Insurance Office of America to sponsor SoCon scholarship
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 05/09/2017
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Courtesy: Southern Conference

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference announced Tuesday it has reached an agreement with Insurance Office of America (IOA) to become a corporate partner and sponsor one of the league's graduate scholarships. The first IOA Scholarship will be awarded in May to Javion Lee, a senior track & field performer from Samford University with postgraduate plans to study environmental informatics.

“Adding the Southern Conference to our 2017 Conferences & Colleges initiative is another step in the right direction for the IOA program,” said IOA Sports Partners President Paul Garofolo on the announcement. “The addition of the Southern Conference is the latest in our efforts to make a difference in the collegiate sports landscape with several more announcements pending in the coming days and weeks.”

IOA is a full-service insurance agency founded in 1988 that is ranked among the country's leaders in its field. Specialty services include commercial, group and personal insurance coverage, group and individual benefits, payroll services and print & promotions. Clients include a number of NFL, NBA and NHL franchises, as well as NCAA colleges and universities.

“IOA has a proven track record of quality service in the professional and collegiate sports space, and we're delighted to have them partner with us and sponsor one of our graduate scholarships,” Southern Conference Commissioner John Iamarino said.

The conference will recognize 10 graduate scholarship recipients at its annual Honors Dinner on May 31 in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

“We are proud to add the Southern Conference to the IOA family,” IOA Chairman & Founder John Ritenour said. “We look forward to working with Commissioner Iamarino and his team for many years to come.”

IOA is the 13th largest privately held insurance agency nationally with its headquarters office in the Orlando suburb of Longwood, Florida. IOA has over 50 offices coast-to-coast with 1300+ employees and is one of the fastest-growing agencies in the country. IOA has become the agency of choice for the full complement of insurance needs by an ever-increasing number of business and personal clients throughout the United States and from their London office serving Europe since 2013. Within the world of sports, IOA continues to experience significant growth in its client base of sports teams, leagues, facilities, association and venues with over 50 partnerships within the NFL, NBA, NHL, AHL, MLL, LPGA, Pro Football Hall of Fame Village, US Club Soccer, USA Swimming, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Jerry Colangelo Golf Classic. To learn more about IOA, please visit

The Southern Conference, in its 96th season of intercollegiate competition, is a national leader in emphasizing the development of the student-athlete and helping build lifelong leaders and role models. The conference has been on the forefront of innovation and originality in developing creative solutions to address issues facing intercollegiate athletics. From establishing the first conference basketball tournament (1921) to tackling the issues of freshman eligibility (1922) to developing women's championships (1984) to becoming the first conference to install the 3-point goal in basketball (1980), the Southern Conference has been a pioneer. The Southern Conference is the nation's fifth-oldest NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association.

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