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IIABA's Soto is Selected as Panelist for President Bush's Economic Forum

Will Represent Business Owners and Agents/Brokers on Economic Issues at Waco Summit

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 12 Alex Soto, CPCU, ARM, a member of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America’s (IIABA) Executive Committee, will participate in a White House-led economic forum hosted by President Bush and Vice President Cheney tomorrow in Waco, Texas.

“I am extremely honored that President Bush and his Administration are affording an opportunity to IIABA and me as a business owner to present ideas that will create a better business environment, promote job creation and stimulate more economic growth,” says Soto, who will join in a panel discussion with the President or Vice President and other administration officials and business leaders called “Small Business & Smarter Regulation.” “Employees are my most important business asset. My partners and I always are exploring ways to expand and add new employees. There are ways the federal government can help—rather than hinder—job creation and expansion. I hope to share my thoughts with the President and Vice President tomorrow.

“It is characteristic of strong leaders to seek input from experts. Through this forum, President Bush is seeking counsel from business leaders, employees and others on ways to help businesses hire new workers by reducing onerous regulations and taxes,” continues Soto, president of InSource, Inc. a Miami, Fla.-based independent insurance agency. “We applaud the President for promoting corporate responsibility. We require our Trusted ChoiceSM agencies to sign a pledge of performance that includes ethical standards. Capitalism is the world’s best economic system only when we are true to our clients, customers, shareholders and employees. The President knows this and is holding this forum to improve the world’s greatest economy.”

To discuss his economic agenda and new ideas for economic growth, President Bush is bringing together government decision makers, small investors, small business owners, industry experts, workers, business ethicists, unions, corporate executives, economists, young Americans, and others. Participants will discuss current economic performance and steps for sustained future economic growth. Numerous economic policy officials within the Bush Administration, such as Treasury Secretary Paul H. O’Neill, Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans, National Economic Council Chairman Lawrence B. Lindsey and others, also will be in attendance.

The Forum at Baylor University will feature multiple sessions on key economic issues—from corporate responsibility to job creation, and the one focused on small businesses that will include Soto as a panelist.

During the panel, Soto says he would like to discuss a number of business-relevant concerns with the top policy makers, including health insurance costs, payroll taxes, tort and civil justice reform, permanent estate tax repeal, terrorism insurance, the USA Patriot Act, tax simplification, workplace ergonomic standards, privacy regulations and more.

“President Bush has given Alex and IIABA a great opportunity to present the real-world views of the thousands of business owners represented by this Association,” says IIABA CEO Robert A. Rusbuldt. “Alex will have the opportunity to inform the Administration’s top economic policymakers what steps we believe will make businesses more prosperous, create more jobs and grow our economy, all from the perspective of business owners. The cooperative spirit and cross-pollinization of ideas will serve employers, employees, the economy and the Administration well.

“The President has set the stage for significant future economic growth with his long-term tax reductions, significant regulatory relief, new fast track trade authority, and more. This forum will enable the Administration and Congress to collect useful information that can be put into action,” says Rusbuldt.

“As a former business owner, President Bush intuitively understands that businesses, especially small ones, create jobs and drive economic growth in our country,” says Rusbuldt. “IIABA commends the President for listening to the concerns and ideas of IIABA and our business owners from around the country.”  

Founded in 1896, IIABA is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life and health—as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address:  www.independentagent.com 

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