Aprilyn Chavez Geissler of Albuquerque, N.M., is NAIFA’s 2019 Diversity Champion. Geissler is First Executive Vice President of Gateway Insurance and Financial Services, Inc., a national firm with over 200 office locations and a corporate home office in Albuquerque, N.M.
Geissler has been instrumental in helping Gateway Insurance and Financial Services, Inc. focus on providing insurance and financial services to Hispanic and Native American families. After building her own successful local agency in Albuquerque, N.M., she merged her practice with Gateway, and in the past five years, has helped the organization embrace and serve clients from diverse backgrounds.
Geissler has also expanded the Gateway staff to be diverse and includes members who speak Spanish and Navajo to better serve the national client base. She has employed young minority women as interns to give them experience in working in a professional environment, providing them with education about personal finance and how to manage their own money.
“Aprilyn Chavez Geissler has done incredible work with NAIFA and in business to promote diversity within the life insurance and financial services industry, providing needed products and services to diverse communities,” said NAIFA President Jill Judd, LUTCF, FSS. “When you also consider the volunteer work that she does around Albuquerque, Aprilyn perfectly exemplifies the type of financial professional the NAIFA Diversity Champion award was created to honor.”
Geissler is a former NAIFA trustee and has been an active member of NAIFA’s Diversity Task Force. She has participated in numerous NAIFA Diversity Symposiums. In her community, she works with TeamWorks NM, a nonprofit welfare-to-work program for minority women who are single parents or coming out of abusive relationships. She speaks at a group home for victims of domestic violence about the importance of financial literacy, providing important information about creating budgets, planning for the future, and setting and achieving financial goals. She also volunteers with Crossroads for Women, an Albuquerque-area nonprofit organization that provides housing and therapeutic services to empower women emerging from incarceration.
“One of Aprilyn’s biggest strengths is her ability to recruit a broad spectrum of talented support staff to her successful local New Mexico office and the multi-line division of the firm,” said James R. Hawk, CLF, LUTCF, president of NAIFA’s New Mexico chapter. “Most of Aprilyn’s staff is bi-lingual, giving her office the ability to explain complicated and detailed information to clients in languages other than English, enhancing their ability to make informed decisions regarding their insurance needs. As a NAIFA leader, she constantly works to making sure we represent the needs of all agents of all backgrounds, including promoting NAIFA-New Mexico sponsored speakers and training to support women and minorities.”
“I knew from the time I was in high school that I wanted to be in the insurance and financial service industry; so, having the opportunity to live my dream of being able to help others achieve their dreams is what drives me each day. By empowering women to embrace their self-worth and confidently become financially independent and personally successful, I am fulfilled. I hope to continue to grow Gateway nationally and to help inspire others to embrace challenges and make them their strengths,” said Geissler.
NAIFA created the Diversity Champion Award to recognize NAIFA members for their exceptional efforts in promoting the full and equal participation of diverse people within the insurance and financial-services profession.
Geissler received this distinguished award at NAIFA's Performance + Purpose Conference, which took place last month in Orlando.