As a child, Jeff Brittain, CLF, LTCP, knew one thing: he didn’t want to work in insurance. His father is a State Farm agent and Brittain remembers helping him with filing on the weekends and vowing, “I will never be an insurance agent.” As it turns out, life has a sense of humor. After graduating college, he took a job with State Farm, and he’s stayed for the last 30 years.
Making a Difference
Brittain was an insurance agent for 4 years and has been in leadership roles ever since. As a sales leader, he loves his job—attracting and developing new agents who will continue helping more communities and more people long after he retires. “It's not about my legacy. It's about helping others reach their potential," he says. “I love waking up every day and working with an agent who's talented and getting them from here to there to there.”
When hiring new talent, Brittain looks for people who are self-starters, motivated, and always focused on improving. “They should be agile and able to manage systems and multitask and balance that with the drive to grow in their business,” he begins. “It’s about what's inside of them.”
He talks about one experience as an agent that reinforced for him the importance of his work. Early in his career, he wrote a life insurance policy for the husband of a colleague and good friend. The man was a 38-year-old Army helicopter pilot and instructor who was six months away from retirement. One day when riding along with a student, the helicopter flew into a fog bank and crashed, and Brittain’s client died in the accident.
Even though he had coverage through the Army, Brittain’s client had decided to get a life insurance policy through State Farm as well. The policy had an aviation exclusion, but the exclusion only applied if his client was flying at the time of the accident. The student had been flying, and State Farm paid out the claim in under 2 weeks while his other life insurance policy paid out several months later. Because of the policy Brittain and his client set up, his family was protected. They were able to stay in their house and keep their children in college. “That made a big difference to [my friend]. It made me feel good about what I did and put the passion in me for financial services and life insurance,” Brittain says.
Becoming a NAIFA Member
A former member, Brittain decided to rejoin NAIFA with encouragement from his peers at State Farm, NAIFA-VA President Tim Westerman, MBA, LUTCF, and NAIFA Senior Director of Membership Outreach and Engagement Randy Clark. “[Tim] reminded me of the duty to support our professional organization,” Brittain says, adding, “Randy really helped with that as well. He made a great point that doctors pay for the AMA and probably don't even think twice about it. Lawyers pay for the Bar Association and don't even think twice about it. NAIFA is our version of those two things, and we shouldn't even think twice about it.” After Brittain rejoined NAIFA, 15 of his agents signed up as well.
Outside of the Office
When he’s not working, Brittain stays involved in his community. He volunteers with his church as well as Achievable Dream, a local school for underprivileged children. He is also a Past President of his rotary club and served on the board of the local Red Cross. He is currently working toward his pilot’s license and plans to donate his time to flying medicine in third-world countries when he retires. "When you can match your passion with a purpose, magic will happen,” he says. Brittain also loves spending time with his wife of 27 years, his three grown sons, and his grand-dog.
Thank you, Jeff, for your hard work and dedication. We look forward to a bright future in the association for you and are #NAIFAproud to call you one of our own.