Alonzo Herndon Award


Ngozi NnajiNgozi Nnaji, founder and managing partner of AKO Insurance Consulting LLC, is the winner of the 2022 Alonzo Herndon Award.

The award, which is presented by Business Insurance’s Diversity and Inclusion Institute, recognizes an individual dedicated to supporting diversity and inclusion efforts in the insurance industry.

Board members of the D&I Institute select the award winner from nominations received from individuals and organizations across the insurance sector.

Ms. Nnaji formed Hartford, Connecticut-based AKO Brokerage LLC in 2017 after a 20-year career in insurance, including at CNA Financial Corp., where she was Northeast health care zone leader, and Willis Towers Watson PLC, where she led placement services for its Hartford-based health care practice.

Later, she formed AKO Insurance Consulting to help employers in the insurance sector diversify their workforces through the recruitment and retention of minority employees.

In addition, she serves on the national board of the National African-American Insurance Association and co-founded HBCU IMPACT, an insurance education and engagement program focused on historically black colleges and universities.

Among other achievements and activities, she is an adjunct professor at Goodwin College in East Hartford.

The award is named in honor of Alonzo Herndon, a visionary businessman who, more than 100 years ago, founded what would become the Atlanta Life Insurance Co., one of the United States’ largest and most successful black-owned businesses.

Mr. Herndon was born into slavery in 1858 and worked as a laborer from a young age. With almost no schooling and no money, his perseverance and entrepreneurial spirit drove him to great success, opening service businesses in Atlanta that were joined to form a landmark company. Today, the Alonzo Herndon Foundation honors his legacy and supports programs and policies in keeping with his vision.

Ms. Nnaji will be presented with the award at the annual Business Insurance Diversity & Inclusion Conference on Oct. 19. 


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