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.
The Keys to Success
The most important qualities for an agent or advisor, Meneely says, are likeability, trustworthiness, an aptitude for numbers, and an entrepreneurial spirit. “I don't recruit people who want to be managed,” he says. “I recruit people who say, 'Teach me, train me, and get out of the way.’”
What It’s All About
While many join the insurance and financial services industry for the freedom of time and money, Meneely’s focus is on helping people have peace of mind. “Most of us come into the business for the dreams of time freedom and money freedom,” he begins. “The day you get to the point where you’re not doing this for personal gain, then you’ve arrived.” Meneely says the most gratifying times in his career are when he can look a client in the eye and say, “You’re going to be ok. You can retire and enjoy life.”
Meneely recalls one experience when he knew he changed lives for the better. One of his close friends went under anesthesia for routine sleep apnea surgery. He never woke up from that surgery, but because of his life insurance policy, his wife who was eight months pregnant, and her 7-year-old daughter were protected.
NAIFA’s Political Advocacy
Political advocacy is critical in the insurance and financial services industry, says Meneely. He refers to pending legislative changes and emphasizes the crucial need for fellow professionals to advocate for Main Street USA. “We have to stay focused,” he says. “We have to make sure we can still do things that are beneficial for our clients.” Meneely has attended several legislative meetings at the local and state level and is excited to attend NAIFA’s Annual Congressional Conference in Washington, D.C., on May 23-24.
The Value of NAIFA
Early in his career, Meneely was told he needed to join NAIFA (then NALU). When took a course for the Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) designation, NAIFA-National Past President Terry Headley was his first instructor and later became a great friend and mentor to Meneely.
Now the President of NAIFA-Omaha, Meneely is grateful for the training and mentorship he received from seasoned NAIFA members. He credits NAIFA with providing the foundation for his success, saying, “I wouldn't have survived in this business without NAIFA.”
Meneely is sometimes asked why he attends NAIFA meetings with professional competitors, but he says he doesn’t see it that way. “True NAIFA members aren’t there to be your competition. We work hard to help each other be successful,” he begins. “I learned from sitting down and visiting with the other associates and agents [at NAIFA meetings] and seeing what they're doing.”
Outside of the Office
When he’s not working, Meneely enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf, and traveling. He’s active in his church and has coached sports teams for over 32 years, including baseball, football, and wrestling.
For his service to his community and our industry and association, we’re #NAIFAproud to have Jay Meneely as a part of our NAIFA family.