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Charles Watkins Assists NAAIA Florida in Launching Endowment Scholarship at FSU

Charles Handel Watkins | February 18, 2021

The National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA) Florida, which is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in every sector of the insurance industry, is raising $660,000 to establish the NAAIA Florida Endowed Scholarship in Risk Management/Insurance at the Florida State University College of Business as part of the newly formed NAAIA Florida Scholarship Program. The stated goal is to provide scholarship and job opportunities to African American and minority risk management students while simultaneously addressing the insurance talent gap and lack of diversity in management positions that currently plagues the industry.

NAAIA Florida founding board member, treasurer, and Kubicki Draper Equity Partner, Charles H. Watkins, and NAAIA founding member, Maria Abate, are driving the effort. 

NAAIA Florida partnered with FSU’s Dr. William T. Hold/The National Alliance Program in Risk Management and Insurance because it simply by reputation is one of the best in the nation, (U.S. News & World Report) and is cat bird situated to help NAAIA succeed. NAAIA Florida also is in the end stages of developing a partnership  with Florida A&M University as well, and plans to expand the program with FAMU students.

Mr. Watkins expounded that “ FSU’s Risk Management  program (RMI) really has excelled and is already popular in the insurance industry. They have  well established  internship programs with a mentoring piece as well. The school is proud of it’s successful work with students from underprivileged circumstances through FSU’s CARE Program and maximizes it’s outreach as well through various cooperative programs with Florida’s leading HBCU Florida  A&M University. Making the alignment with Florida State even more attractive, The RMI program excels at placing  graduates, and wants to be able to involve more carriers who will benefit from the placement of African American RMI graduates that they would be familiar with from the Internship and mentoring programs.”

Mr. Watkins further notes, “the NAAIA Florida scholarship program is designed to create a dual path where students will be exposed to several  insurance industry career opportunities, with employers being provided an eager and  skilled talent pool. It’s really  a total win as this  program will create a measurable pipeline producing lasting results in diversity, equity and inclusion, while replacing a retiring population of Insurance career employees. Kubicki Draper is proud to be a founding partner in this program, and joined  with our insurance industry partners, we can be game changers.” Companies interested in participating in the program and donating to the scholarship fund can contact Charles Watkins at



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