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May 09
Big ‘I’ Honors Bill Purmort with 2019 Jeff Yates Lifetime Achievement Award

​At this morning's Big “I" Legislative Conference Breakfast, Bill Purmort, chairman & CEO of Central Insurance Companies, received the 2019 Jeff Yates Lifetime Achievement Award—the highest recognition the Big “I" bestows on a non-agent.

The award, established in 2013 in recognition of former Big “I" CEO Jeff Yates, recognizes those beyond the agent community who contribute to the vitality and strength of the independent agency system. The Big “I" designed the award to identify an individual—whether a carrier field rep, state association staff member or industry educator—who committed their career and energy to making independent agents and the national association successful.

“This year's recipient has done that—and more," said Bob Rusbuldt, Big “I" president & CEO, when presenting the award. “In fact, he has specifically said to me on a number of occasions, 'Bob, just tell me what you need for independent agents and the Big 'I.'" 

Purmort committed Central Insurance as a founding member of Trusted Choice®, was an original investor in and serves as an active member of the board. Central is heavily involved with InVEST®, the Big “I" Young Agents program, Future One, Best Practices, the Agents Council for Technology, the Trusted Choice Disaster Relief Fund and more.

Central Insurance was founded in 1876, 20 years before the national association in 1896. Purmort took the reins of the company in 1994 and is 100% committed to the independent agency system. “As CEO, he is personally involved with the Big 'I,' committing his time and strategic thinking, in addition to resources, to ensure a vibrant agency system for the future," Rusbuldt said.

“I just celebrated over 40 years in this industry, and I look out here today at what you all are doing, and this is such a vibrant time to be here," Purmort said when accepting the award. “This is a powerful, powerful group, and you're everywhere. I'm very humbled to be granted this award."​


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