W&L Alum Named President of Louisiana Insurance Brokers

R. Parke Ellis '81

R. Parke Ellis '81

R. Parke Ellis, a member of the Washington and Lee Class of 1981, is the new president of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Louisiana.

As incoming president, Parke is the chief volunteer officer of the organization, which provides legislative liaison, resources and information for independent insurance agents across the state.

Parke has been with Gillis, Ellis & Baker Inc. (GEB) since his graduation from W&L. His client list includes commercial lines, personal lines and benefits. He has been president of both the Independent Insurance Agents of New Orleans and the Associated Risk Managers of Louisiana.

In June, Rough Notes Magazine, which covers the insurance industry, named Gillis, Ellis & Baker its Agency of the Year after earlier naming it Agency of the Month. The article announcing the award cited, in particular, the work that Parke's agency did in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. As the story notes, the entire staff had to work out of a trailer in Baton Rouge after Katrina, and they had to settle 3,000 claims as quickly as possible even as 27 of the 37 employees had either lost their homes completely or were facing severe destruction.

"The aftermath of the storm provided ample evidence of the efficacy of the GEB Advantage Plan approach," the article notes, "as 148 of the agency's 150 largest clients were back in business after the storm."

Parke discussed the impact that Katrina had on the insurance industry, saying, "It's unfortunate that it took one of our country's worst natural disasters for people here to recognize just what a great industry this is."

Gillis, Ellis & Baker Inc. has provided insurance and risk management for families and businesses in greater New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast for four generations. According to a company news release, its goal is to lower the client’s total cost of risk by addressing all aspects of the client’s operation and exposure to potential loss. GEB has doubled in size twice since 2001.

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