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Dave Strout



Meet Dave Strout

Dave Strout has been a member of Big I New Jersey for well over 30 years, with a board tenure nearly equaling in time. As an active member of the independent agency system, Dave credits the industry for ‘choosing him’ and has worked at his family’s agency, Cettei and Connell, since 1989.

Take a look at why Dave thinks agents win over technology and how the relationships that agents cultivate with their clients are not just their biggest asset, but their biggest opportunity as well.

How has being a member of the association impacted your career? 
As a Big I NJ member, I always feel like I am up-to-date with what’s going on in the industry. The association keep us informed of critical legislative and political issues, as well as regulatory changes, industry trends, and more. That, and the access to markets. 

What do you see as the greatest opportunity for our industry over the next 5 years? 
More person-to-person contact. This is where we win as agents and it’s something that people still really want today. Especially after COVID with everything being relegated to Zoom or email. 

What technological breakthrough do you think will have the greatest impact on insurance over the next 5+ years? 
I’m most interested in seeing how AI is going to affect our industry. 

What advice would you share with individuals just starting out in the industry?
Get involved with the association. It’s the best way to learn and the best way to make contacts that will help you for your entire career. 

What are you most looking forward to accomplishing during your time on the board?
Big I NJ has a lot to offer. As a board member, I see it as my place to help preserve that and continue to grow the association along with the industry trends and members’ needs.   

What one hidden gem – as it relates to benefits/resources - do you think more Big I NJ members need to be taking advantage of? 
I have to pick two – Big I Markets and the E&O Program. If you haven’t looked at either lately, these should definitely be at the top of your list.  

Who is your mentor?
There’s too many to name. I’ve been blessed with incredible mentors in my life.

What is your greatest motivator?
Failure. I hate it.

What is the best professional advice you have received?
Be honest. 
It’s really as simple as that.

What's something that most people are surprised to learn about you?
I can be serious when I want to be. No, really!​