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IIABA Presents the Barney Burns Award to Robb Dale of Washington

CEO of The Unity Group in Bellingham Recognized for Commitment to InsurPac



WASHINGTON, D.C. - May 12, 2009 – The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) has awarded the Barney Burns Award to Robb Dale. The Barney Burns Award recognizes outstanding work for InsurPac, the Big “I” political action committee. 

“The Big ‘I’ is proud to announce that for his tireless efforts on behalf of InsurPac, Robb Dale is the 2008 Barney Burns award recipient,” said Spencer Houldin, Big “I” Government Affairs Committee chairman. “Robb’s slogan was ‘lead by example’, which he did by significantly increasing his annual contribution to InsurPac. Additionally, during his term as chairman of the InsurPac Board, donations from the IIABA Executive Committee and Board of Directors roughly doubled.”

Robb Dale’s numerous leadership roles in the industry include serving as the state national director from Washington. He has also served as InsurPac chair for the Evergreen state and as chairman of the InsurPac Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2008. During Robb’s tenure as chairman of the InsurPac board, InsurPac receipts increased by 25%. As InsurPac chair for Washington, he took his state from raising $1,000 a year to $35,000 each year. Robb is CEO of The Unity Group in Bellingham, Wash.

"Under Robb's leadership, InsurPac achieved three consecutive record setting years,” says Nathan Riedel, Big “I” vice president for political affairs. “His efforts have positioned InsurPac to become a two million dollar PAC in the coming election cycles."

The award is named after former Big “I” President Barney Burns, who founded InsurPac in 1975, and served as chairman of its Board of Trustees until 1983. During his tenure, Barney worked tirelessly to educate agents about the importance of being politically active and contributing to InsurPac.

“This marks the 8th consecutive year that InsurPac has grown and we expect this trend to continue as we surpass the million dollar mark in 2009,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president and CEO. “Our membership has always prided itself on political engagement, and the continued growth of InsurPac says that we’re not slowing down anytime soon.”

InsurPac is the largest property-casualty political action committee. In disbursing contributions, InsurPac does not look at party affiliation but supports representatives, senators, and candidates for federal office that have been advocates and supportive of the independent agency system.  Ninety-two percent of InsurPac-supported candidates won in 2008.

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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