Eric Dawdy ’15, AINS, CAWC, CIC, CRM, was recently named the Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS) Alumnus of the Year during the organization’s annual conference. Eric has been passionate about all things insurance since he was introduced to the industry as a senior in high school. Now, he serves as an underwriting business development consultant at Accident Fund, and he is actively engaged across the insurance community.
“I’m so honored to have been recognized as Alumnus of the Year,” Eric said. “The recognition was so unexpected but greatly appreciated. I have been so passionate about GIS and the difference it makes in the lives of students. GIS put my life on the right track, and hopefully my efforts over the past few years have helped put other students on a similar path.”
Eric first began to develop an interest in the insurance industry as a high school student in the ERESA Career Center insurance and risk management program led by Olivet College. The program was in its inaugural year, but the subject matter and industry potential stuck with Eric. The following year, he officially became an Olivet College Comet and declared an insurance and risk management major.
“My experience with ERESA had prepared me well for GIS involvement,” Eric said. “As soon as I was on campus, I jumped right in. I attended as many GIS events as possible, and as soon as I was eligible, I applied for and secured an officer position as VP of recruiting. The following year I became president-elect, and finally my senior year, I was president of the Olivet Alpha Alpha chapter. Involvement in GIS prepares you for a career in insurance better than any other experience can. It teaches you how to work with others, how to manage your time, how to plan an event and how to be a productive member of an organization.
“GIS really was the driving force continuing my passion for the insurance industry. The students, alumni, industry professionals and advisors painted such a promising picture of a career in insurance. The conferences, classes and internships only confirmed everything I was promised. A career in insurance stands for one concept: helping people. We provide for people on the worst day of their lives helping them get back on their feet after suffering a loss. We offer peace of mind that should the worst case scenario happen we’ll be there for you. Helping people gives me an incredible amount of joy, so a career in insurance has been a perfect fit.”
During his time as a student, Eric completed three summer internships with Accident Fund and began his full-time career there post-graduation. He lives in Holt with his wife, Emily, a 2016 OC graduate, and their two sons. Eric also continues to share his passion for the insurance industry and Olivet College within his community.
“I have continued to stay involved in GIS since graduation in various different capacities,” Eric said. “I served as chair of the planning committee for the Leadership Symposium, which is one of the national conferences that GIS holds each year for the presidents of each chapter. I also established the GIS Lansing Alumni Chapter. Currently, I stay involved through my company as an industry ambassador. Staying involved is my way of giving back to an organization that gave so much to me.
“It’s so important to stay involved with Olivet College and GIS after graduation. You will continue to build your network and learn new things. Most importantly, though, we have to give back to the communities that helped develop us as professionals. Countless people have had a profound impact on every student that goes through Olivet and GIS. I know I owe much of my success to the advisers, professionals and fellow students who guided me through my college days and first few years of professional life. I encourage everyone to take some action to pay it forward to the current and future students. Mentor a student, volunteer to be a guest speaker or even donate to your favorite student organization or scholarship fund.”
As Eric reflects on his personal and career success, he remains grateful to Olivet College for sparking his insurance passion and providing valuable education and life experiences.
“I’m so thankful for my liberal arts degree from Olivet College,” Eric said. “I not only secured the best insurance education available, but I also learned so much more. Olivet puts an emphasis not only on the core classes required for your future career, but also classes designed to make you a better communicator, a better problem solver and most importantly, a better person.
“My number one goal right now is to be the best father possible to my two sons. My career in insurance allows me to manage my time in a way so that I can spend valuable evenings and weekends with my kids and provide for their current and future needs.”
GIS is an international professional fraternity organized to promote, encourage and sustain student interest in insurance, risk management and actuarial science as professions. The annual GIS Conference and awards ceremony, which was held virtually this year, also celebrated the achievements and impact of the 90-plus chapters located at colleges and universities across the country. Thomas Humphreys, CPCU, CLU, ChFC, CIC, director of the Risk Management and Insurance Center and assistant professor, earned the Faculty of the Year Award and OC’s Alpha Alpha Chapter earned the Superior Chapter recognition.