Ms. Erica Lyles Impressing College Presidents at EIIA

On the first day as an EIIA (Educational & Institutional Insurance Administrators, Inc) intern, I had the pleasure to meet the staff which is made up of 33 hard-working, self-motivated individuals that consider themselves a family with a purpose. Although the culture and nature of this office is calm and relaxed, there is a sense of urgency from each employee to ensure that each institution’s needs are met while working together as a team.

 EIIA, as I have stated previously, stands for Educational & Institutional Insurance Administrators, Inc.

 So, what do they do?

 EIIA serves exclusively church affiliated institutions under four denominations as the intermediary between institutions and insurance companies. As a 501 (c) 3 company, the Chicago office is their only location with five teams including property and casualty, risk management, finance, employee benefits, and student teams.

 In addition, EIIA is equivalent to a Fortune 200 company with major tax savings, a total property value of $18 billion, full-time students of 163,000, a total payroll of $1.8 billion and a total endowment fund of $7 billion. In my opinion, EIIA has been and continues to succeed with 127 institutions enrolled in their various programs.

 Each week, I had the opportunity to work with a different team, learning what trust reconciliations are and how they function. Later in the week, I had the opportunity to create trust reconciliations for the 24 institutions in the EB health programs. These reconciliations consisted of data compiled from monthly or yearly GLAHI trust total summaries that outline monthly contributions, interest earned, insurance premiums, number of lives, etc. from each institution. It wasn’t enough to just enter the data, but I was most interested in learning what each item meant to the institution and EIIA. For example, on these trust summaries there is a monthly contribution item, which is what the school contributes to the EIIA monthly. As Jamila Thomas, associate director of employee benefits explained, there is no penalty for not paying a month because EIIA is not for profit, but there is a special bill sent to the institution after two consecutive months without pay. Trust reconciliations are similar to bank reconciliations in that they analyze a company’s financial position in a given time period.”

 The second week of my internship, I had the opportunity to go on a business trip with Mary Ellen Moriarty, VP of property & casualty at Tusculum College located in Greenville, Tennessee. The objective for the business meeting was to meet with Tusculum’s CFO & Vice President of Finance Stephen Gehret in order to bring them into the EIIA consortium. This experience allowed me to understand the processes in which schools are added and how the institution benefits.

 I had the pleasure in attending the Council of Presidents meeting on this past week. This board is compromised of approximately 15 HBCU Presidents including our very own Dr. Tisdale. Here, I was able to share my experiences of the internship with the council. At the end of the presentation, the board seemed to be pleased with the results, and is excited to promote the internship program on their campuses for summer 2011.  

 As the seventh week of the internship closes and the last week approaches, I have had opportunities that I will never forget. Also, not only did I have the opportunity to travel and meet professionals who are at the height of their careers but I also learned a great deal about myself. It is important that you grow professionally as well as personally as you reach into your future.

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