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General Colin Powell Addresses Big "I" Convention



Former Secretary of State discusses leadership and terrorism


WASHINGTON, D.C., May 3, 2006—Gen. Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) addressed independent agents and brokers from across America and several countries at the general session of the Big “I” Convention.


“General Colin Powell is an inspiration to all Americans,” said Big “I” CEO Robert A. Rusbuldt. “His personal story and his dedication to our country are compelling. His speech included invaluable advice and counsel to the businessmen and women of our association.”


Powell discussed the importance of being open-minded.


“Our greatest strength in fighting terrorism is our openness,” said Powell. “As long as we, as a country and as individuals, remain faithful and open to our values, the terrorists will never win.”


Additionally, Powell addressed what makes a strong leader.


“Leadership is all about followership,” said Powell. “The leaders inspire the followers. Great leaders give followers a sense of purpose, a mission, a vision, and inspiration.”


Regarding the state of the country, Powell discussed the importance of education.


“We have some of the best universities and colleges in the world,” said Powell. “But the government has to do a better job with elementary schools, junior highs, and earlier education. America must make a greater investment in our education system.”


“America still is respected and trusted,” said Powell. “We still are that great America. People in other countries may sometimes disagree with our leaders and policies, but we still are great.”


“General Powell is the ultimate leader,” said Rusbuldt. “He has been tested time and time again as a general, Secretary of State, and in the private sector. Proven leaders lead no matter where they are or the circumstances they face.”


General Powell’s speech was a highlight of the Big “I” National Legislative Conference & Convention. Other highlights included: appearances by Congressman Bobby Jindal (R-La.), House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), David I. Maurstad, insurance administrator and mitigation director of the National Flood Insurance Program, and House Financial Services Chairman Mike Oxley (R-Ohio). 


Founded in 1896, the Big “I” 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:






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Alexandria VA 22314
​phone: 800.221.7917
fax: 703.683.7556

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