Bill Sleeper, CPCU, CLU, AIM, ARM, AAI

CPCU Society Past President (1998–1989) 

Dallas, TX

CPCU since 1973 
Society member since 1973

Connect with me on Interact Community  
My 50 years as a CPCU – Looking Back

Are you heading for the convention (that’s what we used to call it) in DC this October 5 – 7, 2023?

If you’re considering it, I suggest you sign up right now.  As the song says, “This could be the start of something big.”  Fifty years ago, I, too, was headed for our convention to receive my designation in the US capital city.

Why do CPCU and the Society mean a lot to me?
In a nutshell, it’s recognition and collegiality, friendships, leadership opportunities, resources, and fruitful meetings.

My dad, a highly successful, independent, P&C insurance agent, advised me to get a credential that would make my name stand out. During my first gig out of the Army, an underwriter in my company told us that CPCU was a challenging program.  That was enough to suggest a worthy goal for me, and I will forever be grateful. 

I was extraordinarily eager to officially be a CPCU.  Being a third-generation insurance worker, I puffed up my feathers and was prepared to be a peacock.  Not as my father’s son, but a CPCU on my own.  Sure enough, during my walk-across stage (yes, they announced every name then), the presiding officer prepared to shake my hand and said, “I know your dad.  How’s he doing?”  A momentary let-down, after which I had nothing but enjoyment from my active CPCU and Society career which lasted until 2012.  Full disclosure: since then, I have been enjoying retirement life. 

Why did I value participating in the Society ranks all these years?

Tough to adequately describe but let me hit the high points.

My wonderful experience started at Conferment and extended for a half-century.  It was the blend of associating with good friends, sharing laughs and ideas to advance the Society, and gaining solutions to insurance puzzles back home. Furthermore, meeting decision makers throughout the industry was priceless.  Some of those friendships lasted a whole generation, with too many to list.  And Society friends are always at the ready to share their experience as risk management and insurance industry thought leaders.  

I especially valued the leadership opportunities.  The Society affords participation in thought leader groups as well as opportunities to lead those groups.  By the way, you can (and should) volunteer for your local chapter, a committee or interest group. 

To the new CPCUs, a hearty congratulations.  At In2Risk you will receive all the well wishes you can enjoy.  But “commencement” means going forward from here.  Now it’s your chance to share your joy within your networks.  Tell them what it all means to you.  Thanks for reading.  And for the new designees, bon voyage on your lifelong journey!

In closing, thank you to all of you.  My Society service culminated in my term as president.  Those were among the most rewarding and enjoyable years of my long life.  So… Thank you very much!  And a huge “THANK YOU” to my wife Mica.  Sure helps to have a loving and supportive partner.

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