Kevin Mayeux is the CEO of NAIFA (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors), the premier professional home for agents and advisors. With immense leadership experience in international and domestic organizations for over 20 years, Kevin has been a strong advocate for organizational efficacy that brings exceptional results. He focuses his efforts on helping leaders achieve strategic financial success by sharing his expert opinion and building meaningful relationships with organizations and communities.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Kevin Mayeux talks about NAIFA’s recent changes that helped bring value to its members and community
- Kevin shares his methods for successfully streamlining a large-scale project in a short amount of time
- NAIFA’s professional opportunities and benefits for advisors
- Kevin’s tips on being an effective thought leader
- Kevin details the purpose of the National Leadership Conference (NLC)
In this episode…
Becoming a financial advisor can be daunting, especially if you are unaware of all the available resources that could enhance your professional journey. The opportunities for established advisors are invaluable assets for success. But how can you effectively take advantage of these resources to further your career?
For Kevin Mayeux, making such opportunities available for all types of financial advisors means actively working toward a better future for our country and community. He believes in bringing value to members, volunteers, and organizations and advocates for educating and empowering our society in achieving financial security.
In this episode of Advisor Today, Suzanne Carawan and Chris Gandy sit down with Kevin Mayeux, CEO of NAIFA (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors). Kevin is a longtime executive, entrepreneur, and community volunteer who actively advocates for building a better tomorrow. Suzanne, Chris, and Kevin break down advanced strategic methods for advisors, enhancing community engagement, and the upcoming opportunities for new and tenured thought leaders.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Christopher Gandy on LinkedIn
- Suzanne Carawan on LinkedIn
- Kevin Mayeux on LinkedIn
- Midwest Legacy Group
- Life Happens
Sponsor for this episode...
This episode is brought to you by Life Happens, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping consumers take personal financial responsibility through the ownership of life insurance and related products. The organization does not endorse any product, company, or insurance advisor.
Since its inception in 1994, Life Happens has provided the highest quality, independent and objective information for people seeking help with their insurance buying decisions. The organization supports the insurance industry by providing marketing tools and resources through its Life Happens Pro platform, and convening the industry each September for Life Insurance Awareness Month.
Life Happens is supported by more than 140 of the nation’s leading insurance companies and financial services organizations. To learn more, visit www.lifehappens.org.
Welcome to NAIFA's Advisor Today podcast series, where we focus on how financial advisors work, live and give to their local communities and our greater financial services industry. Now, let's get started with the show.
Chris Gandy 0:16
Hi, this is Chris Gandy, your co host of Advisor Today podcast, where we feature the top leaders in insurance and financial services. My co host, Suzanne Carawan is here with us today. And we have a wonderful guest, Kevin Mayeux join us today.
Suzanne Carawan 0:40
So since it's September, and we're all very aware that it's Life Insurance Awareness Month, we wanted to give a big shout out to life happens, a very close partner to NAIFA , obviously, they handle our consumer side. And what's great about this month is that we're not only participating in LIAM, but we're also making sure that everybody knows about LIAM knows about NAIFA members and the additional benefit they get if you sign up for life happens Pro, which is their marketing automation software, NAIFA members get a substantial discount. So we want to say Happy LIAM to everyone. And again, thank you life happens and all the work you do.
Chris Gandy 1:15
Awesome. So, Suzanne, thank you for that wonderful sponsorship message. And as we get into today's conversation, before we get going, we just want to say a special thanks to NAIFA for allowing us to be able to interview. Kevin Mayeux today. And so Kevin, without any further ado, I'm sure people have heard your name before. Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do for NAIFA? Specifically?
Kevin Mayeux 1:46
Alright, yeah, sure. Thanks again for having me here today. My name is Kevin Mayeux, I have the privilege of serving as NAIFA's chief executive officer, a role that I've held for a little more than seven years. And as the CEO, my responsibility is to manage our our headquarters, make sure we're delivering high quality member services to our members from coast to coast all around this great country, to help work in collaboration with the board and setting the strategic direction for the organization. And then again, just basically delivering value, and helping every NAIFA member be incredibly impactful as an advisor so they can better serve their clients, and hence the American society. And so I'm, I'm privileged to work for all of you out there that are NAIFA members. And of course, also for you, Chris is a member of our Board of Trustees.
