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Our Awards & Scholarships

Honoring The Best Agents & Brokers in California's Independent Agency System

IIABCal honors member agents and brokers with a number of awards and scholarships.  The most prestigious award that IIABCal bestows on an individual is the Ramsden/Sullivan Memorial Award. It is given only when a deserving individual merits this high honor, not necessarily annually.  In addition and in recognition of emerging leaders with the membership, awards and scholarship are given during the annual InsurPATH event.

Following the consolidation of the Western Association of Insurance Brokers (WAIB) and the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of California (IIABC) and the creation of the Insurance Brokers and Agents of the West (Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of California) in January 1995, the Board of Directors of the new association agreed to integrate the critical elements from both association's highest awards.

The Board unanimously approved a motion to establish the Ramsden/Sullivan Memorial Award as a way of honoring the past while recognizing new award recipients of Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of California.

The Ramsden/Sullivan Memorial Award is the most prestigious award Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of California can bestow on an individual. It is given only when a deserving individual merits this high honor, not necessarily annually.

The Ramsden/Sullivan Memorial Award will be given to an individual who truly exemplifies service to the American agency system and the insurance industry, has an outstanding record of service to Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of California and to their community, and has worked to improve the images of insurance brokers and independent agents.

P. S. W. Ramsden

Perce Ramsden was on e of the true stalwarts in the early years of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of California, with a lifetime distinguished by high ethics and professional conduct as an insurance agent. Mr. Ramsden helped set the course that enabled the association to become the leading proponent of the American agency system in the west.

Mr. Ramsden is one of the few individuals to have served as president of the two state independent agents association--Utah and California.

In addition, he served as president of the Oakland Association of Insurance Agents. In fact, it was the Oakland Association which created the idea for this award and proposed it to the then California Association of Insurance Agents in 1959.

The Origin of the Ramsden Award

At a meeting of the Board of Directors of the California Association of Insurance Agents at Monterey in June 1959, the directors accepted a proposal by the Oakland association for the P.S.W. Ramsden Memorial Award.

A committee subsequently submitted a report to the CAIA Board of Directors, setting up rules for making the Ramsden Award in accordance with the following resolution:

WHEREAS, the Oakland Association of Insurance Agents has created and presented to the California Association of Insurance Agents an award to be made annually at its annual meeting a s a memorial to our Past President P.S.W. Ramsden, and

WHEREAS, the person to be nominated for this honor is to be chosen by the California Association of Insurance Agents, it is hereby

RESOLVED, that the incumbent president, vice president and secretary-treasurer of the association shall constitute a committee for the purpose of selecting the person to whom the award is to be made, and be if further

RESOLVED, that if, and when, a person has been nominated by the committee, said committee by its chairman is hereby instructed to appoint a select committee of not more than three members of the Board of Directors of the association with whom to review and discuss its choice, and when a majority of said group has approved a nomination, said committee is hereby empowered and authorized to announce its selection and to have bestowed upon such person the P.S.W. Ramsden Memorial Award.

RESOLVED FURTHER, that the report and recommendation so the Select Committee heretofore appointed by the president, which suggest and recommend procedure for the guidance of the association for the handling of the Award, are hereby adopted and made a part of this Resolution as though fully set forth herein.

Eugene J. Sullivan

Gene Sullivan served as executive director of the Western Association of Insurance Brokers and its predecessor organizations from 1956 to 1981.

In addition, he served as the brokers' legislative advocate in Sacramento, and supported WAIB's legislative interests until the Agents and Brokers Legislative Council (ABL) came into being.

During his 25-year career with WAIB, he participated in a number of important industry developments and authored a text on products liability entitled Products Liability: Who Needs It?.

Born in San Francisco and educated at the University of San Francisco, Mr. Sullivan served in the Navy during World War II, attaining the rank of lieutenant commander.

The Origin of the Sullivan Award

The Board of Governors of the Western Association of Insurance Brokers in October 1989 established an award to honor individuals for unusual or exemplary service to the insurance industry.

Named the Gene Sullivan Award, after the former executive director of WAIB who retired in 1981 after 25 years of outstanding service.

