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Ronan Friend


Recent posts by Ronan Friend

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
5 min read

Meet Loyal NAIFA Member John Raley

By Ronan Friend on 4/27/22 10:00 AM

John Raley, LACP, FSCP, CLTC, MBA, has served Main Street USA for over 40 years and looks forward to many more. 

Getting Started 

Fresh out of college, Raley knew he wanted to go into the insurance industry. There was just one problem—none of the insurance agencies were hiring new college grads. They wanted to hire established members of the community because that’s the way it had always been done. But Raley wasn’t deterred. When he interviewed with American Family Insurance, he said to the hiring manager, “If I was successful and I became a manager like you, basically you're telling me that you really don't have any control over who you hire, who you surround yourself with.” The hiring manager called Raley back the next day and offered him a job. Over 40 years later, Raley's still with the company that took a chance on him when no one else would. 

Topics: Life Insurance Member Spotlight Member Profile Loyal Member Loyal Member Profile insurance
1 min read

NAIFA Welcomes New Member Alex Parker

By Ronan Friend on 4/25/22 10:00 AM

Alex Parker is dedicated to serving everyday citizens and helping underprivileged youth in his community.

Parker started his financial services career with Northwestern Mutual in 2019, providing comprehensive financial planning for Americans in over a dozen states. He works primarily with young professionals, helping them navigate their finances and manage wealth. The best thing about his career, he says, is seeing the impact he has on his clients’ lives and helping them become financially secure.

Topics: Life Insurance Member Member Profile New Member Profile insurance
2 min read

Meet Loyal NAIFA Member Bruce Palmieri 

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

When Bruce Palmieri, CLU, ChFC, CFP, applied for a life insurance policy in 1990, he didn’t expect to find a career—but that’s just what happened. His Northwestern Mutual advisor recruited him into the business and, over 30 years later, Palmieri is a stalwart of the insurance and financial services industry. 

Serving Main Street USA

Palmieri primarily works with clients who are looking to retire soon and want to make sure they have their finances in order. He helps them plan for the future, delving into the details of their retirement accounts, employee benefits, life insurance, long-term care planning and more. By taking a holistic approach to each client’s unique circumstances, he’s able to help them build a strategy that works for them.

Topics: Disability Insurance Long Term Care Life Insurance Member Profile Loyal Member Loyal Member Profile
3 min read

Meet Loyal NAIFA Member John Becker

By Ronan Friend on 4/20/22 10:00 AM

John Becker, MBA, CMFC, is a self-described people person and analytics nerd. It’s the perfect combination for a career that requires both empathy and financial acumen.

Getting Started

While studying for his MBA at the University of Florida, Becker knew he wanted a career in financial services. He considered becoming a financial analyst but decided against it. As an analyst, he would exclusively manage assets for high-net-worth individuals. He wanted to make an impact on Main Street Americans, so he decided to become a financial advisor instead.

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

Meet Loyal NAIFA Member Jack Hawk

By Ronan Friend on 4/18/22 10:00 AM

John (Jack) Hawk, LUTCF, FSS, LACP, learned the value of life insurance at an early age. When his mother was 3 months pregnant with him, his father was killed in a car accident. Hawk’s great-grandfather had passed three days earlier. As neither had life insurance, the family had to deal with financial uncertainty while grieving two devastating losses.

Hawk admits he got lucky—his mother remarried when he was a year old, and Jack and his siblings were raised in a middle-class household. “I was this close to that not happening,” he says. “We got this opportunity because of stepdad.”

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

Nester Insurance Inc. in Limerick, PA, is a NAIFA 100% Agency

By Ronan Friend on 4/15/22 9:08 AM

When Bryan Nester created Nester Insurance in 2010, his mission was simple—to help people understand their insurance options and make the best choice for their unique situations. Nester Insurance started as a solo operation offering group health, life, and disability plans for businesses but expanded staff in 2016 to help shape the group benefits agency it is today.

Topics: Life Insurance Employee Benefits insurance NAIFA 100% Agency
4 min read

Meet Loyal NAIFA Member Jonathan Matrullo

By Ronan Friend on 4/13/22 10:00 AM

Baystate Financial's Jonathan Matrullo believes in the power of mentorship, community, and advocating for insurance and financial professionals and their clients. 

When Matrullo was considering career paths while in graduate school, becoming an insurance agent or financial advisor never crossed his mind. That changed when his brother was applying for life insurance. When the insurance agent asked his brother what was important to him, his brother responded, “my family.” 

From that conversation, the agent shared that their office was expanding, and suggested Matrullo apply. He agreed to learn more and soon realized that the insurance and financial services industry is more than just life insurance—it's comprehensive financial planning for the future. That’s when he decided to start his career at New York Life.

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

Meet Loyal NAIFA Member Trey Kelly

By Ronan Friend on 4/11/22 10:00 AM

NAIFA-Atlanta CEO Trey Kelly has been a NAIFA member since 1999 and has seen firsthand the benefits of NAIFA membership and NAIFA’s political advocacy. 

Getting Started

When he was an economics major in college, Kelly knew he wanted to get into sales. As luck would have it, one of his college friends suggested Kelly meet with his father, who was a top producer with John Hancock at the time. When Kelly walked into the man’s office—a top-floor space with a great view of downtown Atlanta—Kelly knew he wanted to become a financial advisor too. He joined John Hancock and his friend’s father became a mentor to him.

Topics: Member Profile Leaders Loyal Member Profile

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