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Big "I" to Host InVEST Program State Champion Workshop

Program Hailed as Key to Attracting Young Talent to Industry



ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 8, 2009 - The Independent Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) will host InVEST’s State Champion Workshop June 29 to July 1, 2009 at the Westfield Insurance campus in Westfield Center, Ohio.

“InVEST is key, not only to the future of the independent agency system, but to the insurance industry as a whole,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “The InVEST State Champion Workshop is one of the most important annual events for our association.”

The workshop will begin with an introduction to the program titled, “InVEST 101”giving an overview of InVEST for those who are not familiar with the program. Tuesday’s agenda includes presentations by InVEST teachers and liaisons giving insight on how to build and implement InVEST high school and community college programs. Workshop attendees will learn how to improve or to start their own program in their respective states. The program will conclude on Wednesday with presentations by InVEST staff on the many free resources available through the program and also the importance of social networking (or Web 2.0) in the insurance industry to attract the Millennial generation.

“InVEST is my top priority and key to attracting new talent to our industry,” says Brett Nilsson, Big “I” chairman. “With the average age of an insurance professional at 54, the industry will soon see the drastic effects of not bringing in fresh talent as baby boomers begin to retire.”

The biennial “Agency Universe Study” by Future One, a collaboration of the Big “I” and leading independent agency companies, released in late 2008 revealed the need for more young, female and minority professionals in the independent insurance agency system.

“The Agency Universe Study survey results pointed to InVEST, a Big “I” program in dozens of classrooms across the country, as a solution, with 56% of respondents stating that the insurance industry should encourage high schools and community colleges to help students plan for insurance careers,” says Madelyn Flannagan, Big “I” vice president of agent development, education and research. “It was also encouraging that 45% of agencies said they would consider participating in an internship program to bring new people into the insurance industry.”

More information about the InVEST’s State Champion Workshop is available at www.investprogram.org.

As a 501(c)(3) educational trust, InVEST benefits from the support of numerous insurance organizations, hundreds of agencies, brokers and volunteers. The program provides the insurance industry with motivated, talented and intelligent professionals through a support structure of state associations, board members, national staff, teachers and the many industry professionals who work in the field as classroom liaisons.

The high school curriculum is a business-education program that utilizes a hands-on approach which simulates an insurance agency and company operations to prepare students for various business careers and create more knowledgeable insurance consumers. At the college level, InVEST is an information-intensive curriculum of risk management and financial services. These courses provide students with a working knowledge of the basics needed to pursue careers in the insurance industry. For more information, go to www.investprogram.org.

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.
           
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