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Rep. Joe Crowley to Address the Big "I"

New York Congressman chairs the New Democrat Coalition; hailed for his commitment to small business community.



WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 19, 2010 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers (the Big “I”) today announced that Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y), Democratic Chief Deputy Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives, will address the association’s membership on March 4.

“The Big ‘I’ is looking forward to hearing from Rep. Crowley, one of the top Democratic Party leaders whose commitment to the small business community has been instrumental in protecting our members and insurance consumers,” says Robert A. Rusbuldt, Big “I” president and CEO. “We look forward to hearing his perspective on small business issues, which is particularly important due to his numerous leadership roles in Congress.”

Rep. Crowley serves as the Democratic Chief Deputy Whip in the House and is chairman of the New Democrat Coalition, a group of moderate Democrats who are seen as business-friendly on a number of issues.  He is a member of the House Ways & Means Committee which also has jurisdiction over health care jurisdiction. Rep. Crowley is vice chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and serves as chairman of the DCCC Business Council. He is in his sixth term serving New York’s seventh congressional district which includes parts of the Bronx and Queens.

“Rep. Crowley’s role in Democratic Leadership will provide an important perspective that our members from New York and across the country will appreciate,” says Charles E. Symington, Jr., Big “I” senior vice president for government affairs. “As the Democratic Chief Deputy Whip and a prominent party leader, he is in a unique position to speak to a wide range of important topics impacting independent insurance agents including financial services regulatory reform and small business tax issues.”

Rep. Crowley 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 year 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 annual event usually features a member of Congress from each party. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) will also address the Big “I” membership at the legislative breakfast.

The Big “I” National Legislative Conference is the insurance industry’s best-attended, most effective legislative meeting. This year’s event will take place March 3-5 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.

Other highlights of the Big “I” Legislative Conference & Convention will include an in-depth issues briefing session; appearances by numerous high-profile speakers discussing important insurance and national issues confronting lawmakers as well as agents and brokers; a CEO panel comprised of top carrier presidents & CEOs (CNA, The Hartford, Fireman’s Fund and Safeco to participate) and hundreds of meetings on Capitol Hill between Big “I” agents and brokers and their elected representatives in the Congress.

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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