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Fall Leadership Conference: Costello Sworn in as Big ‘I’ Chair, Sandrock Elected

If you missed it, get up to speed on the new Big "I" chairman, panelists at the Young Agents Leadership Institute and the new Trusted Choice® mascot.
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fall leadership conference: costello sworn in as big ‘i’ chair, sandrock elected

Last week in Niagara Falls, New York, during the Big "I" Fall Leadership Conference, John Costello, vice president and construction practice member at USI Insurance Services in Rochester, New York, was sworn in as the new Big “I" chairman. Costello was sworn in by his two sons before he addressed the more than 400 attendees to the Big “I" Installation of Officers Luncheon.

During the Big “I" board meeting, Greg Sandrock, partner at The Cornerstone Agency in Tampico, Illinois, was elected to the Executive Committee. Jon Jensen, immediate past chair, who received a chairman's citation from outgoing chairman Bob Fee, will no longer serve on the Executive Committee after his term expired.

In the biggest news of the weekend, Bob Rusbuldt, Big “I" president & CEO, announced that he will retire next year. Rusbuldt joined the association in 1986 and was named CEO in 2001 after leading the government affairs department at the Big “I" for many years.

Meanwhile, young agents who attended the Young Agents Leadership Institute were treated to a series of speakers. During “Lions & Leaders: The Principles of Perseverance" with Lance Allred, the former NBA player discussed his fleeting career and the personal journey that took him from rural Montana to sharing a dressing room with Lebron James at the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Also, Peter MacDonald, CEO and co-founder of Wunderite, shared a series of tips for how agents can automate processes at their agency. MacDonald explained how he worked at his family's agency and grew so frustrated with the lack of technological innovation that he started Wunderite, an insurance applications platform.

And with perpetuation a key issue among young agents, Brock Elliott, chair of the Big “I" national Young Agents Committee, hosted a panel with Avery Moore, owner of ECI Insurance in Piedmont, Oklahoma; Nick Rolf, agent at Gross Insurance Agency in Fort Thomas, Kentucky; and Spencer Houldin, president of Ericson Insurance Advisors in West Palm Beach, Florida, and former Big “I" chair. The trio shared their perspectives on family independent agency perpetuation, including overcoming difficult conversations with family members.

Elsewhere, state young agent committees received a slew of awards, including the 2022 Outstanding Political Involvement Award, 2022 Outstanding Invest Supporter Award, 2022 Outstanding Membership Development Award and more.

Lastly, the Trusted Choice® mascot was revealed: Indy, the Trusted Choice eagle, who will help consumers learn about insurance coverages and help Big “I" members navigate the full suite of Trusted Choice marketing resources available.

Save the Dates for 2023 Big 'I' Meetings

With the 2022 Fall Leadership Conference having wrapped up successfully last weekend, it's time to start looking ahead to the major national association events for 2023.

Take note of the following dates so you can plan your travel and schedule:

  • Big “I" Winter Board Meeting: January 18-21, 2023. Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa and Savannah Convention Center in Savannah, Georgia.
  • Big “I" Legislative Conference: April 26-28, 2023. Held in conjunction with the Spring Board Meeting April 28-29, 2023. Renaissance Downtown DC Hotel in Washington, D.C.
  • Big “I" Fall Leadership Conference: September 6-10, 2023. Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Stay tuned for more information on these events and others on the Big “I" events website and in upcoming editions of the News & Views e-newsletter. 

Will Jones is IA editor-in-chief.

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Thursday, September 22, 2022
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