Chris Gandy 2:30
Awesome. So So Kevin, let's see, let's get into the weeds a little bit or shall we? So So So So NAIFA Has, you've been at the helm and NAIFA has gone through some amazing changes in the past? Call it four or five years? In doing so, kind of what are some of the things that you've seen that that that really were NAIFA is going and you're proud to be a part of, Can you can you can you comment on on just at least one of those things, or two of those things that have really made it really exciting for you?
Kevin Mayeux 3:04
Yeah, sure. So NAIFA has, as you said, gone through a lot of changes over the past several years. And I think the first big leap that we took there was we got together a great cross section of our NAIFA members, young advisors, more tenured advisors, people that were serving in communities all across this country, folks have been volunteers for years and in different practice specialties, and folks that were newer to the organization. And we kind of re envision what we were as a professional association where we needed to head and this group came up with a strategic plan called NAIFA 2020. And what that did was it said, Hey, listen, we need to be highly impactful. And we need to do that by basically growing our membership size, delivering better services to our members. And then again, being reflective of where society is heading, and making sure that our members can operate in an environment where they can best serve their clients. And then we went through with is that plan was adopted by our membership. Several years ago, we went through a process of changing and evolving NAIFA to meet with that new strategic plan set. And with that, we went from having about 700 or so different associations out there, that all were labeled NAIFA. And they all did great work, but they didn't necessarily all communicate with each other very well. And sometimes were a little bit out of alignment on what they offered when they offered and sometimes even their policy positions on issues to basically be one streamlined association with 50 strong state chapters out there. And with about 3035, strong metropolitan chapters out there that are really making a difference and all moving in the same direction and all geared around again, helping our members be the best possible advisor that they can be. And that's been quite a change in our structure. It took us about 125 plus years to get there to make that change. But we did and what that NAIFA's now firing on all cylinders, and I think we're proving to the industry that we're indispensable to the industry success and hopefully we're proven and more and more advisor We were indispensable to their personal success, and encouraging them all to join and be part of our association.
Suzanne Carawan 5:06
Now, so I want to stop there for a second because Kevin, since I actually get the privilege of working for Kevin, I think that was an incredibly humble explanation, because I think everybody out there needs to know that the vote took place in May of 2018. Right, and we had 700 different legal and financial entities. And six months later, that thing was streamlined. So just I mean, how did you do it? Kevin? How did anybody, how did you get enough of the by it and just the volume of moving from a Federation to this professional, streamlined model? Any comments on that? Because that is it's incredible. I mean, I have the privilege of being here to witness it and go through that. Right. But I mean, the actual speed in which we did it. Incredible.
Kevin Mayeux 5:52
Well, I mean, Suzanne has, you know, because you were part of it, you know, what we did was we communicated with our members, and we were transparent. And we allow people to give input and to make sure that their input was taken into account. We had a number of townhall sessions, virtually and around the country, where we solicited feedback from our members about what do you want? And how do we get there. And then we've developed a plan, we bought it out, and we shopped it with them. And we asked for them to comment and ask him how we can make it better. And I think that degree of transparency, and trying to solicit input for our membership across the country, help the buy in occur. And then what that like everything else, change is a painful process. Sometimes it takes a lot of time and a lot of effort to overcome inertia. And to get that flywheel spinning, as they talked about in the book. Good, good to great. But I think we're doing that now. And I think with that the results are coming in. I mean, you've seen the fact that, you know, we went from after the Department of Labor put in place that fiduciary rule which was onerous and was a poor way to serve the American people, you know, we fought to have that invalidated by the courts. But then after that, we said, We've got to have a solution because the suitability model wasn't quite working anymore with a lot of policymakers. So we worked with the ACI, the NIC the SEC and others to develop this best interest model, which then the SEC adopted and then the NIC put in place as its kind of model for what the country should should do. And we've now had as of the date of this broadcast, 28 different states adopt that. And that's something that would not have happened, but for NAIFA's leadership. And so I think our new model is producing results. But like everything else, it takes a lot of effort from a lot of people, volunteers and staff alike to see change take place. But I'm, I'm grateful that our folks have been on the same page bought it and and now we're all rowing in the same direction.
