During today's 2019 Big “I" Legislative Conference Breakfast, Joe Leahy, Big “I" chairman, presented David Walker, former Big “I" chairman and president of Hartland Insurance Agency in Hartland, Michigan, with the 2019 Woodworth Memorial Award—the highest honor the Big “I" bestows on an individual member.
The prestigious award, established in 1925 in memory of the second Big “I" president C.H. Woodworth, recognizes the outstanding contributions of an independent agent or broker to the national association, to their Big “I" colleagues, and to the insurance industry.
“Over the past 30 years, Walker has taken his agency from a mom-and-pop agency to a multilocation agency writing business across the country," Leahy said when presenting the award. “He is the consummate learner, as evidenced by the multiple designations he has earned."
A well-respected insurance education instructor, Walker teaches on behalf of the national alliance designation programs and for many state associations and industry-related groups. His expert witness testimony on behalf of independent agencies is commonplace in the Michigan judicial system, and his agency is both a Michigan Total Quality Agency and a Best Practices Agency.
In nominating him, Walker's state association executive noted, “in addition to the obvious accolades, one of his true gifts to our industry is the ability to ask tough question and bring important issues to the forefront."
At the state association level, Walker has served as Young Agents Committee chair, Education Committee chair, on the state association board and as state president, among other roles. He was named Michigan's Agent of the Year twice and awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award.
At the national association level, in addition to his year as chairman, Walker has served on the Executive Committee, the Finance Committee, the Big I Advantage® Board, the Technical Affairs Committee, the TrustedChoice.com Board and the Trusted Choice® Board.
“I can't begin to tell you how honored I am, how pleased I am, how surprised I am," Walker said when accepting the award. “My activity at the association has given me back far more than I have given to it. It's been overwhelmingly my honor, my pleasure, and I continue looking forward to working on behalf of independent agents both in the state of Michigan and nationwide."