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Big “I” to Host Diversity Forum

April 15 event will discuss how independent agents can foster a more diverse mix of business and better serve their communities.

ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 8, 2011 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) today announced that Dr. Elizabeth Holmes, Roosevelt Thomas Consulting SVP & chief learning officer, will deliver the keynote address at the annual Legislative Conference & Convention Diversity Forum.

 The forum, titled “Higher Performance with Diversity Management: From Good to Great,” will discuss why diversity is such a “big deal” for independent agencies and their employees, clients, vendors and balance sheet. Topics of discussion will also include how to take business productivity and performance to the next level by taking control of the organization’s diversity conversation and management.

 “The Diversity Forum is a testament to the commitment by Big ‘I’ leadership to this initiative and may be the first time that the topic receives this much visibility during the Big ‘I’ Legislative Conference & Convention,” says Juan Padron, Big “I” Diversity Task Force chairman and SafeGuard Insurance Agency owner in McAllen, Texas. “Diversity management is a complex topic and we look forward to Dr. Holmes’s presentation on how to better serve our diverse communities.”
WHO:  Dr. Elizabeth Holmes Roosevelt Thomas Consulting SVP & chief learning officer
WHAT: Diversity Forum:
  “Higher Performance with Diversity Management: From Good to Great”
WHERE: Independence FGHI Ballroom, Independence Level (5B)
  Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel
  1000 H Street, NW
  Washington, DC 20001
DATE: Friday, April 15, 2011
TIME: 10:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. EASTERN

The Diversity Task Force, which is hosting the forum, is a cooperative industry group comprised of Big “I” agents and brokers, members of groups representing Latin-American, African-American and Asian-American agents and nine leading insurance companies.

“Minorities, young people and women continue to be underrepresented in our industry and in the independent agency system — particularly among agency principals,” says Madelyn Flannagan, Big “I” vice president of agent development, education and research. “The Diversity Task Force, with its mission of fostering a profitable independent agency force that reflects, represents and capitalizes on the opportunities of the diverse U.S. population, is part of the solution.”

The Big “I” Legislative Conference & Convention is the insurance industry’s best-attended, most effective legislative meeting. This year’s event will take place April 13-15 at the Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Other highlights of the Big “I” Legislative Conference & Convention include in-depth issues briefing sessions; appearances by numerous high-profile speakers discussing important insurance and national issues confronting lawmakers as well as agents and brokers; and hundreds of meetings on Capitol Hill between Big “I” agents and brokers and their elected representatives in Congress.

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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