Chris Gandy 7:37
So Kevin, let me ask a question. You mentioned a lot of great stats there. And, you know, everyone should take note of that. When you when you start to think about this association, of where we are today. How do individuals leverage or take advantage of some of the benefits that being a part of this aligned? You mentioned a couple words, alignment, in one. And coming from the sports world, many of you know I'm a recovering athlete, is that everybody wants to be number one. And then a team that is synced and can execute can get things done. So with that being said, How do I plug into on the outside looking in? How do I plug in? I know NAIFA's doing great things? How do I plug into the good stuff, the good stuff, some of the things that you guys are doing? And then how does that help me in my practice?
Kevin Mayeux 8:33
Okay, so first of all, if you're not a member of NAIFA, the first thing you do is join, you know, every advisor out there should be part of this professional association, because the the association itself does so much to elevate the opportunity for advisors to be successful, to help make sure the policymakers understand the incredible value of the products and services that our advisors offer, what that does for the American people, et cetera. So for every advisor out there, that's not a member, step number one join. Step number two, once you're in familiarize yourself with the resources that we have available, there's a ton of things that are available on demand on our website, that all of our members can access it every time. But candidly, to me, even more important is the ability to network with NAIFA members in your community, to draw those connections to to, you know, be able to bounce ideas off of peers and colleagues that have done the same kind of thing that you're doing, that maybe their experience can help you avoid some pitfalls, and can help you build on the best practices they've built. So you can be even more successful as an advisor. And then third, I would say you know, if you're really going to get in the trenches, so there's two different threes, three A and three, a one, and that would be get involved in our advocacy program, and help out at the state level and help out at the federal level. So policymakers understand the real impact. So the policies that they're considering and what that does on constituents back in their district, the client so that you serve. And then second, I would say, if you if you really want to make an even better difference volunteer, you know, we've got tons of opportunities for our members to be involved at the local level at the state level through one of our centers or on a committee. So figure out what kind of fires your professional jets and get involved at that level and help out and roll up your sleeves. Because in a big family like data, we can always use more people that are helping us do more good work. And there's plenty of opportunities for every advisor, no matter where she or he is, and their career path to get involved and to make a difference. And I think you'll you'll find it and Chris You can attest to this is as a as a member, and it's a very engaged volunteer, that it helps you produce better. And it also brings more professional satisfaction, because you're working with peers and colleagues that are like minded, and want to see this profession continue to add value to society. Awesome.
Chris Gandy 10:51
So So So Kevin, I got it. I got involved a long time ago, I think I started the business in 99. And I remember having the NAIFA lunches that they used to have, we used to come together locally, every every every Monday, and this was the lunch of champions, right? This was the lunch where my mentor said, this is where you go, if you want to learn how to be great at this. So of course, a young aspirant like myself, I'm saying I'm going every week, because here's the deal, meet as many people as you possibly can ask a lot of questions and, and be a sponge, that's what you need to be. So as a young adviser, let's shift gears, the future of NAIFA Our people that have either just joined, or they're not even here yet. So So So what are the benefits? Why would they new advisor? What is the opportunity for a new advisor? Why would I want to get involved in NAIFA? So really, why why not just wait, I'm gonna wait till I, I've made it already.
Kevin Mayeux 10:51
Yeah, so I'll give you a couple of thoughts. As for a new advisor, one, this industry, as you know, the learning curve is steep. And many people in order to get a solid footing, you have to build a solid client base, and many of them, it takes too long to build it, and then they don't wind up being successful. And the vast majority 84 85% of advisors drop out of this profession in the first five years NAIFA can help increase the likelihood that a new advisor will be successful. You know, we've had companies out there that have done internal studies, and they've they've looked at advisors, similarly situated in their career path, year one, year three, etc. And they found that on average, NAIFA members produce 42% More than non NAIFA members. So think just economically, that's a huge incentive. But on top of it, again, it's learning from your, from your peers, it's figuring out, you know, what works well, and finding out tips and tricks and how to do things better. So you can better optimize your chances of success. We have incredible programs out there, like the Oh UTC F program, which can teach you basic sales skills that can help make you much more successful as an advisor earlier in your career. And then with that, build a more solid client base, and then be able to make it truly make it in this profession. So getting involved early enhances your chances of success, and will also help you earn more money, which are two important things for every advisor.
