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Sen. John Thune to Address the Big “I”

South Dakota Republican to deliver remarks at annual Legislative Conference Breakfast.

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 16, 2012 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) today announced that Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, will address the association’s membership on Thursday, April 26.

Sen. Thune will be a keynote speaker at the legislative conference breakfast which occurs just prior to the association’s annual Big “I” Day on Capitol Hill. Every year, agents and brokers visit Capitol Hill offices to educate members of the House, Senate and their staffs on issues that directly impact independent insurance agents, brokers and consumers.

“The Big ‘I’ is honored to have Sen. Thune address the association’s membership the morning of our annual agent pilgrimage to Capitol Hill,” says Robert A. Rusbuldt, Big “I” president and CEO. “As a member of the Finance Committee and through his leadership role as Senate Republican Conference chairman, Sen. Thune is on the frontline of many issues that directly impact our industry, economy, and small business. We are looking forward to his insight.”

In addition to chairing the Senate Republican Conference and serving on the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Thune also serves on the Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Committee, the Budget Committee, and the Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee. He was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996 and in 2004 beat the then sitting Senate Minority Leader and was elected to his first term in the Senate. Previously, he served in the South Dakota government and as a congressional aide. A native of the Mount Rushmore state, Sen. Thune earned his undergraduate degree at Biola University and an MBA from the University of South Dakota.

“Sen. Thune’s numerous leadership roles are pivotal to small businesses and consumers across the country,” says Charles E. Symington, Jr., Big “I” senior vice president for government affairs. “We look forward to continuing to work with him on many issues that directly impact the 300,000 professionals we represent and insurance consumers.”

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 25-27 at the Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The legislative conference is an opportunity for Big “I” agents and brokers to discuss important issues with their congressional representatives. Top issues this year include: insurance regulatory reform, extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), agent licensing reform, medical loss ratios (MLRs) and other health care topics, tax reform; the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP), and other  economic challenges facing independent insurance agents and the industry. 

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 the 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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