The September 11 tragedy still lingers in our minds, just like the pungent smoke rising from the ruins in Lower Manhattan. As a nation, we are trying to move forward, to heal the deep wounds to our psyche that were inflicted by the terrorist attacks. But a day does not go by without some reminder of how Sept. 11 has affected our lives.In the aftermath of the attack, we learned that the husband of the person who is responsible for putting these words on this page-a New York firefighter-was missing. For two days, she did not hear from her husband and feared that he had been killed. Miraculously, he did turn up- exhausted but safe. Still recovering from the shock, she found the energy and determination to return to work and finish production on our October issue.

But our joy was short-lived. Gary E. Lasko, who was a member of Insurance Networking's board of advisors, was killed in the terrorist attack. Gary had been on our board since September 1998, and was managing director of technology and information services for Marsh Inc., which had offices on floors 93 to 100 at One World Trade Center. We offer our condolences to Gary's family, friends and co-workers.

To gauge what's on the minds of insurance executives in the wake of the attacks, we asked our board members to share their thoughts on how carriers will react to the Sept. 11 attack. Here's a sample of what they had to say:

Ben Salzmann, president, Heritage Mutual Insurance Co.

"The World Trade Center (attack) will have profound long-term impacts because it will force us to abandon traditional modes of conducting business when technology has already offered us better alternatives. In fact, it will be the catalyst motivating us to embrace these new technological alternatives."

John Hodge, chief information officer, NAC Reinsurance Corp.

"Security and disaster planning will have moved up the priority list. Another high priority will be for information systems focusing on risk exposure and risk assessment."

Ryan Conlon, chief technology officer, The Progressive Corp.

"The value of every asset in the world decreased significantly on September 11. The value of assets is dependent upon the view of the future usefulness of those assets. We learned on September 11 that the value can go to zero very quickly. The reality set in."

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