WASHINGTON, D.C., April 25, 2015 —The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers (IIABA or the Big “I”) has awarded Dick Poppa, CAE, AAI, with the Jeff Yates Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor the association bestows on a non-agent for a lifetime of work in the independent agency system.
Poppa is Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York, Inc. (IIABNY), president & CEO.
“The Big ‘I’ is proud to present Dick Poppa with the Jeff Yates Lifetime Achievement Award for his impressive career dedicated to the independent insurance community at the state and national level,” said David Walker, Big “I” chairman. “In addition to working for three state associations, he has served the national association in virtually every capacity, including on the CAP Board, the Trusted Choice Board, IAAE leadership and more.”
Poppa has spent most of his career working for independent agents and the Big “I”. In additional to the national Big “I”, he has served on the staff of three state associations (Indiana, California and New York). A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, he has served as IIABNY's chief staff executive officer since 1996. Previously, he served as IIABA senior vice-president and chief operating officer; Independent Insurance Agents of Indiana executive vice-president; Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of California administrative vice-president; Insurance Institute of Indiana staff member; and as a press aide to the lieutenant governor of Indiana. He has been active in his church, the American Society of Association Executives and the Certified Association Executive program.
“Dick is known for his ability to build consensus, which made him the perfect person to lead and participate in major association initiatives, including multi-state membership and strategic planning,” continued Walker. “Many in our industry view him as the guru of association planning. It is a role he takes seriously because he cares so deeply about the future well-being of the Big ‘I’ and our members.”
The Jeff Yates Lifetime Achievement Award was established two years ago in honor of Jeff Yates, a 39-year veteran of the Big “I” who served in numerous capacities within the association from 1975 to 2014. 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 and retired in 2014.
Walker presented the award during the annual Big “I” Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.
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: www.independentagent.com.