I’m OFA 104, which now makes me the next to the last guy, or next to the first guy in the book. Dave Jones being the first guy. Marty Brown just retired, so he had been the first guy for, I don’t know, 10 years or so. I’ve been a member since I believe 1983 and I was the president in 1997-98. Arnold and Arnold is probably the largest aviation and marine adjusting specialty company in the world. We started out in San Diego. My father started it as a auto adjusting firm and then moved into Marine because one of his former employers had taken up a big position in Marine and asked him to do Marine work. And then we got into the, because San Diego at the time was a very big tuna boat crew claims. And when I joined the company out of the Air Force in 1977, we did about 99% crew claims on primarily tuna boats with coverage in London. So I decided that at that time we had all of our claims were with one company. So we thought, you know, if anything happens to them, or they become upset with us, or any of those things, we ought to have a huge problem. So we decided to branch out and do other things. We started doing Lockheed’s aircraft claims because we were doing Lockheed’s maritime claims. Lockheed at that time had a very big secret maritime project going on out of San Diego. So then we got a tuna boat helicopter crash on the vessel. Tradition, the helicopter was, at that time, there was 50 some-odd helicopters in the fleet, later as many as 59. And the helicopter was insured by then Associated Aviation Underwriters, now Global Aerospace. And they didn’t have anybody who was able to investigate it, so they asked if we could be allowed to turn our investigation over. And that started a relationship with Global Aerospace, which I guess that’s probably And then we expanded out further into aviation and workplace liability. And then one of our clients asked us to handle claims out in the Pacific. So we moved out in the Pacific. We have an office in Hawaii. We used to have one in Samoa because we had a contract with then StarKist Seafoods to do their claims out there. And then one of the companies that we work for asked us to handle their claims nationwide. And so we then came up with a method of handling claims nationwide. We now have 94 operating locations around the world.
Well, we’re different than other adjusting companies
because we have no real management structure. Okay, everybody is expected to know their own job. Each individual claim has what we call a functional area manager, but that person might be the functional area manager on one claim, and on the next claim they might be the adjuster working for somebody else, because their knowledge level doesn’t carry over to that other plane. We hire people who are experts in some field who will follow instructions, who are good people. The good people is the first thing, the ability to follow instructions is the second, and they need to be experts in some area. One of the guys that works for us in now Destin, Florida is a composite I used to fly with him at the Guard. He was the, when I flew with him, he was the division manager for General Dynamics in the phalanx gun system. So I had seen every marketing tape there is for phalanx gun system. And then he went to work for Boeing and then he was the head of Adam Aircraft Corporation. He worked for us part-time. So that’s how he worked, was with primarily part-time people. You will talk to a number of people here who are not part-time that work with us, but we have the majority of our people are part-time. Because you can’t be everywhere without having part-time people or employing a bunch of idiots. I know Jack really likes just general aviation in general, but my ideal client is somebody who, number one, is a good person as a company. We try to avoid working for any company who’s not good people. It’s just not worth it. The next thing is you want somebody who will take your advice and consider it. They don’t have to follow it, they have to consider it. And then they’ll pay their bills on time. You know, sometimes you, you know, in the old days when we worked for London, you billed them at the end of a file. It could be five years. But then it took them a year to collect the money from the underwriters, which is okay if you plan on that and account for that. But in today’s world it’s important that people pay their bills on time. One of the nice things about aviation, general aviation in particular, is all the companies we work with pay their bills on time. It makes it easier. There was a fellow named Darryl Lee who used to work with my dad doing yellow cab adjusting at one time. And Darrell was a pilot and he had joined the OFA. And he tried to get me to join. And I really wasn’t all that interested. I was pretty busy. But, you know, okay, if Darrell wants me to join, he’s a good guy. So he actually was member number 101. He passed away a few years ago. So I put in my application to the OFA and it took three years to get the paperwork completed. They were very sticklers on paperwork and there was a fellow now no longer in the business, Dale Hall, who just took three years to send in his response. The first thing I think that’s important to understand about the OFA is it really is a family.
Yeah. The OFA is very clearly a family. If you look around,
generally people only leave this organization when they die.
Lately we’ve had some people go emeritus, but normally they just work.
The nice thing about adjusting is you can do as little Normally, they just work. The nice thing about adjusting is you can do as little or as much as you want. And, you know, hard people stay around for forever. Even the emeritus people come back. I mean, Marty is 88, going on 89, I think. And he just now went emeritus, which is pretty amazing. And again, it’s a family organization. His son, Keith, the former president of the OFA also. That’s the most important thing to me about the OFA is that it is a family organization. People take care of the people here. And I don’t think that there’s any other professional organization that I belong to that’s been as valuable to our company at getting the word out about who we are and where we are at the same time that I enjoy the meetings. I truly enjoy being here. If you want to do aviation claims or you want to be part of the claims process, whether it’s repairs or expert witness or anything to do with aviation claims, there’s no better organization than this to get your name out there and to learn what the business is about. There’s an organization I know that people will help entry-level people who are their competitors potentially, but we do here. People have questions, we answer them and try to help them out. I think he’s going to do a wonderful job. We’ve made a lot of changes in the organization, the OFA, and I think Jack is really well positioned to continue the changes and keep the atmosphere and the feel of the organization.
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