2023 State Winners

Tracy Miller Arizona LeBaron & Carroll
Bobbie Sanchez, CISR Arkansas Newman Ralph Browning Insurance Agency
Andrea Scaletta, CISR California Arthur J. Gallagher
Heather Salvador Colorado Weedin Agency, Inc.
Susan Vance Illinois Abbe Insurance Agency
Kari Hendrix, CIC Indiana Dimond Bros Insurance, LLC
Lori Steffen Iowa Perspective Insurance 
Melvia N. Means, CISR, CPIA Kentucky Houchens Insurance Group
Heather M. Bouley Maine F.A. Peabody Company
Amy Strout, CISR, CPIA, AILP/PL Massachusetts Bender Hatch Insurance, Inc.
Jaylen Miller, CISR Elite, CSRM Minnesota Dwight Swanstrom Company
Carlene Fauver Mississippi Higginbotham
Sharon G. Cross, CISR Missouri Ollis/Akers/Arney
Jodi Sprauer, CISR Montana HUB International Mountain States
Katie Shipp, CISR, CAWC Nebraska Dodge Partners Insurance
Kelsey Heath New Mexico Kysar Leavitt Insurance Agency
Emily Gregory, CISR, CLCS, CBIA North Carolina Piedmont Triad Insurance Agency, Inc.
Nicole Perry, CISR Ohio UIS Insurance & Investments
Kailea McGehee, CIC, CISR Oklahoma Omega Insurance Agency
Katie DeWitt Oregon The Simmons Agency dba Stratton Insurance
Brendalisse Rivera-Casanova, J.D., CIC, CRM, CISR Pennsylvania Gunn-Mowery, LLC
Stacy L. Spurling  South Carolina  
Julia Simpson Tennessee Insight Risk Management 
Sonnie Tremble, CIC, CRM, CISR Texas West Texas Insurance Exchange 
Jenn Zandy Vermont Union Mutual Fire Insurance Company
Nicole Noonan, CISR, CLCS, CPIA Virginia Welch, Graham & Ogden Insurance, Inc.
Jennifer DeGeorge, CIC Wisconsin Vizance

2023 Essay Prompt



 Please submit a 500 to 1000- word essay on the following topic:

“Empathy is an important aspect of customer-facing jobs, and it will only become more important as companies place a greater emphasis on making customer interactions feel natural and effective.  Explain how empathy has helped you become a better CSR. Give three examples of how you’ve used empathy in your role and describe the positive effects its had on your organization.”

Rules & Rewards

How Does It Work?

*Individuals who nominate the national winner to receive a $1000 cash award.

Entry Submission Includes:

■ Entry Form

■ 2 letters of recommendation from professional references

■ 500 to 1000-word essay

*National Qualifier Stage:

If selected as a State Winner, a short video entry will be required for consideration for the National Competition. Video guidelines will be sent to State Winners when selected.

History Of The Competition

The Outstanding CSR of the Year competition started in 1991 to honor customer service representatives and account managers who have made significant contributions to the insurance and risk management industry. The competition is sponsored by the Society of Certified Insurance Service Representatives (CISR) and the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC)—proud member organizations of The National Alliance.

We encourage you to nominate your best customer service representatives and account managers to compete for the Outstanding CSR of the Year award. The competition is open to any insurance customer service representatives or candidates primarily responsible for customer service regardless of affiliation or professional designation. Candidates interested in participating in the competition may also nominate themselves.

2022 National Winner

Tiffanie Courtney, CIC, CISR, CRISSenior Account Manager of M3 Insurance in De Pere, Wisconsin, has been named the National Outstanding CSR of the Year, the industry’s highest distinction for customer service personnel in the insurance industry.

Courtney was chosen as the national winner from a pool of 35 state winners by the Society of Certified Insurance Service Representatives (CISR) and the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC). In order to choose the winner, a panel of judges looked at the five national finalists’ essays and their contributions to the insurance industry.

In her essay, Ms. Courtney mentions the legacy that she would like to leave behind.  She states: “It isn’t the large experiences that make you who you are. It’s the small ones. I am my own painting. Every brush stroke is a conversation, a touch, an opportunity to share, learn, guide, and reflect. We change directions and colors. When you look closely you can see each one but take a step back and see the whole picture, it’s a masterpiece! The masterpiece I want to leave behind in this industry is that I cared enough to take the time to make someone feel heard and important, to share my knowledge in a usable capacity, and to exceed expectations. Paving a path for others to see the potential in the industry and have a passion for service.” 

