Local Associations


Our association began as a group of local independent insurance agents working together on industry issues. Today, local associations are still the core of our association. Find an upcoming event »


Kathleen Lawler

Kathleen LawlerAVP Communities & Relationships
P: 800-962-7950 EXT: 218
F: 315-432-0510


Click to access


Big I Western New York

Board meets before/following monthly membership meetings
President: Kathleen Rapasadi
The Evans Agency, LLC
1 Grimsby Dr Ste 200
Hamburg, NY 14075
p: 716-926-8638

Executive Secretary: Jeanne Hellert
4003 North Freeman Road
Orchard Park, NY  14127

Doug Benz
p: 716-332-1570

Matthew Saxe
p: 716-651-4263


Independent Insurance Agents of Monroe County Inc.

Board meets 2nd Tuesday of every month @ 12:00 p.m. at Cerame's in Winton Plaza, Rochester
President: Andre Valente
Brown & Brown of NY Inc (Rochester)
45 East Ave Ste 1
Rochester, NY 14604
p: 585-232-4424
Executive Director: Diana Barlow
IIAMC Office
54 Woodline Drive
Penfield, NY 14526
p: 585-260-6663

Cheryl Darling
p: 585-473-8000
e: cheryld@paris-​

Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Greater Binghamton Inc.

Board meets 2nd Wednesday of every month @ 8:30 a.m.

President: Tim Cappellett
McNeil Company Inc.
20 Church St
Cortland NY 13045
p: 800-822-3747

Tim Cappellett
p: 800-822-3747

Big I Central New York​

Board meets 2nd Wednesday of every month @ 8:00 a.m. at the Big I New York office
President: Michael Crowley
Crowley Insurance Agency Inc.
202 N Center St, East Syracuse NY 13057
p: 315-437-2983

Nick Masterpole
p: 315.473.9622 x13


Sullivan County Association of Independent Insurance Agents

President: Joyce A. Salimeno, CPCU
Gersten-Hillman Agency, Inc., Monticello
p: 845-794-5544

Independent Insurance Agents Association of Orange County, Inc.

President: Doug Hutchings
Hutchings Agency, Middletown
p: 845-343-2148

Independent Insurance Agents of the Capital Region

President: Katie Mallia
Sykes-Mallia Associates Inc., Schenectady
p: 518-393-3618

Adirondack Independent Insurance Agents Association

Kevin T. O'Brien
Insurance for Glens Falls National Bank and Trust Company, Glens Falls
p: 518-415-4275

Independent Insurance Agents Association of Oneida, Herkimer & Madison Counties

Steve Zogby
Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig, Inc.,
New Hartford
p: 315-792-0000


Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Suffolk County Inc.

President: David H. Borg, CIC
Borg & Borg, Inc.
148 E Main St Ste 106
Huntington, NY 11743-2909
p: 631-673-7600
Executive Director: Jeanne Abatelli
PO Box 316
Albertson, NY 11507-0316
p: 516-681-6265

Jim Cotgreave
p: 631-820-8326

Steve Testa
p: 631-651-8433


Big I Tri-County

President: Andrew Chong
ARC Underwriting Partners
73 Cuttermill Rd
Great Neck, NY 11021-3153
p: 516-726-1500
Executive Director: Patricia Calvert
Tri-County IIAA
PO Box 316
Albertson, NY 11507-0316
p: 516-621-2209

Chris Wukovits
p: 516-877-5207
President: Ron Longueira
BNC Insurance Agency
90 S. Ridge St.
Rye Brook, NY 10573
p: 914-937-1230

Independent Insurance Agents of Westchester County Inc.

President: Ken Fuirst
Levitt-Fuirst Associates Ltd
520 White Plains Rd Ste 200
Tarrytown, NY 10591-5120
p: 914-457-4252
Executive Director: Susan Barros
IIA of Westchester County Inc. C/o Susan Barros, The Beaumont Group
465 Shirley Ln
Brick, NJ 08723-8047
p: 973-941-6024 

Rob Homer
p: 914-250-2081
Local Associations exist to fulfill the educational, political, and business needs of our members on a localized basis in the same way that Big I New York does on a state basis and IIABA does nationally.
Local associations provide the opportunity for neighbor agents to band together and:
  • Discuss industry issues on a localized basis
  • Meet with fellow agents & brokers, company leaders, legislators, and other industry leaders
  • Hold information/educational sessions
  • Conduct legislative activities
  • Sponsor conferences, promotional events, golf outings and other fund-raising activities

Get involved by contacting the leader of your local association or Kathy Lawler at Big I New York!


Approved Logos

For consumer facing stories, Trusted Choice®is the brand we want them to remember and seek out to find an agent in their area. It is important that we use the Trusted Choice logo in all communication materials NOT the Big I New York or your local association logo.​

Here is the standard Trusted Choice®logo to share with media outlets. 


Trusted Choice 



Color JPG 
Black JPG
Regular Printing 

Color JPG 
Black JPG

Other formats are available here.

Press Release Template

Be brief, concise and include 1 to 2 main quotes. Don't try to 'sound smart' in your press release. Use professional but relaxed language. 
Tip: read it out loud. Would you say it that way to a friend or co-worker? If not, rework it.
Big I New York often sends press releases. Once you establish contacts, it would be great for you to forward those releases along.
A new template is coming soon for you to use to send a press release in your area!



One Main Contact

Each local association should have one main contact person to work with the media. This person should be friendly, responsive and detailed. They will be 'in-the-know' at all times of what is being said by their local to the media. This may, or may not be the spokesperson. 


Relationships Matter

Your relationship with local media can make the difference in being included in a story, or not. Here are a few tips:

  • Respond promptly when they call, they may be under tight deadline

  • Be warm and courteous - always!

  • Give factual information in the format they need.  If you are unsure about a topic, let them know you will get the correct answer and respond asap

  • Be on the same page with your team.  You don't want two people saying two different things 

  • Make sure your board knows you will be talking to the media, your topic and angle and who will be the spokesperson for that issue

    • What makes a good spokesperson?

      • ​​Credible, relaxed, comfortable, able to think and respond on their feet 

      • Make sure spokesperson is well breifed and has full understanding of the Trusted Choice brand.  They should be able to describe what the brand represents in 1-2 sentences

  • Always follow up with a Thank You

  • Follow all their social media channels and share and respond to posts

*Please let Big I NY know about the relationships you are establishing.

Content to Share

Tips & Talking Points by Issue

*The Insurance Information Institute also has great statistics, facts and figures.

One of the best values an independent insurance agent brings to their community is expertise.  That knowledge, both before and during difficult times, is something we should be proud to share.


Big I NY wants to help you develop relationships with your local media outlets so they turn to you for stories with an insurance aspect.

Before jumping in, two things to remember:

We are always here to help

Localize and personalize!  Journalists are looking for stories to tell that will matter to their local viewer, listener, or reader. Share real, authentic stories related to information they need.