Suzanne Carawan 13:17
Yeah, and I think it's a cultural thing, because I know, Chris, I've heard it from you, you know, you back to you kind of bringing up the team concept for the culture, part two of NAIFA, of kind of being in our communities is that no one if they know if you know, your peer over there knows you're struggling, and you tell them, hey, I need some help. NAIFA, members are like, we're not gonna let you fail period. Like that's just failure is not an option once you come into that NAIFA network, right. So I think there is kind of that element of teamwork and having, you know, people that put pressure on each other right to do the accountability piece, and to kind of keep trying to ratchet up the competition and the performance. So I think that's another kind of interesting part about NAIFA that I've never seen in it, I think it's a very different, a different nuance in it from an association standpoint. I mean, Kevin, you've been the head of many different types of association. Is that something that that's true? Do you find that to be unique to NAIFA?
Kevin Mayeux 14:10
I find it to be much more pronounced in NAIFA than many other groups. And I think you're totally spot on there, Suzanne, because it's creating the community but it's also NAIFA to so many of our members is more like a family. And you know, you don't you while occasionally you have a little scuffle with a family member every now and then you really love your family and you want to see everybody in your family be successful. And I think that that's what kind of binds together tons of NAIFA members from all across this country because they view this as not just an opportunity to learn and grow as a professional. But again, it's also a family of good people that you can rely on that can help you be better as a person and be better as an advisor. And I think that that's one of the things that makes this association so special.
Chris Gandy 14:55
Kevin, let's let's let's let's get into you know, we've got about 20 minutes, and I really, I really want our followers who's out there listening to kind of get to know Kevin? Right. And I mean, Kevin, you know, you're, you're a unique person, and most people don't get a chance to really talk to CEOs. And if we just take a look at who you are, what are some of the things you know, when you when you let your hair down, and you're not, you're not running this big, massive organization, and you're not a part of thought leadership? What do you like to do for fun? Oh, wow.
Kevin Mayeux 15:29
That's a dangerous question. So I really enjoy traveling, I really enjoy sporting events and concerts. And I also enjoy getting involved in my community, you know, so, in Florida, I'm a native Floridian. And I've been blessed to have worked in multiple places all over the country, the Midwest and the East Coast. And, and again, like Suzanne said, run, this is my fourth Association, that I've been in a leadership role on. But you know, I like to do, like you said, put my hair down to the extent that I've got any of it anymore. And it has, and just have a good time. You know, being able to go to a city and meet up with a friend and be able to go catch up, you know, a gator football game, or a Colts game, or a bucket ears game, or a nationals game or something like that. It's just something that really, really gets me excited. And you know, one of the great things about being involved, like we talked about the NAIFA family is you can have friends everywhere, because we've got our members located in every community across this great country. So I do that I enjoy boats and sailing. I've got a young well, not young age, he's 11 years old, now a little dog named Maximus. And he's a ton of fun and enjoys spending time with family and friends. And then, you know, on the professional side, I dabble in a few small ventures, including some stuff out in Hollywood, which is kind of fun to go out there and see what's happening out on the West Coast.
Chris Gandy 16:53
Kevin, Mayeux the superstar. So renaissance man you mentioned, he's the renaissance man. So Kevin, you mentioned leadership, I just want to, I want to tap into your your mindset on leadership, because I believe leadership is so important, right? And we lead by example. And we bring some other people with us, but being thought leader, so give me some comments. You know, if you have other people, specifically people sitting in their chairs, thinking about they want to lead a local organization, or they would like to be a part of the state leadership. Give us some thoughts around what is it? What do you think it takes to be a leader?
Kevin Mayeux 17:34
That's that's a really good question. I think what it takes is being genuine, I think what it takes is putting the organization and its members and its interests above yourself, you know, in many cases, I think it's, you know, being transparent. You know, I think a lot of a lot of folks, when I, they kind of have in the back of their mind, I'd like to be a leader in my organization. And they, they struggle with how to do it, I think the first step is you raise your hand, and you say, I'd like to help. Because most organizations are eager to have some fresh blood, get involved and to do something. And so if that set inside NAIFA, if that's a local chapter, or local affiliate, you know, it's saying, Hey, I'd love to help do something. And maybe you can help produce one of those weekly meetings or monthly gatherings or something, you can be the catalyst to make it happen. Or maybe it's just reaching out and saying, you know, I'm going to help us grow. So I'm going to bring a couple other advisors to that meeting, and encourage them to join NAIFA, because it's the right thing to do it. And then it's, you know, once you do that, it's nothing wrong with saying, hey, I really enjoyed it, I like to do a little more. And I'd like to be considered for our committee chairmanship or serving on our local board or on our State Board. And typically the people that raise their hand and say they want to help and then actually roll up their sleeves and do some work are the ones that are tapped with leadership opportunities. So I'd say if you want to do it, just step up and say, Hey, I'm here to help. But um, I want to roll up my sleeves and get engaged.
