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Long-Serving Big “I” Leader Jeff Yates Retires

Passes ACT executive director baton to Ron Berg.

P1000197.JPGALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 28, 2014 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America is announcing the retirement of Jeff Yates, a 39-year veteran of the association who most recently served as Agents Council for Technology (ACT) executive director. Since 1975, Yates has served in numerous capacities within the association.
“The Big ‘I’ is tremendously grateful to Jeff Yates for his innumerable contributions to the association and the independent agency system,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “Jeff has been an amazing leader, mentor and industry trailblazer. His countless efforts, dating back to when he joined the association in 1975 as assistant general counsel to his service as CEO and his role in developing ACT, have been instrumental to the independent agency system. We will greatly miss him on our team and wish him happiness in his retirement.”
“We are also excited to have Ron Berg onboard to succeed Jeff as ACT executive director,” Rusbuldt continues. “Ron has been an active volunteer in ACT from almost the beginning and is the right person to lead this critical initiative into the future.”
Yates served in the general counsel’s office from 1975 to 1982 (as executive vice president and general counsel for most of that period). In 1989, he spearheaded the association’s move from New York to its current headquarters in Alexandria, Va. In 1998 he was promoted to CEO and first retired in 2000. In 2001 he returned to the Big “I” to lead the ACT program as executive director. He has received numerous awards and accolades throughout his 39-year career. The Big “I” has created a lifetime service award named in his honor that was presented at the Big “I” Legislative Conference last April. Yates and his wife, Lauran, are retiring in Bozeman, Mont. A more detailed timeline of his service is available on the association website.
New ACT executive director Ron Berg previously worked with MetLife Auto & Home for almost 20 years, advising on technology strategies and advocating for effective Real Time agent workflows. He has long been involved with industry work groups and associations such as ACT, AUGIE, the Real Time/Download Campaign and numerous other user group conferences. Berg earned a degree in computer science at Alexandria College in Alexandria, Minn.
“The ACT Committee and members want to thank Jeff for his years of leadership and for working with so many dedicated volunteers to grow ACT into such a great initiative,” says Jim Armitage, ACT chair and vice president of Arroyo Insurance in Arcadia, Calif. “We are also delighted to have Ron Berg onboard to succeed Jeff. Ron has been working with Jeff on the transition for two months now and is bringing passion, experience, dedication and fresh ideas to the role to help take ACT to the next level.”
Established in January 1999 by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (the Big “I”), ACT provides a candid, action-oriented forum to address the critical workflow and technology issues facing the Independent Agency System. ACT helps participants understand the perspectives of the other stakeholders in the process and provides excellent networking opportunities with the participants who are shaping the future for the industry on these issues. For more information about ACT visit
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 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

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