2022 National Finalists

2022 Outstanding CSR of the Year Finalists

Meet this year’s finalists!  Each finalist receives a special gold and garnet pin, a $500 cash award, and publicity in the national trade journal, Rough Notes.

2022 State Winners

Rose Griffith Arizona The Coverage Pro
Jennifer Goree, CISR, CAWC Arkansas BXS Insurance
Linda Hernandez, CISR California Apollo Insurance Services
Caytlyn Griffith, CIC, CISR Colorado CRS Insurance Brokerage
Christina M. Pritchett, CISR Elite Delaware Wilgus Associates, Inc.
Alissa Collins, CPCU, AAI Florida Plastridge Insurance
Darcy Castrejon Georgia Buckle Insurance
Korinda Sprague Idaho Hub International Mountain States Limited
Amy Merced, CAWC Illinois Worthy Insurance Group
Stacy McClaine, CISR Indiana Central Insurance Associates, Inc.
Martha Elliott, CIC, CISR, CIIP, ANFI Kansas Cornerstone Kansas City
Melissa Baxter, CISR Kentucky Houchens Insurance Group
Heather Hall, CISR Maine Cross Insurance
Roxanne Glessner Cameron, CISR Maryland ACM Insurance Agency
Pamela Da Silva, AU, AINS, MLIS Massachusetts Marsh & McLennan Agency, LLC
Rebecca Thomas, CISR Michigan Select Underwriters
Brittany Ratke Minnesota Christensen Group Insurance
Laney Ward Smith Mississippi Insurance & Risk Managers
Pamela Hamilton Missouri Ollis/Akers/Arney
Cathi Schuett Nebraska FNIC
Suzanne Sanders Durante, ACSR, CLP Nevada Durante Insurance & Financial Services
Amanda Petrylka, ACSR New York Mackoul Risk Solutions
Jennifer L. Gordon, CISR Elite North Carolina Morrow Insurance Agency, Inc.
Wendy Kegley Ohio Fourman Insurance, LLC
Megan Smith-Vinson, CISR Elite Oklahoma Messer-Bowers Company 
Ashley Buell, CISR Oregon KPD Insurance
Amber Patterson, CISR Pennsylvania Howard Hanna Insurance Services
Madeline Ivette Perez Allende, CISR Elite Puerto Rico Velox 24 Auto Insurance a Division of Colonial Insurance Agency
Jennifer Ridgill, CISR South Carolina McGriff Insurance
Pamela J. Lunzman, CISR South Dakota Farmers Union Insurance/Tom Farber Agency
Alicia Potter, CISR Tennessee RSS Insurance
Sonnie Tremble, CIC, CRM, CISR Texas The Insurance Man & Associates
Andrew Skypack Vermont Kinney Insurance Agency
Tiffanie Courtney, CIC, CISR, CRIS Wisconsin M3 Insurance
Amy Jo Ratcliff, CIC, CISR Wyoming Hub International Mountain States Limited

2021 National Winner

Play Video

Ms. Darnella Rodriguez, CIC, CRM, CISR
is the 
2021 National Outstanding CSR of the Year

Darnella Rodriguez, CIC, CRM, CISR, Account Manager for Higginbotham, in Austin, Texas, has been awarded the most prestigious honor available to insurance customer service representatives: National Outstanding CSR of the Year.

In her essay, Ms. Rodriguez mentions what it takes to provide excellent customer service.  

She states: “You have to give sound advice, and it requires communication; you need to effectively communicate coverages and work well with others to ensure activities are done correctly and in a timely manner. But to truly give unique customer service, you have to put yourself in your client’s shoes, be two steps ahead of them, and be ready to provide solutions to anything and everything that comes up. That’s how you add value to a client’s business, by giving them the peace of mind that once they send over something or reach out to you, you will get it taken care of and minimize their concerns.” 

Ms. Rodriguez receives a cash award of $3,000, a distinctive gold and diamond lapel pin, and her name on a sculpture at The National Alliance headquarters. A National Alliance scholarship will be awarded to her employer, Higginbotham.

2021 National Finalists

2021 Outstanding CSR of the Year Finalists

Meet this year’s finalists!  Each finalist receives a special gold and garnet pin, a $500 cash award, and publicity in the national trade journal, Rough Notes.

2021 State Winners

2021 Outstanding CSR of the Year State Winners

Meet this year’s State Winners!  Each State Winner receives a framed certificate and national recognition.

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Approved for 1 Hour of State Reported CE Credit in AR, AZ, CA, DE, CO, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA MA, MD, MI, MO, MN, NC, NE, NJ, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, PR, SC, TN, TX, UT, WA and WI