Saint Joseph’s University Takes 1st Place in NAAIA’s 8th Annual National

Washington, DC – The National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA) held its National Talent Development Competition on September 12 and 14 with eleven (11) teams of undergraduate students participating in the two-day event. Now in its eighth year, students delivered a 15-minute pitch in response to the prompt: assisting the fictional New Enterprise Insurance Company in developing inclusive insurance products for US-based low income and underserved communities who experience significant weather and climate disaster events.

Saint Joseph’s University students Kevin Yonkeu, Joe Gibbs and Selynne Ochieng, took home the top prize with each earning a $1,500 scholarship. The team was sponsored by Everest who served as their corporate advocate and provided coaching to the students alongside university faculty.

“The Everest team was honored to participate in the NAAIA Talent Development Competition and mentor students from St. Joseph’s University,” said Jhan D. Doughty, Everest’s Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “These exceptionally talented students dedicated countless hours of time, research and preparation to their winning presentation, and we are proud of their hard work and dedication.”

“Our hearts are bursting with joy and gratitude at our Saint Joseph’s University Maguire Academy of Insurance and Risk Management team’s first place award,” said Mary Ann Cook, Ed.D., Executive Director of the Maguire Academy of Insurance and Risk Management at SJU’s Haub School of Business. “By leveraging their academic, technical, and collaborative talents, our students truly embodied the richness that diversity, equity, and inclusion can bring to solving today’s complex business challenges.”

Florida A&M University students Aurora Grier, Kelisia Morrison and Justice Youmans placed second (sponsored by Marsh McLennan Agency), and Florida State University’s Dudley Mayard, Victor Oguledo and Bryan Fuller placed third (sponsored by Philadelphia Insurance). All student competitors receive scholarships for their efforts. Scholarship funding is made possible by NAAIA Partners, the NAAIA Foundation and the Spencer Educational Foundation.

“We are always impressed by the persistence and dedication of our student competitors,” said Omari Jahi Aarons, NAAIA’s Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer. “There’s no doubt our industry will be in good hands with their leadership.”

The competition was judged by senior leaders from NAAIA Partners: Lavezz Middleton, Operations Leader, CNA Insurance, Loi Stoddard-Graham, Vice President of Business Growth & Retention, MetLife Legal Plans, and Jason Warden, Regional Vice President Houston at The Hartford.


The National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA) was organized to create a network among people of color and others employed in or affiliated with the insurance industry. The association has over 2,000 members and 23 chapters, with others in development, throughout the nation and its members represent every sector of the industry. NAAIA’s focus is the professional development and personal empowerment of its members, and to serve as a gateway to diverse talent at every level of the industry. Visit to learn more.

The event is finished.

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