|Three insurance professionals soon will be recognized for their stellar insurancecareers with induction into the Robert E. Musto Tennessee Insurance Hall of Fame at MTSU.
The induction ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2, at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center on Medical Center Parkway.
According to Dr. Kenneth Hollman, Martin Chair of Insurance at MTSU, the 2012 inductees will be George Gardner, Christie Reeves and RayThomas.
George Gardner spent his entire 36-year insurance career with State Farm. The MTSU graduate and Indianapolis native at one point served as president of the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the National Association of Life Underwriters. Now a Murfreesboro resident, Gardner conceived the Tommy T. Martin Chair of Insurance at MTSU, organizing and chairing the campaign to generate funds for the newly created chair in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He was responsible for raising $200,000 of the original endowment, which now has risen to more than $1.4 million. To date, the Martin Chair is the only one of its kind in the state, and one of only a handful in the entire country.
Christie Reeves is senior vice president and operations manager with the Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services in Brentwood. The Nashville resident has spent 39 years in the insurance industry — 14 on the carrier side and 25 years with an agency. Reeves also has served in various roles at insurance professional organizations, including the Insurors of Tennessee, where she served as director from 1999 to 2001, as board secretary from 2001 to 2008 and as Insuror Services LLC Board Director from 2006 to 2011. She is a past officer of the Down Syndrome of Middle TN Chapter and a current member of the Insurance Liaison Committee of the Tommy T. Martin Chair of Insurance at MTSU.
Ray Thomas transitioned to the insurance industry after more than a decade of coaching football at the high school and college levels. The Rhea County native began his insurance career as a “trainee agent” with State Farm in Knoxville in 1973, where he was promoted to manager after three years. He served in that capacity from 1976 to 1995. He became a State Farm Insurance Senior Agency Field Consultant in 1995 and served in that capacity until 2004. Now a Murfreesboro resident, Thomas recruited or appointed 33 agents for State Farm Insurance during his 28-year tenure with the company. He was active in professional organizations throughout his career, including serving as executive director of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisers (NAIFA) Tennessee from 2004 to 2006.
The Robert E. Musto Tennessee Hall of Fame was created on the MTSU campus in 1999 under the auspices of the Insurance Liaison Committee of the Martin Chair of Insurance at MTSU. The hall honors those entrepreneurs who created insurance companies, and those agents and company employees who made a difference in their companies and their communities, who significantly impacted the lives of many people and who advanced the role of insurance in society.
The Hall of Fame is named in honor of the late Robert E. Musto, long-time vice president of the National Life and Accident Insurance Company, whose family has generously provided funding. The hall is located on the west wall of the first floor south lobby of the Business and Aerospace Building at MTSU. From 1999 to 2011, 48people have been inducted into the hall.