Gandy, a loyal NAIFA member since 2003, serves on NAIFA’s Board of Trustees, is a Past President of NAIFA-Chicagoland, and is a Co-Chair of NAIFA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council. He was also a member of the NAIFA 2025 Strategic Planning Committee, which developed the NAIFA 2025 strategic plan with a goal of increasing DEI in the association and industry. After four years as a student-athlete at the University of Illinois and playing several seasons of professional basketball for the Chicago Bulls and the San Antonio Spurs as well as in L’Hermaine, France, Gandy entered the insurance and financial services profession in 1999.
A renowned thought leader in the insurance and financial services industry, Gandy has been a featured speaker on diversity in the industry and financial planning topics at industry events, including NAIFA’s National Leadership Conference, Performance + Purpose, and annual Diversity Symposia; the Intercompany Long-Term Care Insurance Conference; and NAIFA state chapter events. He has spoken at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Insurance Summit and testified before the NAIC’s Special Committee on Race and Insurance promoting the need for greater diversity in the industry and NAIFA’s goal of ensuring financial security for all Americans.
“Chris Gandy is one of the leading voices on diversity, equity, and inclusion within NAIFA and the insurance and financial services profession. He is a constant advocate for diversity at all levels of our industry, from the producers on Main Street to company C suites and Boards,” said NAIFA President Lawrence Holzberg, LACP, LUTCF. “I’ve had the pleasure of working directly with Chris on the NAIFA Board of Trustees and have witnessed first-hand his passion for our industry and our need to provide financial security for all. It is my pleasure to congratulate him on this honor. He epitomizes the title ‘NAIFA Diversity Champion.’”
Gandy co-hosts NAIFA’s Advisor Today podcast series, interviewing highly successful NAIFA members about their careers and the state of the insurance and financial services industry. He has delivered NAIFA webinars on diversity topics as well as ways agents and advisors can increase their production. His presentation, “Tools for Success: Becoming the 1%,” is featured in NAIFA’s Future Leaders program that encourages and educates college students pursuing careers in insurance and financial services. Gandy has been featured in numerous industry and national publications, including Advisors Magazine, Advisor Today, InsuranceNewsNet, ThinkAdvisor, and GQ. In 2021, he received a ThinkAdvisor LUMINARIES Award in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion category.
NAIFA created the Diversity Champion Award to recognize exceptional efforts to promote the full and equal participation of diverse people within the insurance and financial services profession. Gandy will receive the award on November 14 at NAIFA's National Leadership Conference and Belong event in Washington, D.C.
A Diversity Champion presents a unique blend of experience, skills, accomplishments, and other qualities. A nominee must be a member of NAIFA in good standing and have at least five years’ experience in the insurance and financial services industry. The NAIFA Diversity Champion exhibits trailblazing efforts in one or more of the following areas:
- Creating and promoting diverse and inclusive workplaces
- Raising awareness and fostering communication within the financial services industry and the community
- Supporting inclusion and encouraging diverse individuals to reach their professional goals
- Fostering awareness and commitment to diversity and inclusion within the NAIFA membership
- Providing insurance and financial services in underserved and diverse markets