Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Big “I” Issues Agent Awards

Association presents prestigious awards at annual agent gathering.

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 26, 2012 —The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) yesterday bestowed three prestigious awards at the annual Big “I” Legislative Conference & Convention.

Clay Jackson of BB&T Insurance Services in Nashville, Tenn. is the 2011 recipient of the Sidney O. Smith Award. This award is bestowed annually by the Big “I” and the Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia upon an individual agent or broker for outstanding service to his or her peers and the national association in the field of government affairs. It is named in honor of an IIABA past president and Georgia agent who was instrumental in focusing the association and its members on legislative advocacy.

 “Clay Jackson has been a regular attendee at the Big “I” legislative conference each year, as well as a regular contributor to InsurPac,” said Jon Jensen, Big “I” government affairs committee chairman. “He is very politically active both locally and nationally, and in his home state of Tennessee he is well known and respected by members of Congress from both political parties.”

Jackson also served on the Government Affairs Committee from 2006 to 2008 and continues his service to the national association on the Large Agents & Brokers Roundtable, where his keen government affairs insight is appreciated.

Forrest “Brick” Schnobrich of Iowa is the recipient of the 2011 Barney Burns Award which is named after former Big “I” President Barney Burns, who founded InsurPac in 1975, and served as chairman of its Board of Trustees until 1983. During his tenure, Barney worked tirelessly to educate agents about the importance of being politically active and contributing to InsurPac.

“Forrest “Brick” Schnobrich embodies this same relentless work ethic for InsurPac,” said Jensen in presenting the award. “He spent countless hours dialing for dollars, engaging agents and encouraging them to become more politically active and support InsurPac.”

Under his leadership, Iowa increased its contribution to InsurPac by more than 30%.

The New Hampshire Association of Insurance Agents is the recipient of the 2011 Herndon Award which is bestowed upon the state association whose legislative achievements the previous year on behalf of IIABA and its members have been deemed most outstanding. The award is presented annually by the Big “I” and the Independent Insurance Agents of Illinois (IIAI). The honor is named after the former head of IIABA’s government affairs operation. Herndon, who died in January at age 91, directed the Association’s Washington D.C. office from 1949 to 1976 and was known as “Mr. Washington” to agents and brokers across America. He is fondly remembered as an extremely effective leader of the Big “I” government affairs and grassroots operations.

“Due in significant part to the New Hampshire Association of Insurance Agents’ advocacy efforts, the state enacted legislation in 2011 designed to eliminate certificate of insurance abuses,” said Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “The new law is one of the strongest in the country, and the association successfully fought back attempts to weaken the bill and to include anti-agent amendments that would have opened up new E&O exposures for Big ‘I’ members.”
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 approximately a quarter of a million 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

Follow Us!

Empowering Trusted Choice®
Independent Insurance Agents.​