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Ngozi Nnaji

MS
Principal: Ako Brokerage Services, LLC and Ako Insurance Consulting, LLC

Ngozi started Ako Brokerage Services, LLC in 2017, after a 20-year career in the insurance industry. She started the firm recognizing a growing desire for insureds to assist clients of underrepresented demographics understand the benefits of insurance being an asset protection and wealth generation tool. Ako Brokerage Services is a full-service brokerage and consulting firm. Although Ako Brokerage Services offers products and services that help individuals and their families, the agency specializes in working with minority-owned businesses and their owners. Most recently, Ngozi recognized an additional need within the insurance industry. She saw many insurance employers continue to struggle with diversifying their workforce and creating inclusive cultures in an industry that has historically struggled to do so. In response, Ngozi launched Ako Insurance Consulting, a recruiting and retention firm focused on BIPOC Talent in the insurance industry. Through the consulting firm, Ngozi and the Ako Syndicate (a team of consultants who specialize in the various faucets of diversity, equity, and inclusion) help employers understand that there must be a focus on recruiting AND retention to increase representation. Additionally, Ako Insurance Consulting assists insurance clients with developing strategies that integrate diversity into all the operational and functional areas of their organization (i.e., underwriting, pricing, claims administration, etc.). In Igbo, Ngozi’s family native language in Nigeria, Ako means wisdom. In both of her firms, Ngozi uses wisdom, as well as experience and strong industry knowledge to advise the clients that she and her team works with. Prior to starting Ako, Ngozi served as the Northeast Healthcare Zone Leader for CNA Insurance Company, where she oversaw the profitability and growth of the organization's healthcare business in seven states. She also held leadership positions at Willis (currently Willis Towers Watson) where she led the placement services for their Healthcare Practice located in Hartford, Connecticut. Although Ngozi started her insurance career as an Underwriter with the St. Paul Companies, she also served in business development, customer experience and production roles throughout her career. Ngozi earned her Master of Science Degree in Risk Management and Insurance from Florida State University and graduated Cum Laude from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Actuarial Science. Ngozi is a Licensed Certified Insurance Consultant in addition to being a Licensed Insurance Producer (CT, FL, MA, ME, and NY, pending RI, NH, and GA). Currently, Ngozi serves on the National Board of the National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA) where she has held the position of Chair of the Agent Engagement Committee since January 2020. Under her leadership, NAAIA has doubled its number of members who are considered Agents / Producers. She created the monthly Agent Round Table Series and established the NAAIA Affinity Program, focused on increasing the number of Black Agents that have direct appointments with global and regional insurance companies. Ngozi was previously the inaugural President of the Greater Hartford Chapter increasing the Chapter’s membership to over 70 in less than 3 years making it one of the fastest growing Chapters in the organization. In 2019, Ngozi was awarded the Leadership Award by the State of Connecticut Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Holiday Commission for her leadership and work in the insurance industry in the Greater Hartford area. Over the last two years, Ngozi has been recognized numerous times by Insurance Business America. In 2020 she received the Leading the Change and Hot 100 Awards where she was nominated by her peers in recognition for her work to help build a more diverse and equitable industry and for her overall impact. In 2021 and 2022 she awarded the Elite Woman of the Year recognition for her advocacy for women, particularly women of color, in a male-dominated field. And in 2022 she was honored with the Global 100 award for being one of the most influential persons across the global insurance industry. Ngozi’s Board responsibilities also extend to Oli Insurance Services, a firm providing support services to help small independent insurance agencies grow, and Business Insurance’s Diversity and Inclusion Institute, the non-profit arm of the independent journal of record for the risk management, employee benefits and commercial insurance communities dedicated to promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in every facet of the commercial insurance industry. Following in her parents’ footsteps, Ngozi is an Adjunct Professor at Goodwin College in their Business Administration Department and is a member of the Goodwin College Insurance Institute’s Advisory Committee. Her efforts are rooted in her passion to bring more diverse talent into the insurance industry by exposing them to the many career opportunities that exist. In collaboration with three of her colleagues, Ngozi founded HBCU I.M.P.A.C.T.TM, a non-profit organization focused on developing the next generation of Black Insurance Professionals. Ngozi also works with Junior Achievement of Southwest New England, where she previously served on their Board of Directors. She is passionate about educating students about the benefits of insurance at a young age to help close the racial wealth gap. During the COVID pandemic, Ngozi launched three insurance industry-wide initiatives, #1000blackinterns, Black Women of the Insurance Industry and Black Men of the Insurance Industry. #1000blackinterns is a two-year initiative aimed at hiring 1000 Black interns in the insurance industry to a collective partnership with employers who wish to display their commitment proudly and publicly to diversity. Black Women of the Insurance Industry and Black Men of the Insurance Industry look to rally the Black Women and Black Men in the insurance industry to create an organic pipeline of Black male talent from entry level to executive positions within organizations as well as identify and implement strategies that directly Black ownership within the industry and the community. In 2021, Ngozi also co-founded The Trilogy, a platform that explores the intersectionality between allyship, mentorship and sponsorship, individually and corporately. In recognition of the work that she continues to do insurance industry to create equity, Ngozi was appointed by Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney to serve on the Task Force to the Study the Insurance Costs Borne by Businesses Located in Distressed Municipalities in Connecticut. Ngozi is active in several community organizations and causes. Additionally, she owns a personal training and group fitness company, Ako Fitness. Ngozi lives in Middletown, Connecticut with her daughter who attends North Carolina Central University, her oldest son who attends Louisiana State University and her other two teenage sons