an individual contributor in field operations, as well as Home Office environments. He’s led and managed as few as eight and as many as 3,500 claim employees. Additionally, he held profit and loss responsibility at St. Paul companies for a $600 million region comprised of small, middle-market, and specialty business. Darrell also participated in USF&G’s claim calls center startup operation in Tampa, Florida, and lead Safeco’s Southeast agency services operation. He is a native Virginian and a graduate of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA.

Rakeda L. Ervin is the Director of Media Production at The National Alliance in Austin, TX, where she oversees video production for academics and marketing. She is a creative producer with more than twenty years of experience writing for broadcast television and digital content. She has produced countless award-winning series on MTV, NBC, and A&E. After relocating from Los Angeles, Rakeda became an educator committed to inspiring the next wave of creative professionals. She volunteers her time as a dedicated mentor to aspiring youth and maintains her passion to learn and teach through storytelling.

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