Advisor Today, the official publication of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), is pleased to announce the winners of its 2023 4 Under 40 awards: Matthew Cloutier, CRC, RFC, of Golden Wealth Solutions (Osaic) in Littleton, CO, loyal member since 2022; Jennifer Lewis of Wise Medicare Insurance Solutions (United Healthcare) in Rolla, MO, loyal member since 2022; Joseph Spinelli, CLU, FICF, LUTCF, of the Jim Spinelli Agency (Knights of Columbus) in Tallahassee, FL, loyal member since 2009; and Mike Paffhausen, of the Paffhausen Insurance Agency (State Farm) in Butte, MT, loyal member since 2015.
The 4 Under 40 Awards recognize highly motivated, well-rounded NAIFA members under the age of 40 who balance their work and home lives and are successful at helping their clients secure sound financial futures. They exhibit extraordinary professional success relatively early in their insurance and financial services careers.
This year’s recipients will be honored at NAIFA’s National Leadership Conference and Belong awards celebration in Washington, D.C., on December 4.
“Advisor Today’s 2023 4 Under 40 award winners represent the up-and-coming generation of talented and dedicated agents and advisors,” said NAIFA President Bryon Holz, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF, CASL, LACP. “They have shown an amazing commitment to serving the best interests of their clients and are strong ambassadors on behalf of our industry. They offer excellent examples to other young advisors of how persistence, hard work, a positive mindset, and the support of their association can bring success in a profession that can often be difficult for newcomers.”
Matthew Cloutier, CRC, RFC
Cloutier, 38, is the Owner-Operator of Golden Wealth Solutions (Adviser Group) in Littleton, CO, a financial planning firm focused on the business planning, succession, legacy, and retirement needs of clients. Golden Wealth provides visionary guidance to clients by implementing insurance products seamlessly with investment solutions. Cloutier has most recently moved and assisted with the transition of over $50 million in AUM, changing platforms from an insurance-based broker-dealer to an independent model.
Cloutier mentors younger advisors within NAIFA and the Adviser Group to help them focus on career growth. He also accompanies them to NAIFA state Legislative Days to get them involved with advocacy on behalf of their businesses and clients. He has worked with his own mentors to create a "pitch book" for retiring advisors giving them a low-resistance path to exiting the business and handing off their clients to a firm that cares.
Lewis, 38, is a successful agent with an independent insurance agency in Rolla, MO. In that small community, she enrolled over 200 Medicare beneficiaries in her first 18 months. She is an active member of the local chamber of commerce and serves on the Board of the Phelps Connections for Seniors, a local organization that helps seniors. She is a member of the ABLE commission which also helps seniors.
Lewis works with a number of "dual-eligible" clients in the Rola community. This clientele needs more help in understanding their Medicare and Medicaid benefits and she takes all the time that they may need. “I have never seen someone be so patient and so caring in all of my career,” said Jeremy Tyler, Owner of Wise Medicare Insurance Options. “You can see the mother in her come out when helping our clients.”
Joseph Spinelli, CLU, FICF, LUTCF
Spinelli, 36, is an Advisor for Knights of Columbus Insurance in Tallahassee, FL. In his first year as an advisor, at the age of 21, he was named the International Knights of Columbus Rookie of the Year and is now a 14-time member of the Supreme Knights Club. Spinelli is also a 13-year qualifier for the Million Dollar Round Table. He is the youngest advisor in the Knights of Columbus to qualify for Lifetime MDRT membership.
Spinelli is a two-time winner of NAIFA-FL’s 40 Under 40 award and was named Florida and National FIC of the Year in 2015. He is a mentor to newer agents across the country and has been featured as a presenter on panels at Knights of Columbus conferences.
Paffhausen, 37, began his insurance career in 2014 after working for six years as a civil engineer. He opened a State Farm agency in Butte, MT, and follows in the footsteps of his father who has been with State Farm for nearly 40 years. Paffhausen is a five-time Honor Club Qualifier with State Farm, as well as a two-time Ambassador Club, and one-time Chairman's Circle qualifier. As part of his service, Paffhausen teaches a first-time homebuyers' class through the Headwaters RC&D program, the insurance portion of driver's education, and financial literacy courses at his church.
Paffhausen is a Past President of NAIFA-MT. During his term, he focused on providing educational opportunities for NAIFA members in the state and promoting financial literacy through NAIFA-MT. He has also strongly promoted NAIFA membership, including leading a program aimed at recruiting Montana State Farm agents into NAIFA. He led a NAIFA-MT effort to require Montana high school students to complete a personal finance course prior to graduation. NAIFA-MT’s advocacy work resulted in a new law earlier this year that creates a financial literacy course requirement.