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Legislative Grassroots Scholarships Awarded To California Agents

PLEASANTON, CA, April 26, 2018 - Two IIABCal member agents received IIABA Grassroots Scholarship to attend the 2018 Big "I" Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. last week.  

Rob Mulein, Producer, ISU–Kulchin Ross Insurance Services, Tarzana, CA and Charles Doll, Principal of Omega Pacific Insurance Solutions, Modesto, CA, joined hundreds of independent agents and brokers from throughout the country to meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. 

"Today, it is more important than ever for agents to be engaged in the legislative and political process," said Nathan M. Riedel, IIABA Political Affairs Vice President. "The grassroots scholarship provides financial assistance to Big "I" members that can be used for travel and/or accommodations to participate in the national Big "I" Legislative Conference. 

"Scholarship recipients are typically key agent contacts, first-time attendees, young agents or individuals who have shown an extraordinary interest in the association's grassroots and policy initiatives throughout the past year," Riedel said. "Recipients this year attended 'Hill Day' on Thursday, April 19th, to meet with their federal legislators." 

Riedel said this year's recipients of the Grassroots Scholarship were worthy California agents who are dedicated to the process of national advocacy. 

"Rob Mulein year-after-year puts a lot of time and effort into his D.C. visits by personally scheduling seven or eight Hill meetings, including important meetings with both California Senators and House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters, among others," Riedel said. "He reports back on each meeting and provides us staff information to follow up with.  He is also an InsurPac supporter.

"Charles Doll is becoming more involved on the legislative and political advocacy fronts," Riedel said. "He’s politically active with federally elected officials in California and is a major InsurPac donor."

“The IIABA Legislative Conference was great in that I was able to realize that the Big 'I' is really proactive at the national level on the issues that are affecting us locally," Doll said. " I was impressed with the activity and their thoughts on issues to address in the future.”

"Each year I look to go to Washington, D.C., not just for the lobbying on Capitol Hill, but also to assist in passing along my knowledge of what this Conference is all about to those following behind me," Mulein said. "It has been my pleasure over the years to mentor people from San Diego, the Central Valley, Los Angeles and other local associations, along with those from the San Fernando Valley which is my local association."

Mulein said he was very proud that the IBA-SFV sent five people to the 2018 Legislative Conference, with four of them going for the first time.   

"In going one never knows exactly were the discussions will lead to," Mulein said.  "An example of this is that during our meeting with Congressman Tony Cardenas, he mentioned that his district is one comprised of many low income people and that he feels education is so very important. 

"Hearing this, I inquired if he knew about our Project Invest ProgramHe was interested and now Tim Gaspar who sits on the IBA-SFV’s Board and was in D.C. will follow up with the Congressman’s local office, as well as with Derek Ross who heads up our Project Invest Program.  Perhaps this time next year we will have a new Invest Program in a high school in Mr. Cardenas’ district."

Maintaining Relationships

"My relationship with Congressman Brad Sherman over the years has resulted in very solid support for our Industry," Mulein said. "His staff and he interacts with our Capitol Hill staff and he is considered a friend of the Big 'I'. 

"Congressman Sherman sits on the Financial Services Committee and he gets the broad picture of how instrumental insurance is to consumers and small business people across our country, and how the actions - or non-actions - in D.C. have real world implications for us and our clients." 

Mulein encourages all agents and brokers to go to the National Legislative Conference and to work at the local level to secure the relationships with those who represent agents and brokers and their clients in Washington, D.C. as well as Sacramento.   Mulein also encourages agents and brokers to contribute to InsurPac and IIPAC.

"Remember that the work we do locally is reinforced with our visits to Capitol Hill and vice-versa," he said.