WASHINGTON, D.C., April 26, 2007—Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) spoke to young independent agents and brokers from nearly all 50 states, along with the state and national InsurPac leaders, at the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America’s (the Big “I”) National Legislative Conference yesterday. Wasserman Schultz addressed the Young Agent-InsurPac Luncheon.
Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz, elected to her first term in 2004, serves on the influential House Appropriations and Judiciary Committees, and as Chief Deputy Whip in the Democratic Leadership. Before coming to Washington, Wasserman Schultz represented the people of South Florida in the State Legislature since 1992 when she became the youngest woman to be elected to the body at age 26.
Wasserman Schultz spoke to the Young Agents about the importance of younger people as the fresh voice in an industry. She emphasized that the next generation brings a new perspective and new ideas to the discussion.
Wasserman Schultz also stressed to the agents the importance of the insurance industry, especially in a time of natural disasters that are so relevant especially in the area around her district in South Florida. “You are the first line of defense for the business world,” she said.
Wasserman Schultz also discussed legislation she introduced, the “Catastrophic Disaster Risk and Insurance Commission Act,” which would examine how to best structure and establish a national catastrophe fund. The proposed legislation would form a commission to make recommendations to the industry for all natural disasters, including hurricanes.
The Young Agent-InsurPac luncheon was also an opportunity to recognize achievements made in 2006 by young agents in the industry.
Inaugural InsurPac National Championship Award – presented to Florida; award was created last year to recognize the state that raises the most money for InsurPac in a calendar year.
2006 Barney Burns Award – R. Cleve Folger, Partner, TriSure Corporation in Raleigh, NC. Under his chairmanship, North Carolina set a new InsurPac record with 574 PAC donors.
2006 InsurPac Young Agent Award – Melissa Champany, Young Agent Coordinator for the Florida Association of Insurance Agents. Champany launched a major InsurPac educational campaign among Florida young agents. In 2006, she increased Florida’s young agent InsurPac participation by 300%.
2006 Eagle Awards – Arkansas, South Carolina and Washington. These awards are given out every year to states that average more than $100 in PAC contributions per member agency.
Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz is one of several prominent political leaders speaking to agents and brokers at the Big “I” event. Thursday morning, House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (ID-Conn.) addressed the group. Friday journalist and television host Bill O’Reilly will be the keynote speaker.
Highlights of the Big “I” National Legislative Conference include an in-depth issues briefing session; the annual Big “I” congressional reception on Capitol Hill; appearances by numerous high-profile speakers; and hundreds of meetings on Capitol Hill between Big “I” agents and brokers and their elected representatives in the Congress.
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: www.independentagent.com.