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Insurance Agents & Brokers of Pennsylvania Honored With Maurice G. Herndon Award



WASHINGTON, D.C., April 3 - The Insurance Agents & Brokers of Pennsylvania (IABP) was presented the prestigious Maurice G. Herndon National Legislative Award today in recognition of its outstanding government affairs achievements last year.

Awarded annually by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) and the Professional Independent Insurance Agents of Illinois (PIIAI), the Herndon Award is bestowed upon the state association whose legislative achievements the previous year on behalf of IIABA and its members have been deemed most outstanding. The honor is named after the former head of IIABA’s government affairs operation. Herndon, who died in January at age 91, directed the Association’s Washington D.C. office from 1949 to 1976 and was known as “Mr. Washington” to agents and brokers across America. He is fondly remembered as an extremely effective leader of the Big “I” government affairs and grassroots operations.

IIABA Government Affairs Committee Chairman Ronnie Tubertini presented the honor to Pennsylvania Chairman John K. Shipman Jr., CPCU, CIC, LUTCF; Vice Chairman William D. Schneider, CPCU, ARM; State National Director Robert J. "Buc" Cawley, AAI; and Past Legislative Committee Chairman John M. Ulrich Jr. The ceremony took place during this morning’s breakfast session at the Association’s 27th Annual National Legislative Conference here.

The Pennsylvania association was honored for its effectiveness in representing its members’ interests before the state’s legislature and the active role it takes in IIABA’s overall government affairs program and InsurPac, the Association’s political action committee (PAC).

“The Pennsylvania association is a key contributor in IIABA’s legislative and regulatory successes on the national level and are a solid grassroots organization in their state legislature and with their congressional delegation,” said Tubertini while presenting the honor. “Through their contributions, Pennsylvania agents have protected their business interests and the future of the agency system.”

A key success in 2002 for the Pennsylvania association is the adoption of the agent licensing reform by the state legislature. The new law establishes reciprocity for nonresident agents and brings the state into compliance with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act’s (GLBA) agent licensing reform provision.

“The Pennsylvania association called on the considerable grassroots muscle of its membership to persuade the state legislature to pass this critical measure” Tubertini explained. “Because of their tireless effort, Pennsylvania has updated licensing statutes that makes it compliant with the requirements of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The Keystone agents’ efforts were one important piece that helped IIABA avert the creation of a federal licensing agency for agents and brokers.”

Enacted in 1999, GLBA required 29 states and U.S territories to enact licensing reforms by last November.

In addition to their state-level successes, the Pennsylvania association was lauded for its highly active and effective grassroots members who played a leading role in the re-election of Rep. Tim Holden, an insurance agent and a Big “I” member, to the U.S. Congress.

“When called upon, the Pennsylvania agents lined up to support Rep. Holden, who as an independent agent knows our industry extremely well and supports us on numerous critical legislative concerns,” said Tubertini. “Their hands-on involvement in Holden’s re-election and IIABA’s government affairs program on Capitol Hill has helped to strengthen the national association’s ability to effectively represent all independent agents and brokers before congressional representatives.”

The Keystone agents also consistently can be counted on to support InsurPac. In 2002, the state easily surpassed its InsurPac contribution goal for the year. “Pennsylvania agents intuitively know that IIABA’s total government affairs effort includes participation in InsurPac,” said Tubertini. “Through their fundraising efforts, IIABA is better able to financially support more candidates for Congress who support the business mindset of agents and brokers.

“In recognition of their outstanding efforts over the past year, we commend the Insurance Agents & Brokers of Pennsylvania for a job well done and honor them with the Maurice G. Herndon Award,” concluded Tubertini.

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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