For many independent agents, political activism is part of daily life—not just a once-a-year visit to Washington, D.C. At the annual issues briefing yesterday during the 2018 Big “I" Legislative Conference, the Big “I" presented three awards to honor legislative involvement in the states.
The Big “I" gave the 2017 Sidney O. Smith Award—the association's highest honor for legislative activism—to John Braut of Montana for going above and beyond the call of duty to serve his fellow agents and brokers in 2017.
As an advocate for crop insurance issues, Braut has served on the Big “I" Government Affairs Committee and InsurPac Board. He is an active participant in Big “I" grassroots initiatives, recruiting young agents in his state to take part in the association's advocacy efforts and encouraging them to attend the annual Legislative Conference. Braut also sets an example as a major donor to InsurPac each year.
The 2017 Herndon Award went to the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas (IIAT) for actively reaching out to Chairman Hensarling of the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, Chairman Brady of the House Ways & Means Committee, and Chairman Conaway of the House Agriculture Committee to discuss key issues important to independent agents.
IIAT also routinely brings more than 30 agents to Legislative Conference each year. In 2017, the state raised more than $70,000 for InsurPac.
Finally, the Big “I" also honored Ashley Brady, Ken Finch and Scott Moseley of South Carolina with the 2017 Barney Burns Award for their outstanding work for InsurPac. The trio has jointly chaired the InsurPac fundraising committee in South Carolina for approximately five years, consistently raising more than $50,000 and achieving Eagle status each year.
At every state convention, Brady, Finch and Moseley come up with creative ways to collect contributions and educate attendees about the purpose of the PAC.