Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Big "I" Installs New Leadership Team

Donohoe as New Chairman, Bramlett as Chairman Elect, Minkler as Vice Chair and Houldin Joins Executive Committee.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., Sept. 16, 2011 — Michael Donohoe has been inaugurated as the new chairman of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”), with Bobby Bramlett as chairman elect, Tom Minkler as vice chairman and Spencer Houldin as the new executive committee member. The new officers began their terms at the conclusion of the board meeting held in conjunction with the Big “I” Leadership Conference this weekend in Minneapolis, Minn.

“The Big ‘I’ is proud to announce that such highly respected and top professionals in our industry will be heading the Big ‘I’ executive committee,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “Mike Donohoe, Bobby Bramlett, Tom Minkler and Spencer Houldin, along with the rest of the executive committee, are a remarkable team that is expected to lead to a productive year.”

Mike Donohoe is owner and agent of the James R. Weir Insurance Agency in Mankato, Minn.  He was elected to the Big “I” Executive Committee in September 2006. Donohoe has contributed to the independent agency system in a variety of ways, including serving the Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers (MIIAB) as its president and as its representative on the Big “I” national board of directors. He was named Minnesota “Young Agent of the Year” in 1979 and 1981. Donohoe, who has been instrumental to the success of the Big “I” Virtual University, served as the chair of the VU Oversight Task Force from 2001 to 2006. In 2005, he received the Woodworth Memorial, the highest honor the Big “I” awards to an agent. Donohoe grew up in Lake Forest, Ill., and is a graduate of St. Mary’s College, in Winona, Minn. He has been married to his wife Mary for more than 30 years and they have four children: Katie, Gina, Meghan and Patrick.

Bobby Bramlett is president & CEO of the Bramlett Agency in Ardmore, Okla. He began his insurance career with The Bramlett Agency in 1975 and has served as its president and CEO since 1983. He purchased the agency from his parents, Jim and Janie Bramlett. The agency celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2008. He is past president of Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma (IIAO) and is currently is serving as Vice Chairman of IIABA. In 2008, Bramlett received the IIABA Government Affairs’ highest award, “The Sydney O. Smith National Legislative Award.” He was also given IIAO’s highest award, “The Eagle of Excellence Award,” in 2009. In his community, he serves as a Director of First National Bank and Trust Company, Trustee of The Glen Foundation, and as a Trustee of St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy. Bramlett is a graduate of St. John’s Military Academy in Delafield, Wis., and earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma. Bobby and his wife Nanette are proud parents of son, Jake, who is now a producer in the agency, daughter-in-law, Jennifer and grandson Bryce.

Thomas “Tom” Minkler is president of the Clark-Mortenson Agency in Keene, N.H. Minkler is a past chairman of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of New Hampshire, past New Hampshire director on the Big “I” National Board and past president of the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents. At the national association level, Minkler is past chairman of the Big “I” Government Affairs Committee and has served on various other Big “I” committees including the Professional Liability Committee, the Agents Advocacy Fund, the Agency Administrative Services Committee, the Additional Markets Subcommittee and the Captive Study Committee. He is a frequent speaker for the insurance industry and has provided testimony before the U.S Congress on behalf of the Big “I” on a variety of topics. Earlier this year, he testified before Congress on behalf of the Big “I” in a hearing of the House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Government Sponsored Enterprises, and Insurance, to discuss insurance regulatory reform. Minkler is active in his community and serves on numerous charitable organizations and civic boards. He resides in Keene, N.H. with his wife, Heather and step-son Mike, and has three grown children.

Spencer M. Houldin is president of Ericson Insurance Services, LLC, a second generation, insurance agency with offices in Litchfield County, Conn. and New York City. From 2008 - 2011, Houldin served as chairman of the Big “I” Government Affairs Committee and testified before numerous Congressional committees on behalf of the association. He has also represented the state of Connecticut on the IIABA Board from 2006 - 2011. In 2004, Houldin served as Independent Insurance Agents of Connecticut president. He has held seats on agent advisory councils for many insurance companies. He is also active in his local community serving on the executive committees of The Western Connecticut Health Care Network, which is a multi-hospital organization. Houldin is also past president of the local rotary. Houldin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Lafayette College. He resides in Roxbury, Conn. with his wife and two children.

The 2011-2011 Big “I” chairman, J. Michael Miley, who will serve on the committee as immediate past chair for one year, is an account executive with Gibson Insurance Group in Plymouth, Ind.

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 and health—as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address:

# # #

​127 South Peyton Street
Alexandria VA 22314
​phone: 800.221.7917
fax: 703.683.7556

Follow Us!

Empowering Trusted Choice®
Independent Insurance Agents.​