Ngozi Nnaji, founder and managing partner of AKO Insurance Consulting LLC, is the winner of the 2022 Alonzo Herndon Award.
The prize, which is awarded by Business insurance‘s Diversity and Inclusion Institute, recognizes an individual who is dedicated to supporting diversity and inclusion efforts in the insurance industry.
Board members of the D&I Institute select the awardee from nominations from individuals and organizations in the insurance industry.
Nnaji formed Hartford, Conn.-based AKO Brokerage LLC in 2017 after a 20-year career in insurance, including at CNA Financial Corp., where she led the Northeast Health Care Zone, and Willis Towers Watson PLC, where she led investment services for its Hartford -based care practices.
She later formed AKO Insurance Consulting to help insurance employers diversify their workforces by recruiting and retaining minority employees.
In addition, she serves on the national board of the National African-American Insurance Association and co-founded HBCU IMPACT, an education and engagement insurance program focused on historically black colleges and universities.
Among other accomplishments and activities, she is an adjunct professor at Goodwin College in East Hartford.
The award is named for Alonzo Herndon, a visionary businessman who more than 100 years ago founded what would become Atlanta Life Insurance Co., one of America’s largest and most successful black-owned companies.
Herndon was born into slavery in 1858 and worked as a laborer from a young age. With almost no schooling and no money, his tenacity and entrepreneurial spirit propelled him to great success, opening service businesses in Atlanta that merged to form a landmark company. Today, the Alonzo Herndon Foundation honors his legacy and supports programs and policies consistent with his vision.