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Big “I” Installs New Leadership Team

Utah’s Nilsson as New Chairman, Louisiana’s Daniel as Chairman Elect, Indiana’s Miley as Vice Chair, and New Hampshire’s Minkler Joins Executive Committee

(ALEXANDRIA, VA Oct. 10, 2008) — C. Brett Nilsson, CIC, was inaugurated as the chairman of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”), with David Daniel as the new chairman elect, Mike Miley as the new vice chairman, and Tom Minkler as the new executive committee member.  The new officers began their terms at the recent Big “I” Leadership Conference in Las Vegas. 

“I am confident that we have just installed the ‘best-of-the-best’ of our industry to head the Big ‘I’,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president and CEO. “With Brett, David, Mike and Tom at the helm of our association, we are well-armed to navigate through uncertain economic times for our industry and the country.”

C. Brett Nilsson, CIC, is senior vice president for The Buckner Company, based in Ogden, Utah.  Nilsson was first elected to the Big “I” Executive Committee in 2003 and was sworn in as vice president September 2006. Nilsson also served on IIABA’s national Communications Committee and its Finance Committee, which he chaired from 1999 to 2003. Prior to being elected to the Executive Committee in 2003, Nilsson served as president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Utah from 1992 to 1993 and as the board director from Utah for nine years. He is a past recipient of Utah’s Agent of the Year and Young Agent of the Year awards, and he received a Big “I” Presidential Citation in 2001. In 2003, Nilsson received his state association’s highest individual honor, the Burgener Award, a distinction that has only been awarded five other times in the history of the Utah association. He and his wife, Nancy, live in Layton, Utah. They have four children and seven grandchildren.

J. David Daniel is president of Daniel and Eustis Insurance in Baton Rouge, La. He was elected to the IIABA Executive Committee in 2004 and also served on the board of directors of the Independent Insurance Agents of Louisiana (IIAL) for eight years before becoming president in 1997. Daniel has served as Louisiana’s national board director since 1998 and has acted as the state association’s representative to the Louisiana Insurance Rating Commission. Daniel is the recipient of IIAL’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Outstanding Committee Chairman Award. On the national level, Daniel has served on IIABA’s Technical Affairs Committee and was chairman of the Governance and Communication Task Force. He and his wife, Janet, have two children, Mary Rose and John.

J. Michael “Mike” Miley began his insurance career in 1973 and joined the Gibson Insurance Group in 1983.  In 1978 he joined the Marshall-Fulton-Starke Counties Independent Insurance Agents Association and went on to serve as President.  He served on numerous Independent Insurance Agents of Indiana (IIAI) committees. In 1992, he was elected to the IIAI Executive Committee and served as President in 1995. Miley was elected Indiana’s State National Director to the Board of IIABA in 1997.  His numerous awards include: the 1987 Chairman of the Year award for his work on the New Products and Services Committee, Indiana Agent of the Year Award in 1989 and 2006, Honorary Commissioner of Insurance in 1990 and the 1991 Harry P. Cooper Public Image Award.  In addition to serving on numerous Big “I” committees, he has been active with the United Way of Marshall County, the local Chamber of Commerce, the Marshall County Mental Health Association, Marshall County Older Adult Services and the Plymouth Board of Parks and Recreation. Mike lives in Plymouth, Ind., with his wife, Cindy, and their two children, Margaret and Matthew.

Thomas Minkler is president of the Clark-Mortenson Agency in Keene, N.H.  Minkler is a past chairman of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of New Hampshire, past New Hampshire director on the Big “I” National Board and past president of the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents.  At the national association level, Minkler is past chairman of the Big “I” Government Affairs Committee and has served on various other Big “I” committees including the Professional Liability Committee, the Agents Advocacy Fund Committee, the Agency Administrative Services Committee, the Additional Markets Subcommittee and the Captive Study Committee. He is a frequent speaker for the insurance industry and has provided testimony before the U.S Congress on behalf of the Big “I” on a variety of topics. Earlier this year, he testified before Congress on behalf of the Big “I” in a hearing of the House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Government Sponsored Enterprises, and Insurance, to discuss insurance regulatory reform.  Minkler is active in his community and serves on numerous charitable organizations and civic boards. He resides in Keene, N.H. with his wife, Heather and step-son Mike, and has three grown children.
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, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address:


​127 South Peyton Street
Alexandria VA 22314
​phone: 800.221.7917
fax: 703.683.7556

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