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Insurors of Tennessee group gives $10K to MTSU program

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Chuck Bidek, left, CEO of Insurors of Tennessee, presented the MTSU Martin Chair of Insurance with a $10,000 check during the inaugural Martin Chair Advisory Board meeting held at Embassy Suites Murfreesboro in December. Pictured with Bidek, from left to right, are Dave Wood, new holder of the Martin Chair; Christy Reeves, 2016 president of Insurors of Tennessee and area senior vice president and director of client operations with Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.; and Carolyn Tumbleson, development director for the Jennings A. Jones College of Business. Bidek and Reeves are members of the advisory board. (Submitted photo)

A state insurance advocacy group has given a boost to the insurance program within MTSU's Jennings A. Jones College of Business.

The Insurors of Tennessee, a professional association of independent insurance agents, has given $10,000 to the Jones College's Martin Chair of Insurance. The gift was presented during the inaugural Martin Chair Advisory Board meeting in December.

Professor Dave Wood, the new holder of the Martin Chair of Insurance, said the funds will help further the objective of establishing a nationally recognized risk management and insurance program in the Jones College.

"That may be in the form of scholarships, funding student and faculty travel to workshops, seminars and conventions, instructional materials, students' pursuit of professional designations, and similar activities," he said.

Before coming to MTSU in the fall, Wood served as Joseph F. Freeman Distinguished Professor of Risk Management and Insurance at the Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University. He was previously a visiting professor in the Risk Management and Insurance program at the University of Colorado-Denver and has taught international risk management and finance courses in France and Austria.

Wood earned his doctorate in business administration from Louisiana Tech University after earning a master's from the University of Mississippi and his bachelor's from Delta State University. Before his career in education, he worked as an independent insurance agent.

The advisory board was created "to establish, enhance and reinforce relationships" between the Martin Chair and the insurance community while also helping set and accomplish the chair's goals and objectives, he said. The board currently has 14 members with a nominating committee that may add additional members.

The board will assist the chair in gaining national and international prominence through members' actions and expertise, and through the member connections with business, government and community leaders both within and outside Middle Tennessee, Wood added.

The Martin Chair of Insurance was founded by a group of alumni and friends to upgrade and enhance the insurance curriculum at MTSU. It was named in honor of Thomas T. Martin, a Murfreesboro insurance agent and underwriter for almost 60 years.

For more information about the Martin Chair of Insurance within the Department of Economics and Finance, contact Wood at dave.wood@mtsu.edu or visit http://www.mtsu.edu/martinchair/.

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