WASHINGTON Paul A. Equale, chief executive officer of the Independent Insurance Agents of America, resigned Tuesday to devote himself to a new post with the Democratic National Committee.
The group immediately named executive vice president Robert A. Rusbuldt as his successor.
Mr. Equale who joined the group 19 years ago as a senior lobbyist and had been CEO since 1998 said he wants to focus on being chairman of the DNCs Democratic Business Council, a fund-raising job to which he was named two weeks ago.
My time commitments were growing increasingly complex between my political and professional work, he said in a press release. It was becoming extremely difficult for me to serve two masters. So it was time for me to make a decision about my future.
In an interview, Mr. Equale praised the group and said his job change was voluntary. I have an opportunity now to do something that is unique for me.
Mr. Equale, a well-known lobbyist with strong Democratic ties, plans to act as a political consultant and do some lobbying for the group through an outside firm. He said that he is in talks with several downtown firms about part-time lobbying work and also will seek seats on corporate boards.
Mr. Rusbuldt a well-heeled Republican lobbyist who teamed up with Mr. Equale to give the group bipartisan muscle joined the agents group as a senior lobbyist in May 1986. He was named executive vice president and chief operating officer in 1998 and oversaw the groups for-profit government affairs unit and its technology initiatives.
Mr. Rusbuldt is a very gifted political player in Washington and is very closely tied to the elements of the Republican leadership, said Kenneth A. Guenther, president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America. Under his leadership, the IIAAs effective voice will continue to be heard on the pressing financial issues of the day.
The group said that in his previous post, Mr. Rusbuldt had effectively managed the groups day-to-day activities, the group said.
I look forward to addressing the issues and challenges facing our members implementing a national branding program and strengthening advocacy for independent agents on legislative and legal issues, industry affairs, education and other vital areas of importance for agents and brokers, he said in a press release.
Before joining the agents group, Mr. Rusbuldt had been the legislative director for former Rep. Carroll Campbell, R-S.C., and a lobbyist for the American Insurance Association.