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 2019 Big “I" Legislative Conference, the Big “I" presented three awards to honor legislative involvement in the states.
The Big “I" gave the 2018 Sidney O. Smith Award—the association's highest honor for legislative activism—to Veronica Della Porta of Florida for going above and beyond the call of duty to serve her fellow agents and brokers in 2018. Della Porta has served on the Big “I" Government Affairs Committee for four years, in addition to chairing the InsurPac Board of Trustees. Under her leadership, InsurPac topped $1 million every year, while also increasing receipts each year.
The 2018 Herndon Award went to the Michigan Association of Insurance Agents for increasing its number of InsurPac donors and total support for each of the last four years. In 2018, the association worked closely with the Michigan state legislature to craft a data security law that addressed agent concerns. The law has since become a blueprint for other states to model as their respective legislatures address this important issue.
Finally, the Big “I" also honored Bob Hoppe of Nebraska with the 2018 Barney Burns Award for his outstanding work for InsurPac and his tireless promotion of the importance of political activism at both the state and federal level. Hoppe has guided his state to three consecutive Eagle Awards and served on the InsurPac Board of Trustees for three years.