The 2018 Distinguished Leadership Award
Mr. John K. Smith
Please join us on November 14, 2018 to honor John Smith, as he receives the 2018 Independence Gala Distinguished Leadership Award.
The Distinguished Leadership Award recognizes one who demonstrates exemplary leadership, has promoted the stature of the insurance and associated industries in the community, and global marketplace, and who has provided ongoing support to community events and charitable enterprises. The proceeds of the Gala support the Insurance Society of Philadelphia and a scholarship fund for local college students.
John Smith is president and chief executive officer at Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company (PLM). He has served on the boards of directors of both PLM and Indiana Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company (ILM) since the companies affiliated in 2013. He has been a part of PLM since joining the company in 1998 as vice president of underwriting.
In 1977, John started his lifelong insurance career at Aetna Casualty as a property underwriter. He joined CNA in 1979 as a sales representative before moving to Pittsburgh in 1980, where he served as a branch sales manager. In 1984, he joined General Accident Insurance Company (GA) as the branch manager of their Pittsburgh office. He relocated with GA to New York City in 1990 and was appointed a resident vice president of their New York City branch in 1994. In 1996, he was appointed Northeast regional vice president.
Under John’s leadership, PLM has grown from a tertiary, regional player to a market leader in the “wood niche” of insurance. PLM insures 6,000 wood-related business in 48 states, developing over $230 million of written premium. PLM assets have grown from just over $100 million with policyholder surplus of $60 million to $540 million and $149 million respectively. Among America’s more than 30,000 wood businesses, PLM is recognized as the premier property casualty insurance provider faithfully serving the wood niche for 123 years.
John is a graduate of Rider University, where he majored in accounting and earned a bachelor’s of science in commerce. He completed his graduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh, where he graduated with a master’s in business administration in 1989. A strong believer in the value of continuing education, John has obtained several professional designations including: Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), and Certified Risk Manager (CRM) in 2004. He is currently working on his Associate in Reinsurance. He occasionally guest lectures at both Temple University and Rider University.
Active in the insurance and wood-related industries, John has served on a number of boards of directors including: National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), Insurance Society of Philadelphia (ISOP), the board of the Western Hardwood Association (WHA) and the board of the Firemen’s Hall Museum in Philadelphia. He is a past chairman of the Pennsylvania Association of Mutual Insurance Companies and has recently rejoined that board of directors, where he serves as its Political Action Committee chair. He also currently serves as a trustee on the Griffith Insurance Educational Leadership Council and The Institutes Board. John is a member of the board of the Hardwood Federation and its Political Action Committee (PAC).
John has been honored with awards both as a member of the insurance community and his local community. In 1994, the Greater New York Council of Insurance Brokers recognized John as their Man of the Year. The Insurance Education Foundation has also
recognized him for his lifetime commitment to education, and NAMIC has recognized him for his service to the organization. In 2013, John was made an Honorary Fire Chief of the Union Fire Company, America’s first volunteer fire company, founded by Benjamin Franklin. He is the Insurance Society of Philadelphia’s 2014 Mariellen Whelan “Excellence in Education” Award winner. The Boy Scouts of America have honored John with a District Merit Award and their Silver Beaver Award.
Additionally, John is the past president of the Central New Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts of America and remains active in the Boy Scouts of America, currently serving on the board of the Washington’s Crossing Council. He serves as trustee of the Mary G. Roebling Foundation and treasurer of West Trenton Presbyterian Church. He lives in West Trenton, New Jersey with his wife and children. He enjoys biking, swimming, and reading.