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Senator Jon Tester to Address the Big "I"

Montana Democrat to Deliver Keynote Address at Annual Legislative Conference Breakfast

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 8, 2009—The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers (the Big “I”) today announced that United States Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) will address the association’s membership on April 30.

Sen. Tester 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.

“It is an honor to have Senator Tester address our membership. He is a rising star in the Senate and a leading voice for pragmatic solutions to difficult problems in our nation,” says Robert A. Rusbuldt, Big “I” president and CEO. “Sen. Tester has been a supporter of state regulation of insurance and his commitment to small businesses, state’s rights, and fixing our economy will be a valuable lesson as our agents meet with hundreds of members of Congress later that day.”

 Sen. Tester serves on the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over insurance issues, and is a key player on the committee’s Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment. Additionally, he serves on the powerful Appropriations Committee. Sen. Tester was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 after a long history of public service in the Big Sky State which included service in the state legislature and local boards. The Montana native is also a farmer, former music teacher and small businessperson.

“In just two years in the Senate, Sen. Tester is already a leader on many of the most important legislative priorities to the Big ‘I’,” says Charles E. Symington, Jr., Big “I” senior vice president for government affairs. “It is encouraging to independent agents that an effective legislator who truly understands small business issues serves on the powerful Banking Committee.”

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 and select the “Events and Conferences” link. Journalists interested in attending, please contact Margarita Tapia, director of public affairs, at (800) 221-7917 or 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:

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

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