08 May

Meet OAHU President, Dawn Miller

Meet OAHU President, Dawn Miller


Name:  Dawn Miller

Title: Employee Benefits Specialist

Business:  Hagan Hamilton Insurance

How did you get into this business? I started working for a State Farm agent when I was in High School

Location: McMinnville, OR (home office)

Where were you born: Walnut Creek, CA

First Job: filing charts in a doctors office

Dream Job: to be a pilot, although I hate flying so it seems a little like an oxymoron.

Favorite Happy Hour/Tasting Room/Bar in Portland: Portland City Grill in the City (espresso martini is my favorite) but there are some great places in the Willamette Valley a few of my local favorites include LaRambla & Pura Vida

Favorite sites in or around Portland: any golf course, this doesn’t mean I’m any good at golfing but I do enjoy it.

What’s your opinion of the phrase “keep Portland weird”? I’m not sure if it’s Eugene or Portland that should have this phrase

If you were selected to be on a reality TV show which one would it be?… I wish I could say the Voice but it would probably have to be Amazing Race

Advice for my early career self: Don’t let failure discourage you.

When I have a long weekend I… enjoy being a mom and traveling around Oregon

What are the top things on your bucket list?… to see the Grand Canyon, to ride in a helicopter

You’ve been given  an unexpected bonus of $1,000 cash.  What do you do with it?  Give it to OAHU okay okay, I’d probably take a trip to Las Vegas.


08 May

Recap of the 2015 Capitol Conference

For twenty-five years, NAHU members have been coming to Washington, D.C., to stand together and make their voices heard. This year, make sure your voice is amongst the crowd. By registering for NAHU’s 25th Annual Capitol Conference, you will have the opportunity to join with hundreds of your colleagues from around the country to lobby for health reform changes of importance to you and your clients on Capitol Hill. You will also get to hear from exciting speakers representing Congress, the Administration and other health reform stakeholders, network with other agents and see our Health Underwriters Political Action Committee at work. With the 114th Congress having just convened under new leadership, now is the perfect time to come to Washington, D.C., and stand up as a force for change.


Here’s a few things the Portland attendees had to say about the conference.


My two cents that would be that I attended a breakout session on Monday afternoon “Understanding the Employer Reporting Requirements”  where a member of the IRS was available for Q & A.  An individual got up and started talking about the inconsistencies in the way carriers treat HRA’s due to law/regulation and the member of the IRS heard what  talking about (thanks to Dave Fear), made notes and said that he would work on creating a fix for us.  It was pretty neat to watch that happen and realize that with clear communication, we CAN change things.

– Dawn Miller, OAHU President


“As a first time attendee of NAHU’s Capitol Conference, it was an exciting and enlightening experience to meet with our elected officials and educate them on the importance of key decisions related to health insurance and reform.  They care deeply about their constituents and look to us as valued experts/partners on matters that have resounding impacts on our clients, our agents and our carriers. Seeing the process firsthand gave me new-found appreciation for the important legislative advocacy that NAHU engages in on a national level and that OAHU, PAHU and WVAHU engage in at a local level. I look forward to seeing how our conversations impact the decisions of legislators as they vote on bills that effect all of us. I can’t think of a more important reason to be involved in the Association of Health Underwriters then the difference we make on policy and law matters, and I would encourage every member who can, to attend.”

– Sally Kallianis, Incoming PAHU President


My experience:  As a first time attendee, it was truly inspiring to see that what we do here in Oregon and the surrounding states really does have a bigger impact than it sometimes seems.  Connecting with people from all over the country, including our representatives in the house and senate, and our advocates at NAHU, who share the same hopes and goals for our industry was both empowering and educational.

– Emma Passe, PAHU Spring Forum Chair


Capitol Conference was a great experience. I have attended this event several times, but this was slightly different. It was very interesting going into legislators’ offices and hearing a different tone. It was a subtle but noticeable change that I attributed to the changes we’ve seen in the make up of congress. I found legislators more accessible than I have in the past. They seemed to listen a little closer and show a little more interest. The conference was great – some very good speakers and topics – including a lot of discussion about cost containment. It is always nice to spend time with the Oregon contingent in DC. Overall it was very worthwhile and allowed us to gain more knowledge and insight into the direction of healthcare reform in the 114th congress.

