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Ceduna-based Karen Skinner and Adelaide-based Patrick McCole were today crowned the 2021 SA/NT National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) award winners during a virtual ceremony.

The pair complete a full set of ten candidates for national honours – five for the QBE-sponsored Stephen Ball Memorial Award and five for the Vero-sponsored Warren Tickle Memorial Award.

Ms Skinner, who co-owns MGA Insurance Brokers Ceduna with her brother – located almost 800 kilometres northwest of Adelaide – won SA/NT Broker of the Year. She competed against CBD Insurance Services MD Kate Edgar.

“I wish to thank MGA for taking me on 22 years ago. I fell into the industry and since then I have never looked back and have enjoyed it,” Ms Skinner said. “It’s very rewarding and I hope to stay in the industry for many more years to come.”

QBE GM Sales & Relationship Management Elliot Hill today praised her outstanding commitment to client advocacy and customer service and said she “serves as a powerful source of inspiration to the broader broking industry”.

Ms Skinner now competes for national honours against Marsh’s Sydney-based Head of Financial and Professional Services Pacific Craig Claughton; Queensland’s Crucial Insurance & Risk Advisors MD Tony Venning; WA’s GSK Insurance Brokers Senior Account Manager Jeff Booth; and Tasmania’s Capital Innovation Chairman Ian Goninon.

In the Young Professional Broker of the Year category, Aon Client Executive Mr McCole competed against fellow SA/NT finalists Webber Insurance Services Account Broker Nikia Goers and PSC Insurance Brokers Account Manager Jasmine Miller.

He now vies for the national award with NSW/ACT winner Markey Insurance & Risk Senior Account Executive Megan Farmer; Queensland’s Crucial Insurance & Risk Advisors Broker Alishia Oliver; Albany District Insurance Brokers Account Executive Luke Cameron; and Victoria’s Integral Insurance Services Senior Broking Executive Mitchell Wight.

“Patrick is a great ambassador for the insurance broking profession. He has forged an impressive career working with a diverse range of clients ranging from SME businesses to not for profit entities and healthcare sectors,” Vero’s Head of Commercial Intermediaries Anthony Pagano said.

CEO Dallas Booth says NIBA received a significant number of applications this year and the finalists represent “the cream of the crop”.

“We congratulate all the finalists who exemplify the highest standards of professionalism and competence in the broking industry,” Mr Booth said.

Due to COVID outbreaks and restrictions, the NIBA/UAC Queensland Underwriting Expo and gala lunch was rescheduled to September 22 while regional gala lunches are now slated for next month.

NIBA will this year host a five-day hybrid annual convention, visiting Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney from September 28 to October 28.