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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."