During the General Session Breakfast at the Big “I" Legislative Conference last week, Ashley Brady of First Charter Insurance, South Carolina and Big “I" government affairs chairman presented Matt Lehman of Bixler Insurance Inc. in Berne, Indiana with the 2021 Sidney O. Smith award.
This award goes to a Big “I" member who has shown outstanding legislative involvement and advocacy on behalf of independent agents. It's a way of honoring someone who has displayed true leadership, who rolls up their sleeves and goes to bat for the community and businesses in the area of government affairs.
Lehman began his career as an insurance agent in 1991, becoming a partner at his agency three years later. He was elected in 1994 to the Adams County Council and served as president of the Council from 2000 to 2008. During his 14-year service on the council, he became involved in the Big “I" Indiana Government Affairs Committee, where he served a term as chair.
When his state representative retired in 2008, he ran for the seat in the Indiana House of Representatives and won. In 2015, after five years as insurance committee chair, Lehman became the House Majority Leader. He represents House District 79 and is a member of the House Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee, the Public Policy Committee and the Courts and Criminal Code Committee.
In addition, from 2020-2021 he served as president of the National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL), a 50-year-old organization that works to preserve state jurisdiction over insurance and educate state legislators on insurance issues. He is a regular attendee at the Big “I" Legislative Conference and a steady supporter of InsurPac.