The award criteria stated, in part, that "the recipient shall be honored for service and dedication for activities that are not generally a part of their normal occupational duties."

"However, this should not be construed to mean a recipient should not receive the award if their occupation required them to deal with unusual circumstances and those situations were handled in a highly credible manner..."

"The purpose of this award is to honor outstanding individuals whose contribution has been significant where recognition by our industry is essential and important to show appreciation for exemplary efforts for a single event or cumulative services over time..."

"This award is intended to honor the best in our industry and all elements of the award, from the presentation to the actual plaque, should emphasize prestige."


The board adopted this award to be presented annually to the most outstanding young broker or agent in an IIABCal state based on his / her record of exemplary service to community or association and participation in IIABCal or IIABA political action programs.

A DiBuduo Award recipient must be a licensed producer in an IIABCal state for two or more years and under forty years of age at the time the award is presented. He or she must have demonstrated the drive to increase professional expertise.

The selection committee is comprised of the LeadUp Committee chairman and two other committee members. The entire LeadUp Committee must ratify the person selected. Current Committee members are not eligible for the award until their committee service is completed. The award is presented at the annual IIABCal InsurPATH Conference.

The DiBuduo Award includes a $2,500 stipend that the deserving recipient may utilize as he or she sees fit to continue the good works acknowledged by the award.

The award is given in memory of Anthony J. “Cheech” DiBuduo, founder of DiBuduo & DeFendis Insurance Group headquartered in Fresno, and a longtime business, industry, and association leader at local, state, and national levels. Throughout his distinguished career, DiBuduo was a champion and mentor of young agents and brokers. He also set a standard of unparalleled commitment to the political action programs of both IIABCal and IIABA.




The IIABCal Board of Directors established the Bobby Acquistapace Memorial Award Fund from contributions made by several local associations, including Central Coast and Monterey Bay. The award is named after Central Coast Past President, Robert “Bobby” Acquistapace,

The proceeds of the Fund shall be maintained in a Segregated Funds Investment Account established for this purpose and interest earned shall be added to the Fund balance.

The proceeds of the Fund are to be used to provide three (3) $1,000 scholarships annually. The award is presented at the annual IIABCal InsurPATH Conference.

IIABCal Local Associations are eligible to nominate one local association member annually for consideration. Nomination criteria shall include, but not be limited to, the individual’s Local Association service and desire to further their insurance career. The deserving recipient may utilize the $1,000 scholarship to attend an IIABCal conference or education / training session. The IIABCal Board of Directors will conduct the annual award competition and select the recipients.  (July, 2017)


National Presidents Fund

The board established the National Presidents Fund to honor members of the association who have served as president of an affiliated national association. The proceeds of the Fund initially are used to provide $1,000 scholarships. As the Fund grows, additional scholarships may be added. The proceeds of the Fund shall be maintained in a Segregated Funds Investment Account established for this purpose and interest earned shall be added to the Fund balance.

The Harlan Miller Award is the first National Presidents Fund scholarship authorized. It is awarded to a young agent or broker with an outstanding record of service in the IIABA Federal Ambassador Program to attend the IIABA Legislative Conference (November, 1995).

The Harlan Miller Award is awarded annually to an IIABCal member with less than ten (10) years of insurance industry experience and is interested in federal government affairs. Eligible recipients will have contributed to IIABA’s InsurPac during the award year. The $1,000 stipend shall be used by the recipient to attend the IIABA Legislative Conference.

The selection committee is comprised of the LeadUp Committee chairman and two other committee members. The entire LeadUp Committee must ratify the person selected. Current Committee members are not eligible for the award until their committee service is completed. The award is presented at the annual IIABCal Forecast Luncheon. (Amended July, 2017).

The Board of Directors of IIABCal established the David F. “Bud” Wilson Award in recognition and appreciation of Bud Wilson’s outstanding service as President of the Independent Insurance Agents of America (now IIABA).

The Wilson Award is presented annually to the chair of the LeadUp Committee. The award is presented at the annual IIABCal Forecast Luncheon and is accompanied by a $1,000 stipend for the recipient to attend the IIABA Legislative Conference. (Amended July, 2017).