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In Wake of Tragic Events in Japan, the Big "I" Encourages Donations to Trusted Choice® Disaster Relief Fund

Tax-deductible contributions assist those affected by disasters.

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 21, 2011 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) stands ready to help meet disaster assistance needs through the Trusted Choice® Disaster Relief Fund and recently made a contribution to the relief efforts in Japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

“Agents are always willing to help each other in times of need,” said Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president and CEO, when presenting the check to the Independent Insurance Agents of Japan at the association’s annual Legislative Conference & Convention. “After Hurricane Katrina, the Japanese agents reached out to support agents affected by the storm in the U.S. Now, U.S. agents are able to reach out to Japanese agents.”

Sue Noda and Ikurou Umezawa accepted the $10,000 contribution and represented the seven independent agents from Japan who attended the event.

“This fund is a great way to show our ongoing support as an industry for victims of disasters and to assist independent agents, industry colleagues and others during their greatest time of need,” added Dave Evans, executive director of Trusted Choice®. “This permanent relief fund allows us to financially assist victims when and where a disaster strikes, rather than raising the funds after the fact when time is precious.”

The Trusted Choice® Disaster Relief Fund was established by the IIAA Educational Foundation of the Big “I” to assist those who have suffered losses due to natural or man-made disasters. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) entity and all contributions are tax deductible.

The fund makes cash grants to those in the insurance industry, including Big “I” members and their agency staffs, and others to pay for immediate or ongoing financial needs when other funding sources (such as insurance and other grants) are not available, to fill the gap until other funding sources can be accessed and to provide insurance agents with supplies and resources to assist with disaster relief efforts to aid victims and surviving family members in their communities.

To make a tax-deductible contribution to the fund or to apply for a grant, go to and click on “About Us” and then “Trusted Choice® Disaster Relief Fund.” To contribute via check, send a check payable to the “Trusted Choice® Disaster Relief Fund” to:

Attn: Lillian Carter
 Trusted Choice® Disaster Relief Fund
127 S. Peyton St.
Alexandria, VA 22314

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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