Chris Gandy 19:04
So So So Kevin, let's go from 10,000 feet down to five. I wanted to start today. Right, I'm out there, I'm listening to you. I'm motivated. I'm super excited. But I see that, you know, it's an uphill battle, because as we've talked, and everybody knows, you know, our industry is an aging industry. So I, I'm somewhat, I'm a young, I'm a yet I'm a young advisor, and I'm looking at the leadership. And I'm like, You know what, I think I have to be 65 years old with gray hair to do this thing. So so so so what can I do today, from a leadership perspective, to show that I am a person that that could potentially be a leader, what can I do today from your perspective, and it would actually be very helpful. Pull from it from from NAIFA organization, or from just a local or state. So,
Kevin Mayeux 20:07
again, get involved, go to the meetings, raise your hand and say, Hey, I'd like to organize something or be of service in some way. network with people, when you go to the meetings, don't just sit at the table and be quiet, go out and shake some hands. And you know, sentries yourself and say, Hi, I'm Chris Gandy. And I'm new to NAIFA. And, you know, I'm glad to be here. And let me tell you about what I do in my practice, etc. Ask them what they do exchange cards, if you still do those that important, and you know, or information about your cell phones, just swap phones and, and stay in contact with those folks. There we've had a great program and NAIFA called Lilly leadership and Life Institute, what a great way to get involved and learn. But on top of that, that's there's a small group and each Lilly class, that ones have been deeply connected friends, almost like a study group. And they continue that friendship beyond their Lily experience. So that's a great way to get involved locally. So I live in Orlando, I'm up in NRDC office a week or two a month. But when I'm down here in Orlando, I'll go to a central Florida meeting. And I do the same thing, and I meet people, but what I've been impressed with is we've got a large number of young advisors that are out here in this area, that have really raised their hand and done that same thing, they started organizing once a month, pop up socials at different locations, and people just go and they grab a beverage and they hang out for a bit to get to know each other as people. And I think that that's really helped those younger advisors get more involved and become officers in the local chapter.
Chris Gandy 21:32
Kevin, that's a great idea. Kevin just mentioned a popup social, that's something that can be done with a little bit of intent and actions behind that. It's something that's that's spontaneous, right. It's something that's definitely shows signs of leadership. And it Kevin we didn't mention is to bring someone who's not a member. Right. I think that's always on the back of my mind. You know, I will, I will say that every time I go to a NAIFA event, I take someone who is not a member. And the reason why is because we can't survive, we can't grow without new blood, new leadership, new memberships. So so those are things that are just awesome, you know, those great ideas, keep circulating knows. Let's shift gears for a second. Let's talk about there's there's something coming up about leadership or the NLC? Or is that the NFC or the AFC? You know, some people might get confused with football? because football is right around the corner, right? And it's here, right? And those big football people, but this is the n lc, can you can you talk about what that stands for and where it's at? And what happens there? What is the what is the NLC
Kevin Mayeux 22:43
The NLC is our National Leadership Conference. And it's an opportunity for all NAIFA leaders at all levels to get together. And we're going to gather in Washington, DC, November 13, through the 15th. Now we're going to have training opportunities to teach all of our folks again about the key activities are going on in a foot, but more importantly, what they can do in their leadership role to help move the needle in 2020 theory. And so we're going to talk again about membership growth, improving the member experience and being able to have more impact on the advocacy front. And we're going to plan out that work for 2023. And so it's in Washington DC at the Omni Shoreham hotel, November 13, to the 15th. And all naval leaders are invited. And when we get done with a day of training, we're going to have a celebration that night to celebrate all the great successes that we had as an association, and 2022. We're going to recognize some key award winners, including our diversity champion, our yet leader the year, our Terry Headley award winner, which is for excellence and advocacy, and the John Newton Russell Memorial Award winner, which is the top award in the entire profession, for someone who's given a lifetime of service to this industry, and to this profession. And so we're going to do all that. And then the next day, we're going to roll up our sleeves and do it NAIFA, members do all the time. And that is go to Capitol Hill, and meet with our policymakers about key things like the secure 2.0 Act, and other things and encourage them to vote and to do good things that can help advisors better help every American out there have more financial security. And so November 13, through the 15th and DC every day for volunteers, welcome. We'd love to see you there. So go to the Naval website and there's information you can register online.
