Big "I" President Rusbuldt to be Succeeded by Symington.

The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big "I") announced that Bob Rusbuldt, Big "I" president & CEO, will retire next year. Rusbuldt informed the associations national Board of Directors of his decision at a meeting in Niagara Falls, NY. The longest tenured Big "I" top executive will remain in his current position until August 31, 2023.

With Rusbuldt's announcement, the Big "I" Executive Committee named Charles Symington, senior vice president for external, industry and government affairs, as Rusbuldt's successor starting on September 1 of next year.

"I am truly humbled and honored to have had the privilege of leading the Big T for the past 23 years and for being a part of this organization for 37 years," says Rusbuldt. "With our incredible team of agent leaders and Big "I" staff, we have accomplished great feats for our members. I can think of few things more satisfying than helping people in their greatest time of need, and that's what our members do. It has been a privilege to work alongside them, supporting and contributing to that mission. The Big T and the IA system have a rich history that I am proud to be a part of, but the evolution continues, and the best is yet to come."

Rusbuldt joined the association in 1986 and was named CEO in 2001 after leading the government affairs department at the Big "I" for many years. He has overseen many major Big "I" initiatives including the inception of Big "I" Markets, a market access program for agent members; the formation of BIRC, a reinsurance company, and InsurBanc, a bank catering to independent insurance agencies' needs; the implementation of a marketing brand for members, Trusted Choice*, and the consumer-facing agent locator and company,; the creation of Big "I" Hires, a national hiring resource for the independent agency channel; and the establishment of the Trusted Choice Disaster Relief Fund and COVID-19 Relief Fund for member agencies in need, among other notable innovations.

Rusbuldt recently steered the Big "I" through the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic and also the celebration of the association's 125th anniversary.

"Bob's impact on the association, our independent agent and broker members, and indeed, the entire industry cannot be overstated," says Bob Fee, president of Fee Insurance in Kansas and Big "I" immediate past chair, who presided over this weekend's meeting of the Big "I" Board. "The independent agency system is stronger and...

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