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House Republican Whip Eric Cantor to Address the Big "I"

Congressional Leader to Provide Insights at Legislative Conference Breakfast




(WASHINGTON- March 3, 2009)—The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) today announced that Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Republican Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives, will address the association’s membership on April 30.

Rep. Cantor will be a featured speaker at the legislative conference breakfast which occurs just prior to the association’s membership heading out for the annual Big “I” Day on Capitol Hill. Every spring over a thousand agents visit Capitol Hill offices to lobby members of the House, Senate and their staffs on issues that directly impact independent agents and consumers.

“The Big ‘I’ is pleased that House Republican Whip Eric Cantor will be kicking off our annual agent pilgrimage to Capitol Hill,” says Robert A. Rusbuldt, Big “I” president and CEO. “We’re looking forward to hearing Rep. Cantor’s perspectives on financial services regulation and other important topics facing our members, their businesses and our nation.”

Rep. Cantor is uniquely positioned to speak on both insurance and small business issues affecting independent agents. In addition to his position as the House Republican Whip, he serves on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which has direct jurisdiction over taxes, trade, Social Security, Medicare, health care and welfare reform. He will be a key player as the Obama administration attempts a major health care reform in the 111th Congress. Rep. Cantor is in his fifth term representing Virginia’s seventh congressional district and is a native of the state’s capital city, Richmond.

“We’re pleased to have such a dynamic and well-positioned congressional leader address the Big ‘I’,” says Charles E. Symington, Jr., Big “I” senior vice president for government affairs. “Rep. Cantor has an impressive track-record as an advocate for small businesses and has many years of experience on issues that directly impact the independent agency system.”

The Big “I” National Legislative Conference is the insurance industry’s best-attended, most effective legislative meeting. This year’s event will take place April 29 through May 1 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The legislative conference is an opportunity for Big “I” agents and brokers to discuss important issues with their congressional representatives. Top issues this year include:  insurance regulatory reform, agent licensing reform, health insurance reform, taxes, natural disaster issues, and other challenges and opportunities facing the independent agency system.

Additional highlights of the Big “I” National Legislative Conference include in-depth issues briefing sessions, a panel discussion with top insurance carrier CEOs, a state of the association address by Big “I” chairman Brett Nilsson, a speech by “Freakonomics” author Stephen Dubner, and appearances by numerous other high-profile industry speakers.

For registration and hotel information, go to www.independentagent.com and select the “Events and Conferences” link. Journalists interested in attending, please contact Margarita Tapia, director of public affairs, at (800) 221-7917 or margarita.tapia@iiaba.net for media registration.

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: www.independentagent.com

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