News Alfa Earns National Award for Innovation

Alfa Earns National Award for Innovation

Alfa Earns National Award for Innovation
June 28, 2023 |

Alfa Insurance, founded by the Alabama Farmers Federation in 1946, was recently awarded the 10th Annual Award in Innovation from the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC). Alfa received the award for the creation and continued success of its Alfa Leadership Academy. 

The Alfa Leadership Academy was created in 2015 to address organizational needs while developing the next generation of proven leaders. Participants, which include Federation employees, work through a yearlong training course to develop leadership skills, enhance company culture, build innovative solutions and provide exceptional service to customers. 

“Since the launch of the academy in 2015, we’ve been placing a critical emphasis on developing Alfa’s next generation of leaders,” said Alfa and Federation President Jimmy Parnell. “Academy classes have been transformative, helping our company break down organizational silos, build trust and improve self-awareness among those participants who take on leadership positions. In addition, in-house promotions have increased. These steps have been critical in helping our company continue to grow.” 

Alfa Leadership Academy Class 8 was tasked to find an innovative aspect of the company to nominate for the NAMIC award. They chose Alfa Leadership Academy, citing the evident advancements and improvements made within the company over the last eight years. 

Former class initiatives led to developing innovative strategies to retain employees, creating an employee engagement survey to evaluate corporate culture and forming a new marketing strategy based upon Alfa’s Core 4 values of faith, family, community and integrity. 

Past Federation employees who helped lead these changes include:

  • Class 1 – Brian Hardin, External Affairs director 
  • Class 2 – Mitt Walker, Governmental and Agricultural Programs director
  • Class 3 – Matthew Durdin, Organization director 
  • Class 4 – Phillip Johns, CFO, Accounting and Membership director
  • Class 5 – Shane Watkins, Destinations director 
  • Class 6 – Melissa Martin, Advertising and Corporate Communications director 
  • Class 8 – David Heflin, Area 4 Organization director 

Parnell and Alfa leadership accepted the award June 27 in Quebec City, Canada. 

“The Alfa Leadership Academy is the hallmark of innovation at Alfa Insurance and demonstrates the difference it can make when insurers embrace and implement innovative processes, technologies, and critical thinking,” said NAMIC President and CEO Neil Alldredge. “By positioning the people who serve Alfa’s region to take charge, the company has proven just how effective innovation can be in making sure policyholders can continue to receive a high level of service. I am grateful for Alfa’s continued ingenuity and commitment to education.”

Criteria for the award included: 

  • Impact in perpetuating mutuality 
  • Creativity
  • Numbers and/or dollar impact – relative to size of insurer, i.e., biggest and best are not an influence 
  • Potential for the idea to be adapted and used by other NAMIC members 
  • Alignment with the NAMIC Management Conference focus areas: strategy, innovation, leadership, industry trends and the economy 

The award was sponsored by Guy Carpenter, a global risk and reinsurance specialist based in New York. 

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