GKCCA FOUNDING MEMBERS
George spent the first 40 years of his life in Southern California. He graduated from Cal-State Fullerton with a degree in Business Administration and Finance in 1987. He began his insurance career in 1991, adjusting, supervising, and managing property, liability and workers compensation claims for nearly 20 years with Crawford & Company, the last 13 spent as a manager in multiple locations.
George earned the AIC and ARM designations while in California. On January 1, 2005, he left the Los Angeles office that he had managed since 2001 to take over the Overland Park KS office until finally leaving Crawford in 2010. George has been in business development on the restoration side of property loss ever since, first at HarenLaughlin and now at Zipco Restoration since August of 2016. He admits there are parts of adjusting that he misses and he still acts and thinks like an adjuster and loves to discuss claim specifics with adjusters when he meets with them over coffee or lunch or a drink.
George’s association with the GKCCA began while he was still at Crawford in 2009. He attended the Kansas Claims Association Southwest Chapter (Wichita) conference in 2009. At the conference he struck up a conversation with Sonya Drake, who was at HarenLaughlin Restoration at the time, and they were discussing how poorly attended the conference was and why they thought claims associations were becoming obsolete.
Together, they thought that there was room for a claims association in Kansas City to flourish if organized and run correctly. They contacted the KCA state organization and learned that there was a Northeast chapter that was based in Topeka, KS and that it was sparsely attended and likely going to disband. They asked if it would be okay with the state organization that they took the hundred or so dollars in the NE chapter account and relocate it to Overland Park in an effort to revive it.
The KCA state organization agreed, and so in January 2010 the first meeting of the new version of the KCA NE Chapter claims association was conducted at Perkins restaurant on 87th and I35. There were about 20 attendees for the luncheon with a guest speaker and George was appointed the President while Sonya Drake was appointed as Secretary.
At the end of 2010, George left Crawford and because the newly minted by-laws only allowed for adjusters to be President and Vice-President, Waldron stepped down into the Treasurers role. (Jessica Groneau stepped into the President’s role at this time). A few months later, by the middle of 2011, the statewide KCA was disbanding, George and Sonya wanted to build on the momentum and open things up to the Missouri side of the KC Metro area.
In late 2011, a decision was made, as a board and voted upon by membership to revise our by-laws and rename the group, thereby forming the Greater Kansas City Claims Association, effective January 1, 2012. There was $496.69 in KCA NE Chapter funds left over, which kickstarted the newly formed GKCCA and as George describes it “A labor of love to have been around from the beginning and to see how far the organization has evolved into what it is today”.