WASHINGTON, D.C., April 15, 2011 — Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) addressed the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) Annual Young Agents & InsurPac State Chairpersons Legislative Luncheon at the Big “I” Legislative Conference & Convention this week.
Rep. Shuler, who at one point earned an insurance license, is a rising star in the Democratic Party whose father-in-law and brother-in-law own and operate an independent insurance agency in North Carolina. Shuler stressed that he understands the plight of small businesses.
Shuler serves on the House Budget Committee and is an active member and leader of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of congressional Democrats who advocate for fiscal responsibility and government accountability. “I don’t wear my member of Congress pin a whole lot, but I wear my Blue Dog and it’s a constant reminder that we have to bring this country back to center,” he said.
“At the end of the day, we’re not Democrats; we’re not Republicans; we’re Americans,” he said regarding the need to reach across party lines to find common ground. He is known for his bipartisanship and working with Republicans on fiscal issues.
Shuler was first elected to represent North Carolina’s 11th congressional district in 2006. The 11th District is comprised of the Tar Heel State’s 15 westernmost counties. Shuler was a successful entrepreneur and small business owner before running for Congress. He is also known for his success on the football field as a student-athlete at the University of Tennessee and in the NFL. Shuler also serves on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (including the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit and Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management).
The event also featured the presentation of the annual InsurPac National Championship awards, Young Agent of the Year and Eagle awards. The 2010 winners are:
InsurPac National Championship Award – Texas: This award goes to the state whose agents contribute the most money for InsurPac in a calendar year. Texas agents contributed $68,645.
Young Agent National Championship Award – North Carolina: This recognition honors the state whose young agents donate the most money to InsurPac. Young Agents from North Carolina contributed $12,836.
InsurPac Young Agent Award: The 2010 co-winners are Douglas Fairbanks and Holly Rossell of Michigan. Their dedication to raising InsurPac money and passion for political involvement will inspire Michigan’s young agent program for years to come.
InsurPac Eagle Awards: This award is given annually to states that surpass a fundraising average of $100 per member agency. The 2010 recipients are Louisiana, North Dakota and South Carolina.
“InsurPac is the largest property-casualty political action committee in the country and Big ‘I’ young agents are the next generation of independent agency leaders,” says Charles E. Symington, Jr., Big “I” senior vice president for government affairs. “These two forces are among the most influential in the industry and greatly benefited from Rep. Shuler’s perspective. We look forward to continuing to increase our young agents’ activism in the political process to secure the future of our industry.”
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.