Suzanne Carawan 24:25
And since you bring it up just a reminder to everyone. The nomination process in that timeframe for these awards is still open. It's not too late September 30 For most of them so another one that our advisor today or on magazines brand has for under 40 awards, and you can win that a lot of times at the chapter level, but also at the national level. So that was a many of our youth leaders of the year which is a young advisor who's been voted by their peers to be the the best of the best. Many of them came up through the ranks of being a national for under 40 winner and so you know if you're thinking about your own business and like what it helps you to be in front of our 55,000 subscribers who advisor today? Well, maybe that would be something that the case you're interested you say, Yeah, I can see how I could leverage that. And I can then tell my clientele and prospective clients. You know, here's what I do, I believe in, in my profession, and I'm part of my, my professional association, and I've been chosen as one of the top people in the United States. So, you know, just a couple of things to think about that might be of interest to anybody out there.
Chris Gandy 25:25
So, let's so most people don't. I know, from our perspective, they don't get a chance to actually hang out at the NAIFA headquarters. But I know, Kevin, you're super excited. Can you talk a little bit about how you and Suzanne, our wonderful co host how the two of you work together to help make NAIFA better for for for for its constituents like ourselves?
Kevin Mayeux 25:56
Yeah, sure. So we're blessed at NAIFA to have a team of highly dedicated, awesomely trained, you know, in the trenches type staff people that work in a variety of roles. You know, we've got, Suzanna, her amazing team, Suzanne heads up our marketing and communications function in the office, who get people to work with our chapters, and our members directly on making sure they have a quality member experience in their chapter has the right support that they need, again, to deliver value at the state or local level, we have an incredibly talented government relations team that's headed by Diane Boyle, that does work on our behalf not only in the United States Capitol and with our federal agencies in Washington, DC, but also with the NIC and coil. That's kind of that's the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and the National Conference of insurance legislators. We have people to work with all 50 of our state chapters around the country that again, help things like when we talked about that best centrist annuity standard getting that put into public policy, whether statutorily or through regulation in states all across this country. And then we've got just a gifted team in our finance department and our IT staff and our HR team, and just just in a professional development department that helped put on great programs for NAIFA. So we've we're blessed, we've got talent located all around the country, we don't require our staff to be located in the DC area, although all of our government relations people, the Federal ones are. But but we've got we've got great states and great great staff in the state of Ohio, and in Iowa, and in Florida, and Tennessee, and the Dakotas. And just all over the place. So we've got great people out there in the field. Well, Kevin, honored to work with Suzanne and her incredible team.
Chris Gandy 27:48
As am I get a chance to spend time with Suzanne on numerous fronts, both on our marketing side and also working with her to communicate, you mentioned alignment, and opportunity is helping her align and undo this wonderful, thought provoking podcast. And so it's fantastic. You know, Kevin, we know, we know you're busy. We don't want to take all of your time. But I want to ask you a question. If you could go back when you were a little when you were young, when you were younger kid, Little Kevin, you were a little Kevin. Could you see yourself doing what you do today? I always it's always interesting to kind of go back as I thought I was going to be a pilot, but then they told me I was too tall. And they said, Hey, listen, Chris, you came to sit in the pilot's seat? Yeah. No jets for you, buddy. You're six one and under only. So now I know that I can't do that. But you know, do you, you know, you go back and you leave think Did you see yourself always in this kind of, you know, big time role of kind of leading and being a part of something big like this.
