During the Big "I" Fall Leadership Conference in Chicago, Spencer Houldin, Big "I" immediate past chairman, presented Chairman Citations to members, carrier personnel and state and national association staff who have made significant contributions to independent agents over the past year:
Jay Byrnes, president of Byrnes Insurance in Danville, Connecticut, has served on the national Big "I" Finance Committee and as chairman of the Big "I" Board Steering/Election Committee, and currently represents Connecticut on the Big "I" National Board of Directors. "He has done fantastic work as chairman of the Agents Council for Technology, and he has been a mentor of mine for many years," Houldin said.
Peter Houldin is co-president of Ericson Insurance Advisors and ran the family agency while Spencer served as a volunteer leader for the association. "He sacrificed on the home front so I could do the work of the Big 'I,'" Houldin said.
Glenn Westrick, senior vice president of government relations at the Travelers, is "someone I've called on for advice many times," Houldin said. "Travelers is a true partner of the association."
Larry Case, former CEO of the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents, served as president of the state association executives group and worked closely with Houldin. "It was a great partnership, and he did everything he could to help move the ball forward on some of my initiatives," Houldin said.
Warren Ruppar has served for almost 40 years as the president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Connecticut. "He has dedicated his whole life to independent agents in the state of Connecticut and to furthering the mission of the association," Houldin said.
Scott Kneeland, Big "I" general counsel, "is a huge asset to the association," said Houldin, who worked with Kneeland on a daily basis in his role as chairman.
Susie Bonner, Big "I" director of agent development and marketing, led the association's membership initiative on top of her normal workload. "She has dedicated her time and showed a tremendous amount of passion for membership recruitment efforts across the country," Houldin said.
Sue Nester, Big "I" director of broadcast media, creates top-notch video content for the association that helps spread the word about membership benefits and the value of independent agents. "She has an energy and passion for what she does, and her work benefits independent agents," Houldin said.
Congratulations to this year's recipients!