During the Legislative Conference, the Big “I" presented awards to the Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia and to Dan Maguire of South Dakota.
Political activism is part of daily life for many independent agents, not just a once-a-year visit to Washington, D.C. During the 2023 Big “I" Legislative Conference, the Big “I" presented two awards to honor legislative involvement in the states.
The 2022 Herndon Award went to the Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia (IIAG). The Maurice Herndon award is given every year to the state association that has done exemplary work on legislative issues and government affairs the previous year.
The key to IIAG's success is “their cultural and ingrained commitment to advocacy," Rusbuldt said as he presented the award. “The great state of Georgia routinely has an impressive turnout of agents at the legislative conference and continue to support the event every year."
Last year, IIAG had a 22% increase in the number of InsurPac donors, finishing the year with a total of 202 investors. The state association also finished the year with $61,196, giving them InsurPac Eagle status for the fifth consecutive year.
Among their many accomplishments, the IIAG was the driving force to elect Big “I" member Burt Jones as the state's lieutenant governor, “who is a true blue Big 'I' member," Rusbuldt said. John Barbour, Andy Siegel, Jon Stewart, Mike Iverson and Ashley Ellis accepted the award.
Yesterday, the Big “I" also presented the 2022 Barney Burns Award during the Emerging Leaders Luncheon. Rusbuldt introduced Bobby Salmon, chair, InsurPac Board of Trustees, who honored Dan Maguire, owner of Black Hills Insurance Agency in Rapid City, South Dakota, (pictured, right, alongside Salmon) with the award for his tireless advocacy for political involvement.
The award is named after former Big “I" President Barney Burns, who founded InsurPac in 1975 and served as chairman of its Board of Trustees until 1983. During these years, Burns is credited with the rapid growth of InsurPac, working tirelessly to educate agents about the importance of being politically active and contributing to InsurPac.
“Maguire is a leader in his community and a leader for the association," Salmon said. “He has served as the state's national director on the InsurPac Board of Trustees, as well as on countless other Big 'I' committees. The task force has been the driving force to make South Dakota a perennial InsurPac Eagle state, which recognizes states that surpass a fundraising average of $100 per member agency. He puts his money where his mouth is by routinely maxing out InsurPac and in challenging the entire agency to be supportive."
“If you know this gentleman like I do, you will love him," Salmon added. “And if you don't know him, I would ask you to take just a few minutes to get to know him."
Olivia Overman is IA content editor.