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October 5, 2023 - LIMITLESS Magazine

Vision and voice: Founding the Asian American Insurance Network

MMA Regional Claims Director Angela Lee cofounded a networking association for Asian American insurance professionals


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Representation matters. Diversity, equity, and inclusion have been hot topics in many industries, including insurance. When Angela Lee, a regional claims director for Marsh McLennan Agency’s Southeast region, was chatting with a few other Asian American insurance industry pros at a conference, they came to a startling realization: there’s no place for us. While industry associations exist for many minority groups, Asian and Pacific Islander (API) insurance pros didn’t have a specific organization facilitating networking, mentoring, and education. From that conversation, the Asian American Insurance Network (AAIN) was born.

“Nothing holistically covered the spectrum of Asian Americans across the industry,” Lee says. “We always felt like something was missing, but we didn't know quite what that was.”

The nonprofit business association launched in May 2022. As word got out, membership surged. By its first anniversary, AAIN had grown to more than 1,700 members and has garnered numerous corporate sponsorships, including MMA, and Lee now co-chairs MMA’s Asian Colleague Resource Group.

AAIN aims to advance the careers of insurance professionals and increase recognition throughout the industry. The organization has hosted numerous networking events, seminars, and webinars. AAIN has also collaborated with other industry groups, been featured in panel discussions, and worked with universities offering insurance programs to bolster recruitment from the API community. 

“I'm really passionate about bringing the next generation into the insurance industry,” Lee says. She didn’t consider her first foray into insurance the gateway to her impressive 22- year career that included a recent nod as one of Insurance Business America’s 2023 Elite Women until a mentor opened her mind to the possibilities the industry offers.

“I landed in the bond and financial products claims department, which dealt with complex and interesting management and professional liability claims—it was just so fascinating, and I was hooked,” she says.

“There's so much that can be done in this industry and I'm proud to be a part of it.”

AAIN seeks to elevate social awareness around API issues and increase visibility so people can better understand the API experience. AAIN hosts events and engages with other groups to promote awareness of API contributions in the business community. AAIN also speaks out against hate, hurtful stereotypes, erasure, and microaggressions.

“I think corporations are ready to address these topics,” Lee says. “There is still work to be done but progress is being made. I feel like I can be my authentic self, not just as a representative of MMA, but also as a leader for AAIN. To have that support from MMA has been phenomenal.”

To read more articles, explore our LIMITLESS Magazine.