– Jamie Sewel, WVAHU President


Want to see pictures?  

10 Feb

Waterguns and Strokes | Spring Forum Speaker, Ben Davis

At the 2015 PAHU Spring Forum you’ll have the privilege of hearing Ben Davis present Waterguns and Strokes; Protecting Incomes in the Post-ACA Marketplace

Ben Davis DiBroker

Ben Davis DiBroker


With all of the changes in the health insurance marketplace, it is more important than ever to cross-sell needed products to existing clients. And with reductions in health commissions, locating additional revenue streams can be the difference between having a bad year or making it a good year. Ben will share some amazing real life stories that will illustrate ways other agents have incorporated Individual Disability into their practices, and the impact it has had on client’s lives. Ben will also share a truly memorable exercise that will leave you always able to remember how important Health Insurance and Disability Insurance are for our clients.

Ben Davis has been a disability insurance wholesaler (or broker’s broker) with DIBroker since 2006.  He works with insurance producers on the individual long-term disability insurance for individual clients, or the carve-out individual disability for their groups. He coaches insurance agents through the process so they can sell the right policy to their clients, and helps them look good doing it. His office also provides back-office support: once the producer completes an application, they coordinate with carrier underwriters to get a policy issued without any more work on the producer’s part.

Come see Ben and many more dynamic speakers at the 2015 PAHU Spring Forum Wednesday, April 8th at the Oregon Convention Center.






30 Jan

A candid interview with PAHU past President, Jill Pedersen

Name: Jill Pedersen     

Title: Benefits Advisor

Business: Columbia Benefit Solutions, Inc.

Location: Lake Oswego

City you live in: Oregon City

Worst Job: Orange Julius as a teenager – squeezing oranges on an electric juicer, hour after hour during the holidays was no fun! The palms of my hands were bruised for weeks. I learned that I am not cut out for manual labor, and then I became a mom!

Dream Job: I have it – mother to 3 amazing boys!  But, if you are referring to a “paying” job I would love to be a nurse or doctor – I just don’t have what it takes to pass chemistry and calculus…I’ve seen my kids homework!  I have wanted to be a nurse since I was a kid.  My mom would make me a nurse’s hat and pin it on my head – that dates me!

Favorite Restaurant in Portland: TBD. Still sampling my way through the culinary offerings in town.  I’m from the southwest (transplant of 8 years) and have yet to find a good Mexican spot up here – recommendations would be appreciated!

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Anything poolside! It’s what I call good, clean, fun!  I enjoy camping and short day hikes also, but laying by the pool with palm trees and sunshine trumps it all!

Finish this sentence…”I’m at my happiest when…”   I am with my family.  After 22 years, I am still married to my best friend and I look forward to our weekly dates away from the kids.  We have handsome, respectful, sharp (yes, I’m bragging) boys who are creative and make us laugh every day.  I actually look forward to going home and spending time with all of them!

Favorite movie is… “ELF” – “Smiling’s my favorite!” “Santa’s Here!” Make’s me smile and I quote it all year!

Advice for my Future Self: Keep it simple. (I was going to add something else, but then it would negate my own advice!)

Group/organization/demographic you are most driven to help: I’m a softie for kids.

I talk the most about… Right now, it’s a tossup between pediatric dental and my kids. Depends on the day!

When I have an out-of-town visitor, the top 3 things they should do in Oregon are… #1 Visit in August – you are least likely to encounter rain. #2 Multnomah Falls – it is breathtaking to whoever sees it. #3 Sellwood antique malls – shop till you drop.

How do you take your coffee  I don’t.  I’m not a coffee drinker. If I’m feeling wild and crazy at lunch time I have a Diet Coke on the rocks with a twist!

If you were a super hero what would your super power be and why? I would love to be able to fly.  Traffic is a killer….purely selfish, right?!