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Ronan Friend


Recent posts by Ronan Friend

2 min read

NAIFA Welcomes New Member Tori Chaulk

By Ronan Friend on 5/18/22 10:00 AM

For Tori Chaulk, insurance runs in the family—it just skipped a few generations. Her great-grandmother was an insurance agent with Farm Bureau, and she was fascinated by it when she was growing up. So, when she graduated from the University of Tennessee, she decided to give it a try. 

Being an insurance agent turned out to be a perfect fit for Chaulk. She loves meeting new people every day and helping them find the right solutions for their unique situations. At Trey Bowen Legacy Insurance and Globe Life, she helps her clients with life insurance and property and casualty insurance. She’s especially passionate about life insurance, even though it can be a hard topic to talk about with clients. “[Life insurance] is the guaranteed insurance that you're going to use,” she says. “So, I’d rather help somebody plan for their family after they're not here rather than it be too late.”

Topics: Life Insurance Member Spotlight Member Profile New Member Profile insurance
3 min read

Meet Loyal NAIFA Member David Kikoen

By Ronan Friend on 5/16/22 10:00 AM

In 2007, David Kikoen, LUTCF, CLTC, RICP, was a senior account executive in the subprime mortgage business. When the Great Recession hit, he decided to transition into insurance and financial services. He admits he didn’t know much about financial planning when he started, but he learned quickly and soon thrived in his new role. Now, Kikoen is a licensed insurance agent and financial services professional with over 13 years of experience at New York Life.

Topics: Life Insurance Financial Planning Member Profile Loyal Member Loyal Member Profile insurance
4 min read

Who's Going to NAIFA's 2022 Congressional Conference?

By Ronan Friend on 5/13/22 11:19 AM

NAIFA's Annual Congressional Conference bolsters NAIFA’s prestige among lawmakers and industry partners and enhances our standing as the leading voice for insurance and financial professionals. Watch for these loyal NAIFA members at this year's Congressional Conference on May 23-24 in Washington, D.C.! 

Topics: #NAIFAProud Members
3 min read

Meet Loyal NAIFA Member Jay Meneely

By Ronan Friend on 5/13/22 10:00 AM

Lifetime Financial Group Owner Jay Meneely, LUTCF, has been a loyal NAIFA member since 1983 when the organization was still the National Association of Life Underwriters (NALU). Throughout the years, he’s seen the impact of his work and advocating for Main Street USA.

Like many, Meneely joined the insurance industry almost by accident. He was working in retail management and ran into his insurance agent at the gym. Meneely’s agent recruited him into the business and, 42 years later, Meneely has no intention of stopping any time soon.

Topics: Member Spotlight Member Profile Leaders Loyal Member Loyal Member Profile
2 min read

Meet Loyal NAIFA Member Kameron Caldwell

By Ronan Friend on 5/11/22 10:00 AM

Kameron Caldwell, President and CEO of Caldwell Wealth Management, is dedicated to protecting families and advocating for Main Street USA.

Getting Started

When a friend first approached Caldwell to become a life insurance agent, he wasn’t interested. He thought it would be too hard, but his friend encouraged him, saying, “You’ve got the gift of gab; you’re good at sales. Why not give it a try?” Caldwell agreed to enroll in an apprentice course and take the exam to become an insurance broker. He failed the exam on his first try, but that only fueled his determination. He kept studying and, the next time he took the test, he passed.

Topics: Member Spotlight Member Profile Loyal Member Loyal Member Profile insurance
2 min read

 Meet Loyal NAIFA Member Sheryl Hickerson

By Ronan Friend on 5/9/22 10:00 AM

In 1993, Sheryl Hickerson faxed her resume to MassMutual—by accident. But they called her back and offered her an interview. Nearly 30 years later, it’s the best mistake she’s ever made. 

Serving Main Street USA

Hickerson is the founder and CEO of Females and Finance, a private vetted community that offers support for hiring, mentoring, training, and advancing women. In her practice, Hickerson is especially passionate about helping families. “Women are often the glue in families,” she begins. “I’ve seen far too many friends displaced from their homes because of a lack of insurance.” With so many advisors focused on high-net-worth individuals, the industry doesn’t have nearly enough advisors focused on Main Street Americans, she says.

Topics: Member Spotlight Member Profile Loyal Member Loyal Member Profile
4 min read

Next Level Insurance Agency, LLC in Addison, TX, is a NAIFA 100% Agency

By Ronan Friend on 5/6/22 8:00 AM

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in finance, Next Level Founder and CEO Danny O'Connell moved to Dallas and started his career at an investment firm, but he didn’t find his passion until he was recruited into insurance and employee benefits. Once he found his niche, he never looked back.

In 2016, O’Connell founded Next Level Insurance Agency. Next Level takes a holistic approach to employee benefits covering all employer needs from startups to companies with hundreds of employees. With a growing firm, Next Level has the ability to adapt to each client’s needs. While many larger agencies use a one-size-fits-all approach to their clients, the Next Level team tailors their services to each client’s needs. “We want to be nimble and bring the right solution to our clients, not just try to fit them all into the same round hole,” O’Connell says.

Topics: Employee Benefits insurance NAIFA 100% Agency
2 min read

NAIFA Welcomes New Member Tinja Anderson

By Ronan Friend on 5/4/22 10:00 AM

Tinja Anderson is passionate about serving her clients and her community.

Serving Main Street USA

After spending a decade doing strategic sales and communications consulting for Fortune 500 companies, Tinja Anderson decided to make a change. “In consulting, it's all about business; it's never personal,” she says. When she joined MassMutual Greater Houston in 2018, she found that she liked the personal connection with her clients. Now, she provides comprehensive financial planning services, from fee-based planning to executive compensation to employee benefits. 

Topics: Financial Planning Member Member Spotlight Member Profile New Member Profile
3 min read

Meet Steve Cain of NAIFA Partner LTCI Partners

By Ronan Friend on 5/2/22 10:00 AM

Steve Cain is a self-described “LTC insurance nerd” dedicated to being a lifelong learner and advocating for Main Street USA.

Getting Started

A 25-year veteran of the insurance industry, Cain started his insurance career after playing two years of minor league baseball. When he returned home to Los Angeles, he took a temporary job providing support for a company specializing in long-term care (LTC) insurance. He learned about LTC from his job, but he learned its value from watching his mother handle LTC events for both of her parents. He saw the impact dealing with LTC without proper planning had on her and knew he needed to help families like his own.

Topics: Long Term Care LTCI Member Spotlight Member Profile Loyal Member Loyal Member Profile insurance
5 min read

The Pacific Bridge Companies (TPBC) Is a NAIFA 100% Agency

By Ronan Friend on 4/28/22 10:46 AM

Stephen Kagawa, FSS, LUTCF, founder and CEO of The Pacific Bridge Companies (TPBC), has a vision—to help families protect what they love through TPBC’s platform, Aloha Financial Advisors. As Kagawa explains, “Aloha Financial Advisors is all about doing good and having advisors who are rooted in their vision of a better world driven by their core values.”

Where It All Began

The story of Kagawa’s passion for reaching underserved communities goes back nearly a century. In 1933, his grandfather, Lawrence Takeo “L.T.” Kagawa, was disappointed to learn that life insurance companies either refused to write policies for people of color or demanded higher premiums than that of their Caucasian neighbors. He partnered with A.P. Giannini, founder of Bank of America and Transamerica, and helped bring affordable life insurance to all people of color.

Topics: Life Insurance Financial Planning Loyal Member insurance NAIFA 100% Agency

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