Why I Am Excited to Lead the Agency Council

The Bold Penguin Agency Council Will Drive Innovation in the Quote and Bind Terminal

Chris Cheatham

I’m really excited to announce the formation of the Bold Penguin Agency Council. If I am honest, I should also tell you that I am really lucky to be doing this.

I joined Bold Penguin about six months ago in October 2020 after my company, RiskGenius, was acquired. The Bold Penguin folks had been grinding on commercial insurance connectivity since 2016. I had no idea what that meant or the amount of effort that is required to try and fix the pipes of commercial insurance.  

Needless to say, the first week at Bold Penguin was an eye opener. I got my first taste of what goes into commercial insurance connectivity during a Waddle.  

Bold Penguin hosts weekly meetings called “Waddles” to keep employees apprised of company updates. During my first Friday Waddle, I watched Frank Lamantia, Bold Penguin Chief Technology Officer, demonstrate a newly-released Terminal software application where agents can quote and bind insurance with multiple carriers.

As I watched the demo unfold, I immediately jumped over to Slack and pinged one of my co-workers, Kaylee Chappelow. Kaylee used to be an agent at Lockton. She knows commercial insurance.

Me: Hey @kaylee are you watching this demo? What do you think?

Kaylee: Yeah, this is incredible. I wish I had this when I was a broker to quote and bind my small businesses.

Me: Um, we should help them market and sell the Bold Penguin Terminal.

From that moment on, I made it my mission to learn everything I could about the Bold Penguin Terminal’s quote and bind solution so I could start explaining to insurance agents what was about to happen in the insurance world.

In short, I believe that a new business model has been unlocked for forward-thinking insurance agencies. Agencies that adopt the Terminal software to quote and bind small business insurance are going to reap the rewards (I’m literally coming out with a white paper showing the Return on Investment; it’s big and it’s real). With the Bold Penguin Terminal, agencies selling small business insurance can not only survive, but thrive, by adding high-quality prospects and closing them super fast.

Fortuitously, after I decided I was all in on the Terminal, Ilya Bodner, Bold Penguin CEO, asked me to help form a Bold Penguin Agency Council. I jumped at the opportunity and started rounding up agents of all shapes and sizes that were early adopters of Bold Penguin. I wanted to get input from top 100 agencies, like Leavitt Insurance, and smaller brokers, like Satanoff Agency, and everything in between. Thankfully, these forward-looking agencies took me up on my offer.

 Here’s what Dennis Freire at Leavitt had to say when I asked him why he agreed to be a part of the Council:

“Building the Leavitt storefront on Bold Penguin was an easy choice, but the opportunity to have a direct voice in its ongoing improvement is something I’m really excited about. It’s great to have a partner that values our input and to know that we can actively help make the product better, which helps out the industry as a whole.”

Another of my favorite agencies is Satanoff Insurance -- they are painting a room to match Bold Penguin’s unique black and orange design. Here’s what Rebecca Ricciardi, Vice President of Sales and Operations, had to say when I asked her about the Agency Council:

“Bold Penguin has helped evolve our team and our business model around an efficient small-commercial sales process. I’m looking forward to finding ways to push that efficiency even further through our participation in the Agency Council.”

My goal with the Agency Council is simple: get feedback from users to the technology team about the Bold Penguin experience. Our first formal meeting was in February and it led to three additional meetings with individual agencies to dive deeper into upcoming product features and releases.

Why does this matter to you?

First, as I mentioned, I want to share the gospel of what is coming to small business insurance. I’ve run the numbers: a digital-first small business insurance agency or unit can be ridiculously profitable. Agencies that adopt and scale Bold Penguin the fastest will win big.

Second, if you are a Bold Penguin user, or even an agent interested in insurtech trends, I’d love to connect. Maybe you need a demo. Maybe you are confused about what Bold Penguin does. Or maybe you have the next great killer feature in mind for the Bold Penguin software.

Whatever is on your mind, email me! chris.cheatham@boldpenguin.com.

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