Kevin Mayeux 29:02
So when I was six years old, I was sitting in my backyard on my swing set. And I looked up at the sky, and I said, you know, later I want to be the CEO of NAIFA. Just kind of happened. Yeah, I've always loved leadership roles and doing what I can as an individual to help make things better for people. And, you know, I initially thought I would do that I'm an attorney by trade. And I initially thought I would do that to the practice of law and then getting involved in state and then maybe federal elected politics. And that wasn't a career path for me, because as I practiced law for a year, candidly, I found out that a bored me and I just was like, I gotta do something else. Because I'm more than just help people with whatever this issue is. I want to use more parts of my brain. So I got involved in association management. And then with that, I've been able to work with some great groups that have done some great things over time. But with NAIFA Specifically, I get to work with amazing advisors from all across this country. troops, and a very talented, dedicated staff team that really does their best to make a difference in the public policy arena. So I get to check that box, but also in helping more people have better lives. And so it brings a lot of fulfillment to life. So, you know, I didn't want to being an astronaut or President United States, but I have met presidents, which is pretty cool. And, and I get to watch rockets go off as well. So
Suzanne Carawan 30:27
I think other fun Kevin facts is Kevin, you, you became an Eagle Scout at what 14? Is that right? For you for a long time? Yeah, I
Kevin Mayeux 30:37
earned it. I earned it right before my 14th birthday, because that was my goal. And then, you know, after that was able to do some more great stuff, and get involved with my university and make it different searches. So,
Chris Gandy 30:48
so good life. So Kevin, we're gonna let you go. Here's what we always do at the very end was called the lightning round. Okay, I'm going to ask you a question really quickly. So you know, you're a little bit on the hot seat. All right. Well, I'm asked you a question. You just give me an answer. First thing that comes to mind you ready? Okay. Got it. You mentioned you'd like to travel your favorite place you've gone.
Kevin Mayeux 31:13
Chris Gandy 31:14
Okay. You mentioned your your animals name is Maximus. Where did that name come from?
Kevin Mayeux 31:20
I think that's ironic to have a little dog and give them a big name.
Chris Gandy 31:25
The oxymoron. Got it. And Kevin. If you could, if you could go back and become a superhero. What would you become?
Kevin Mayeux 31:34
Oh, no doubt at all. Ironman. Absolutely, Ironman, Ironman, big fan, you know, a guy that was highly successful, to use his intellect to be able to build himself a suit and do great things. And Ironman didn't have superpowers. He was just creative and was able to use the resources around him to become a superhero. And then eventually, with a snap of a finger, save the world and bring back half of the universe.
Chris Gandy 31:58
All right, Mr. Kevin Mayeux thank you for your service. Thank you for all you do. You know, we couldn't we couldn't operate we could not do what we do without you. Thank you for serving thank you for for for just being a wonderful leader. And it's always great to be a part of your team and extension of your team. And and hopefully as we continue to work together, everybody out there in NAIFA land gets to know you. And if we want to see Kevin go up, he's very approachable, go up, shake his hand. Meet him and get in and hopefully as we see each other at the NLC, everybody gets to we get to go celebrate and uplift each other. With that being said I'll close it out. Suzanne, do you have anything else before we before we exit
Suzanne Carawan 32:47
I'm always famous for having one last thing so I did think of one last thing that I wanted to ask both of you because both of you are still have Anna which is so amazing and inspirational. Both of you are still heavily involved in your universities. So that's another kind of whole association that both you take seriously and your alumni capacity, but it occurred to me Kevin was also like Student Body President of University of Florida went very very proud. He's like a professional Gator. Right and and Chris, you're like a professional line I so it's got me thinking how many jerseys sweatshirts, piece of clothing? Do the two of you have your your respective universities? And you kept these things all these years?
Kevin Mayeux 33:27
All right, Kevin asked her that I have an entire closet here in my office full of jerseys.
Suzanne Carawan 33:33
And you have just not only Gator jersey, you've got all your others. But Chris, why don't you just keep all your jerseys too?
Chris Gandy 33:39
I by default, my mother has confiscated 90% of my jerseys. And my son has taken another 20%. So at this particular point, I still wear the ones it's funny people make fun of me because I show up with Illinois stuff with holes in it and everything else is because it's nostalgic, right? But yes, of course you keep those things. They'll be part of your life for the rest of your life.
Suzanne Carawan 34:02
Yeah, so I'll just wrap up that because that's another another great way to say like, Hey, are you going to be great at your professional association in your industry? You probably loved your university, right? And you're still a big fan and you support it. So if you haven't supported your university, that's another whole association to plug all of us universities. Yep.
Chris Gandy 34:20
All right. Awesome. So thanks, Suzanne. Thank you, Kevin. I'm going to close this out with a couple of the final thought is that you heard Kevin mentioned from the very top about leverage your ability to be able to leverage an organization we talked about, we want to be able to advocate differentiate, and the opportunity for us to come together and align and uplift and empower each other for the betterment of today and tomorrow. Thank you for attending today's advisor podcast. We love all of you and NAIFA and we look forward to seeing you next time. Thanks.
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