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Billie Sullivan – In Memoriam

by Karen Groff

It is with tremendous sorrow that I must inform you that Billie Sullivan passed away early on the morning of December 1, 2020 rather unexpectedly with heart complications. Fortunately her beloved son was by her side. Billie had two children, Sean and Nicole and three grandchildren, Chloe, Michael and Ryan, and she had been excitedly awaiting one due in the next few weeks.

Billie Sullivan, Vice President Underwriting, had worked for Roanoke for 40 years, and her claim to fame was bringing Roanoke the ‘Transportation Advantage Policy’ (TAP) when she joined the company (some remember it was once called the ‘Anduril’ program). She worked in Roanoke’s Long Beach office, closely with Gina Patterson for decades. Billie and Gina supported all of the Roanoke offices and clients with dedicated TAP service and underwriting, and did so with passion.

Billie’s understanding of the transportation-related insurance needs of our clients, and her connection with the logistics industry, ran deep. In fact, Billie was the first woman to set foot into Lloyd’s of London to conduct transportation insurance business of this nature. Early in her career faxing was the optimal mode of communication, so underwriters never saw or heard her—they just knew that this “Billie” character had a good book of business. When the Lloyd’s underwriter finally met her for the first time in London, he said “You’re Billie?!? Good gracious, we always thought you were a man!” It was not normal for women to be in this business, and that is why many refer to her as a trailblazer. Billie loved this story, just as much as she loved sharing her knowledge of the business with anyone wanting to learn. I am blessed to be one of the people she taught and I am just a long list of those she helped and supported in their careers.

One of those whose life and career was blessed by Billie is Vice President of Business Development, Glenn Patton. Patton says,

“When I started Roanoke at the age of 26, Billie took me under her wing and taught me everything she could. I so admired how much she knew and how well respected she was in the industry. I had the privilege of working with her for 22 years and even till the day she passed, I was always learning from her. Billie was not only a mentor to me, but she was like a second mom, always looking out for me. I will miss Billie dearly.”

Another Roanoke colleague who was deeply impacted by her long tenure working with Billie, Karen Rzeszutko, Vice President Head of Underwriting says,

“It was a privilege and honor to have worked with Billie.  She was a pillar in the industry, supportive, gracious and kind.  She will so deeply be missed by me and those who had the great honor of knowing her.”

And Rick Bridges, VP of Business Development, shares a story of Billie’s devotion to helping our clients,

“Thanksgiving is a time in which I always look back to how much of a mentor Billie was to me and advocate she was to our clients for one particular experience that I will never forget. A client at the time had the contract to deliver the ballots following the invasion of Iraq. This was to be ten 747s from four countries delivering ballots to a still hostile region. Most insurers would have run away at the prospect of insuring this, but Billie’s perseverance convinced underwriters to insure this and on Thanksgiving day of 2004 we got it done. All that aside, she will be missed as a friend, confidant, and a true pillar of knowledge. She is a bright star shining down on all of us.”

Other interesting facts about Billie surround her longtime seat on the AEMCA Board, active member of the LAACA, and participation on the Planning Committee for the highly acclaimed AirCargo Conference. If you ever forgot to dot an “i” or cross a “t”, she was there to fix it, and if you were ever new to attending an association event or conference, all you had to do is stick by Billie’s side, and you’d know all the key players before the end of the night. It was like you’d instantly become recognized and significant, just because you knew Billie!

Without a doubt, there is and will always be a ‘Billie Fan Club’ among the TAP clients she developed over the years, demonstrated by their fierce loyalty with decades of client retention. Billie is a shining example for all of us—that being a person who cares about others, lifts them up and supports them will reap the benefits of loyalty and meaningful relationships in return.

Here is Billie’s bio and a link to her WIT-LA Global Trade Catalyst Award recognition.

Our hearts and prayers are with Billie’s family, friends and colleagues. I, along with you, will personally cherish many fond memories and remember her always.

Karen M. Groff, President
Roanoke Insurance Group, Inc.

 


Thanksgiving 2020

by Chell Rodriguez

 

Roanoke will take time to celebrate family and friends this Thanksgiving by closing our offices at 1:00pm on Wednesday, November 25th and reopening at 8:30am on Monday, November 30th.

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday!


Veteran’s Day 2020

by Chell Rodriguez

Today and every day, we humbly thank our American service members and their families for their courage and sacrifice.

On Veterans Day, we take a special moment to honor and remember those who have served and those who made the greatest sacrifice for our country.


Happy Halloween!

by Roanoke Trade

Ghostly Greetings from Your Friends at Roanoke!

We hope you carve out some time for some ghoulishly good fun.
Have a safe and Happy Halloween!


Labor Day 2020

by Chell Rodriguez

In recognition of Labor Day, our offices will close at 3pm on September 4th, remain closed on September 7th and reopen for normal business hours on September 8th. Have a safe weekend!


