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Big “I” to Hold Leadership Conference in Grand Rapids

Top industry leaders to participate in presidents’ panel and special diversity session; new association leadership to be installed.

IIA_2color_RGB_72dpi small.jpgALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 11, 2014 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) will hold the following events Sept. 12-13, 2014 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as part of the association’s annual Leadership Conference. 

The Big “I” will hold a special session on diversity topics, install its new leadership team and host a panel of national leaders from organizations in the independent insurance agency system. The following events are open to the media.

WHAT: “Engaging a New Workforce – Multicultural, Multigenerational, Multifaceted, Multitalented”

Joe Paul, author of “Morning Cup of Joe,” founder of the Hope for Haiti Campaign, creator of the Student Leadership Boot Camp and CEO of Motiveight Corporation, master of ceremonies
Sherri Elliott-Yeary, author of “Ties to Tattoos” and a speaker, coach and trainer in the area of human resources and talent management
Hajj Flemmings, leading brand strategist and founder of the Brand Camp Conference
A panel of six Big “I” independent agency owners ranging in ages - spanning four generations. 
(additional details and biography information available HERE)

DATE: Friday, Sept. 12, 2014

TIME: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EASTERN
9:10 a.m.: “From Ties to Tattoos” by Sherri Elliott-Yeary, keynote speaker 1
10:00 a.m.: Multigenerational Panel moderated by Joe Paul
11:00 a.m.: “Branding Yourself to Welcome the New Workforce” by Hajj Flemings, keynote speaker II

WHERE: Ambassador Ballroom East (Concourse Level)
Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
187 Monroe Avenue, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503


WHAT: Presidents' Panel with Big "I" Leadership

Thomas Ealy, Encompass Insurance president
Jim Hinchley, Liberty Mutual Insurance executive vice president, business insurance and general manager, regional operations
Glenn Renwick, Progressive Corporation chairman of the board, president and CEO
Mark Malis, QQ Solutions’ CEO and co-founder
Thomas “Tom” Minkler, 2013-2014 Big “I” chairman and Clark-Mortenson Agency president
Boyd McGehee, Talladega Insurance executive vice president (moderator)

DATE: Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014

TIME: 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. EASTERN

WHERE: Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
187 Monroe Avenue, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503


WHAT: Big “I” Installs New Executive Committee Officers

DATE: Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014

WHEN: 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EASTERN

WHERE: DeVos Place 
303 Monroe Avenue, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

NOTE: RSVP is appreciated, but not required; Journalists interested in attending, please contact Margarita Tapia, director of public affairs, at (703) 730-9090 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 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

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