Jack Kolb, CIS, is Manager, Field Promotions for American Family Insurance in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. He has been with American Family for over 30 years and on the Field Promotions staff for the past 20 years. Last fall, Jack was named Manager of the Field Promotions Department and manages a staff of five people responsible for design and implementation of promotional and incentive campaigns to motivate sales performance of American Family’s captive agents in 19 states in the USA. Jack became a member of Site in 2012 and was the first Corporate Planner to be certified as a Site Certified Incentive Specialist (CIS).
What motivated you to become a member of Site?
Jack Kolb: Quite frankly, I was searching for an organization to get involved with in the Incentive Travel industry when I read about the Site Certified Incentive Specialist (CIS) training offered in December in Chicago. Our staff at American Family had not previously been very involved in any organization, other than FICP, and I was really hoping to find some educational opportunities that would benefit not only myself but our Field Promotions unit as well. A benefit of the CIS training, was membership in Site for a year.
What do you hope will be the greatest personal and professional benefits of being a Site member?
Kolb: Due to my new job responsibilities, trying to finalize our 2014 and 2015 Incentive Travel program and organizing all the details for our 2013 All American Convention that’s coming up in July of this year, I have not yet had time to get involved much in Site. What I really hope to gain from Site is the ability to learn what other larger companies do for their Incentive Travel programs and what their programs involve. Our program has about 800 - 1,000 qualifiers, and typically over 2,500 people travel. Through my membership in Site, I am hoping to connect and benchmark with companies who operate similar large group programs. I would like to learn more about how they design their program; how they run their business meeting; how many company sponsored F & B functions do they provide; how much free time do they allow; what do they pay for and not pay for; is the trip taxable, etc. I’m really interested in finding people in similar positions to myself that I can discuss these issues with and learn and gain insight from.
You participated in the inaugural Site Certified Incentive Specialist (CIS) program in Chicago and were one of the first Corporate Planners to attain the CIS designation. What are your impressions of the program and its benefits to Corporate Planners?
Kolb: I really enjoyed the CIS training and met a wonderful group of people, none of whom I knew previously. As the only Corporate Planner in the class, I think my perspective was unique and my needs were different. A lot of the information I knew so the education validated and reinforced my knowledge. The training was very worthwhile with the greatest benefit being the ability to interact and share with professionals from different aspects of the incentive travel industry. If we had the budget, I would encourage all members of my staff to become CIS certified.