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U.S. Dept. of Education Appointee to Address InVEST Teachers at Big "I" Legislative Conference & Convention

Phil Martin directs program promoting financial literacy in U.S. schools.



WASHINGTON, D.C., March 3, 2010 - The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) announced that Phil Martin, U.S. Department of Education assistant for financial education and student aid, will address the National InVEST Teacher Dinner at the Big “I” National Legislative Conference & Convention.

“We are honored that Mr. Martin will address InVEST educators and update us on the Obama administration’s efforts to promote personal finance education in America’s classrooms,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “His insight will be helpful in continuing to build the InVEST program and increase financial literacy for the next generation.”

The event will be held on Thursday, March 4 at 7:00 p.m. in the Coolidge Room of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Phil Martin is responsible for developing the department’s strategy for personal finance education in K-12, postsecondary and adult education. He works closely with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and other members of the interagency Financial Literacy and Education Commission. Martin also works in the undersecretary’s office as the department oversees major changes in higher education policy.

“This year’s National InVEST Teacher meeting is an opportunity for teachers from around the nation to exchange ideas on building strong local InVEST programs,” says Madelyn Flannagan, Big “I” vice president of agent development, education and research. “InVEST is important not only to the future of the independent agency system, but in promoting financial literacy since most Americans purchase insurance products. The importance of attracting more young people to the industry cannot be stressed enough since the average age of an insurance professional is currently 54—and climbing.”

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.

Founded in 1970 and based in Alexandria, Va., InVEST promotes insurance education in order to attract individuals to pursue a career in the insurance industry. Each year, the program prepares thousands of students for insurance-related careers with a hands-on curriculum taught in high schools, adult education centers and community colleges. 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.

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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