Amicia Hine, the new president of the Texas Surplus Lines Association, said her earliest impression of the association was attending midyear meetings, which she thought of as a working family vacation. Hine had been working a mix of part-time and fulltime at McClelland and Hine (MHI) about six years when her father, Gil Hine, was installed as president of the association. It was the first annual meeting of the association that she attended.
Nineteen years later, Amicia Hine followed her dad’s path and was installed as the 65th president of the state association of excess and surplus lines brokers and underwriters.
Unlike her father’s installation and many others before her, Hine did not experience the ceremonial reception in a ballroom of the Four Seasons. Instead, she was elected and installed during the virtual TSLA Annual Meeting on Nov. 10, webcasting live from her office. She called it “our absolute best Plan B,” as about 170 members and affiliates tuned in for a morning of speaker presentations and a business meeting, including her incoming president’s speech.
Hine succeeds Jennifer Mier, AmWINS Group, whose year-in-review remarks were sent to members by email, as she was unable to attend the virtual meeting while continuing her recovery from an automobile accident in May.
At 19, Hine took a gap semester after her sophomore year of college and went to work for the wholesale agency that her father started with Jack McClelland in 1982. She started in 1994 as an accounting clerk, a position that included batching and mailing policies to the stamping office. Grateful today for automation, she recalled that the job was not glamorous, but it was her working introduction to the kind, intelligent people she grew up around, and she stayed on staff while completing her degree.
Hine graduated magna cum laude from the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio in 2006 with an organizational development bachelor’s degree, which includes disciplines in business management and psychology. Sometimes, she said good-humoredly, she feels like she puts her psychology training to more use than the business management courses.
While continuing her studies, she worked in various positions in almost every department of MHI. Today she serves as executive vice president and regional director of MGA for Worldwide Facilities, LLC. MHI-MGA Division. MHI, which has branch offices in Houston, Dallas and Atlanta, became a division of Worldwide Facilities in September 2018 and now represents Worldwide Facilities’ MGA offices in the Mid-South region.
Having grown up in the business, Hine hopes to continue to capture the institutional knowledge of the industry elders. While the average age of the brokers and members of TSLA has decreased in recent years due to a deliberate effort to bring the next generation into the business, Hine understands the next few years will be a critical time to bridge the knowledge gap between the under 40s and those with more years of experience in the business and firsthand historical knowledge of excess market dynamics and the formation and purpose of the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas. “We desperately need the over 40s to stay engaged,” she said.
Hine said her early career experiences with TSLA were serving on the Host Committee and the Under 40 Committee. In 2008, Hine increased her leadership role in the association by serving as Website Committee chairwoman, then on the Legislative Committee, becoming its chairwoman in 2014. Hine served a three-year term on the board of directors prior to moving up through the executive offices.
One of her main focuses as president will be on the capitol since her term coincides with a regular biennial session of the Texas Legislature. Her experience on the Legislative Committee prepared her for this role, she said. When former lobbyist for TSLA Greg Hooser welcomed her as the new chairperson of the Legislative Committee, Hine said she felt a bit overwhelmed by the experience level of others. She recalled Hooser boosting her confidence, “You are smarter than you think you are,” he told her then.
Hine expects a somewhat quiet session from lawmakers on matters specifically affecting the surplus lines industry, as the Legislature is expected to focus on COVID and budget issues.
Another focus for her term as president is membership, said Hine. While merger and acquisition activity has reduced the membership of TSLA, something no association president has control over, Hine said she hopes to advance a culture of engagement from and among the members. “I’ve come a long way from working family vacation to a dedicated and professional member of TSLA,” Hine told the members in her formal speech. “I understand that it is critically important to the continued success of our association to have robust membership and engaged individuals willing to volunteer their time, talent and expertise…. We believe in high compliance rates and best practices, and we operate in the utmost good faith…. We believe in promoting and preserving surplus lines, and we believe in promoting and preserving the wholesale distribution process.”
Earlier this year, Hine was honored by the Wholesale and Specialty Insurance Association with the Dana Roehrig Award, which recognized her as an outstanding committee volunteer on one of the association’s working committees. The award was named after Dana Roehrig, who served as the second president of NAPSLO, one of WSIA’s predecessor associations. She was twice honored with the TSLA Joe Howse President’s Award in 2009 and 2015 for chairing the Website Committee and the Legislative Committee.
Hine’s community involvement includes support for Habitat for Humanity and Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas, and she actively participates in TSLA’s annual care packages for the military overseas. Her husband Tony Turpin, stepchildren and children claim most of her free time for family time and the younger children’s extracurricular involvements with tennis, soccer, and chess.
Joining Hine as TSLA officers are Vice President Justin Kotrla, senior vice president of property, AmWINS Group in Dallas, and Secretary Treasurer Tiffany Way, assistant vice president and branch manager at RT Specialty in Austin.
New directors elected for three-year terms are Terence Babler, Southwest Risk, Dallas; Jodi Berger, USG Insurance, Arlington, and Zak Reed, AUI, Austin. Wade Vaché, Scion Underwriting Services, Dallas, was elected as a nonvoting affiliate director for a three-year term.
They join current board members Jim Bishop, One General Agency, Oklahoma City; Kimmi Cantwell, McGowan, Donnelly and Oberheu, Austin; Joe Dahlvig, Admiral Insurance Group, Austin; Meagan Kiernan, RT Specialty, Dallas; Robert McEwen, The Parks Group, Austin; Sam Stringer, RT Specialty, New Orleans, and Josh Taylor, Scottish American, Grapevine.