Fourth of July Hours

by Chell Rodriguez

In honor of Independence Day, our offices will close at 3pm on July 2nd and remain closed on July 3rd. We will reopen for normal business hours on Monday, July 6th.

Wishing everyone a Safe and Happy 4th of July!


Memorial Day 2020

by Chell Rodriguez

 

Our offices will close at 3pm on Friday, May 22nd and resume normal business hours on Tuesday, May 26th.  Enjoy your weekend and stay safe!


Roanoke – Paying it Forward and Keeping in Touch

by Karen Groff

Last updated on April 13th, 2020

Wishing everyone a Happy Holiday this Easter and Passover. Our thoughts and prayers are with those suffering loss, struggling financially, or otherwise as a result of COVID-19. And we are so very grateful to our employees and clients who have been terrific during this time. To that end, it is with great humility that we ‘pay it forward’ with a donation to Americares and ALAN:

Americares is a health focused relief organization responding to people affected by poverty or disaster with medicine, medical supplies and health programs during this pandemic. Their Emergency Programs help communities prepare for, respond to and recover from disease and other disasters, providing millions with access to medicine, supplies and healthcare.

American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) brings the logistics industry together with disaster relief organizations to help solve supply chain challenges so help can arrive sooner. ALAN also consults with humanitarian organizations to help make every logistics dollar count. Studies show that up to 80 percent of crisis spending goes to logistics. Of that, as much as 40 percent may be wasted if these organizations do not have the right supply chain equipment or experience.

As relates to your insurance-related needs, visit roanoketrade.com where we have created a special COVID-19 banner that links to information, a special phone and email (hotline) for claims questions, and mobile numbers of our management team. And oh by the way, if you are a client or employee of Roanoke reading this… Thank You!!


Message to Clients Regarding Potential COVID-19 Claims

by Karen Groff

Last updated on May 20th, 2020

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt on both a personal and professional level, with some industries being more impacted than others. Those involved in the transportation of cargo, facilitation of customs clearance, or importation/exportation of goods are some of the hardest hit. Our thoughts are with you, your colleagues, your families and your businesses at this time.

As your insurance advocate, we at Roanoke Trade want to help in any way we can and are fully prepared to advise and assist you during this difficult time. We are reaching out to all of our clients to help you navigate how insurance coverage may respond in the current pandemic. This communication is intended to provide guidance.

Property & Casualty Insurance
With very few exceptions most commercial policies were not designed to cover damages related to a pandemic. However, some state legislators and insurance regulators are proposing legislation to modify existing business insurance policies to cover certain losses related to COVID-19. Not all states have yet published a position and we are monitoring it daily. We are also in daily contact with insurance companies to stay on top of information as an advocate for our clients.

To be certain, this is a fluid situation and we will continue to share updates. Please reach out to your Roanoke Trade representative or any of our management team with questions. In addition, if you would like to discuss a potential COVID-19 related claim, please contact us at:

P&C Insurance Claims:
businessclaims@roanokegroup.com
Direct +1 847 969-8213

Marine Cargo Insurance
If your cargo policy includes Extra Expense coverage, it may cover measures taken to mitigate cargo losses. For example, it may cover the extra expense to redirect cargo away from a port in quarantine due to COVID-19.

Contact your Roanoke Claim Service representative with any potential claim concerns or contact the claims team directly at:

Cargo or Transit-Related Insurance Claims:
marineclaims@roanokegroup.com
Direct +1 847 969-8251

Thank you for your continued support. Stay safe!

Sincerely,

Karen Groff, President
Roanoke Insurance Group Inc.

 

Always refer to specific policy terms and Contact your Roanoke Trade Service Team

 


Roanoke COVID-19 Response

by Karen Groff

Effective Monday, March 16th—In order to operate safely and responsibly for our employees, clients and partners during the COVID-19 impact, most of our employees will begin working from home until further notice. Thankfully, we are fully prepared! We have laptops, VPN, office phone routing, mobile phones and other mobility to maintain “business as usual” which will provide you with the service and support you deserve and require.  

Client applications such as FastBond®, CarnetsOnline®, Coveragedock®, and PolicyTrack® are all still available 24/7 as well as technical support. ATA Carnet office pick-up will NOT be available until further notice but we will provide next day delivery. ATA Carnet Replacements will be issued as high priority to extend stays in foreign countries. 

To be clear, your Roanoke Service Team will be available during normal business hours via phone, email and 1-800-ROANOKE (762-6653). You may also contact team members via their mobile phones, and managers’ mobile numbers are collected here for your convenience. If you feel there is any breakdown in communication or service during this time please contact me personally. 

We are committed to our employees, clients and communities. Thank you for your understanding, partnership and continued business.