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NAIFA Members Serve Main Street USA

Mardi Woods is dedicated to promoting financial literacy in her community, from her work with youth organizations to her insurance and financial practice at New York Life.

Woods entered the insurance and financial services industry in 2018. After spending time in the corporate world and taking time to raise her family, Woods wanted to find a career she could retire from. She was looking into several options when a friend at New York Life encouraged her to apply.

Right away, Woods knew she wanted to be involved in the work New York Life was doing. She connected with their mission and recognized a need to share what she learned with the African American community. She dedicates herself to dispelling myths about insurance and helping people understand the difference between various insurance and financial products, such as term and permanent life insurance policies, so they can make informed choices for themselves and their families.

Woods uses a holistic approach to financial literacy. “My mission is to educate, and expose people to concepts, perhaps that they are unaware of, and then to engage them and how they can make it work for their family,” she says. Woods guides her clients through all four levels of financial planning: protection, wealth creation, distribution, and legacy.

In October 2021, Woods processed her first life insurance claim, a policy for her cousin’s husband. While it was a painful time for her family, Woods took comfort in knowing her cousin’s family was protected.

While she works with a diverse population, Woods' passion is working with women, business owners, and young adults. Her goal is to make a difference for generations to come, which shows in her volunteer work. She is involved with the Detroit chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., of which she was president from 2009-2011 and has served at the state, regional and national levels. The group serves the community with a five-point program: economic development, educational development, physical and mental health, international awareness and involvement, and political awareness and involvement.

Woods is also involved in Jack and Jill of America and supports the Midnight Golf Program. Jack and Jill of America is a nonprofit group aimed at strengthening youth and preparing them for leadership. The Midnight Golf Program works with 250 at-risk youth, teaching golf, providing a hot meal, and preparing them for college and professional careers.

Outside of work and volunteering, Woods spends time with her husband and children. She also loves travelling and plans to take her mother to Hawaii for her mother’s 75th birthday next year. She likes the flexibility of being able to serve her clients while travelling. She is licensed in 14 states and can easily work remotely with just a phone and a computer.

Woods learned about NAIFA while attending a NAIFA-sponsored conference in Detroit. After hearing about our lobbying efforts, Woods was excited to become a NAIFA member. She is determined to help make financial literacy a required part of school curriculum, from elementary school through high school. "When I attended the conference here in Michigan and heard that the organization was lobbying on Capitol Hill, I was really excited,” Woods explains. "I was always thinking, ‘Someone should be lobbying for financial education as a requirement in schools,' so finding out that NAIFA was lobbying on Capitol Hill is what really prompted me to want to be a member.”

Thank you, Mardi Woods, for your service to our industry and association. We’re #NAIFAproud to call you one of our own.

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