This award goes to an individual in the risk management and insurance field, who has made significant industry contributions, has exceptional lifetime accomplishments, innovation, and has given time and talents to helping develop the next generation of risk management and insurance professionals through specific contributions to the Katie School of Insurance and Financial Services. The overarching criteria for selecting this individual are:
Individuals who have engaged in humanitarian efforts, community service, civic engagement, and promotion of ethics.
Individuals who have contributed to industry through education, mentoring, promoting diversity, and leadership in professional organizations and trade associations.
Has performed well in his/her risk management and insurance career. Has been a life-long learner as demonstrated through continued professional education such as CPCU, CLU, and college degree programs.
Mark Willis retired from American International Group as Chairman of American International Group, Inc. (AIG) Property & Casualty, United States and Canada. He was responsible for overseeing the field operations, including all regional offices and their territories, of the Domestic Brokerage Group, which markets property-casualty products and services to large, middle-market, and small businesses throughout the United States. In 1977, Willis joined AIG as an underwriter for AIG member company, New Hampshire Insurance Company. He became branch manager of the Des Moines, Iowa, office in 1982, and in 1987 was named Lansing regional officer of New Hampshire. After being named American International Companies Midwest (Chicago) regional vice president in 1992, he headed the Central U.S. Zone as senior vice president in 1995. He was appointed executive vice president in 2002. Willis is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and is on the Advisory Board of Executives of the Katie School at Illinois State University, the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation's Research Committee, and the Boy Scouts of America's Chicago Area Council 118. He is a graduate of Iowa Wesleyan College and pursued his graduate studies at Drake University. He served on the Katie School Board of Insurance Executives from 1998 until 2014. In this capacity he served numerous roles, including panelist at The Executive Forum, and Chair of the Katie School Hall of Fame committee.
The Mark Willis Scholarship Fund was established in 2016 to honor Mark's legacy of providing leadership to the insurance industry. The fund will provide financial support to attract and develop the next generation of industry leaders through the insurance program at Illinois State University and the support of the Katie School of Insurance and Financial Services.