Our clients look to us to lead them both in word and deed as trusted advisors. If you are going to advise a product that you should own, then you need to take action to purchase it yourself. Over the years, I have seen hundreds of agents who will carefully analyze their clients’ needs while giving little or no thought to their own.
2 min read
In 1993, Sheryl Hickerson faxed her resume to MassMutual—by accident. But they called her back and offered her an interview. Nearly 30 years later, it’s the best mistake she’s ever made.
Serving Main Street USA
Hickerson is the founder and CEO of Females and Finance, a private vetted community that offers support for hiring, mentoring, training, and advancing women. In her practice, Hickerson is especially passionate about helping families. “Women are often the glue in families,” she begins. “I’ve seen far too many friends displaced from their homes because of a lack of insurance.” With so many advisors focused on high-net-worth individuals, the industry doesn’t have nearly enough advisors focused on Main Street Americans, she says.
4 min read
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in finance, Next Level Founder and CEO Danny O'Connell moved to Dallas and started his career at an investment firm, but he didn’t find his passion until he was recruited into insurance and employee benefits. Once he found his niche, he never looked back.
In 2016, O’Connell founded Next Level Insurance Agency. Next Level takes a holistic approach to employee benefits covering all employer needs from startups to companies with hundreds of employees. With a growing firm, Next Level has the ability to adapt to each client’s needs. While many larger agencies use a one-size-fits-all approach to their clients, the Next Level team tailors their services to each client’s needs. “We want to be nimble and bring the right solution to our clients, not just try to fit them all into the same round hole,” O’Connell says.
1 min read
NAIFA Past President John A. Davidson, LUTCF, FSS, was featured in this month’s InsuranceNewsNet Magazine. Davidson discusses the role of building meaningful relationships for insurance and financial professionals, for whom personal and professional relationships often overlap.
Topics: Advocacy Federal Advocacy
3 min read
We are increasingly aware of the importance of staying secure in a world where cyber threats increase day by day. Heightened awareness around the Ukraine-Russia geopolitical tensions has taken cybersecurity to the next level. There are alerts and notices coming across multiple sources from regulatory bodies to industry-specific regulators, government agencies, consulting firms, and more. Samples include White House Cybersecurity Briefing, CISA (Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency), NYDFS, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity Intelligence Warning, and Accenture’s Cyber Threat Intelligence group.
Alongside these continued tensions between Russia and Ukraine is the potential for increased cyber threat activity. With military attacks, we should assume there will be accompanying cyber attacks.
3 min read
Don’t miss NAIFA’s 7th Annual Diversity Symposium on May 23, 2022, in Washington, D.C. Each year, NAIFA spotlights the importance of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the insurance and financial services industry to provide opportunities for financial security to all Americans.
This year’s event will take place on May 23, immediately followed by the kickoff of NAIFA’s 2022 Annual Congressional Conference. Join powerful industry DEI thought leaders for this free event.
2 min read
Tinja Anderson is passionate about serving her clients and her community.
Serving Main Street USA
After spending a decade doing strategic sales and communications consulting for Fortune 500 companies, Tinja Anderson decided to make a change. “In consulting, it's all about business; it's never personal,” she says. When she joined MassMutual Greater Houston in 2018, she found that she liked the personal connection with her clients. Now, she provides comprehensive financial planning services, from fee-based planning to executive compensation to employee benefits.
3 min read
Examples of Following the Code
When we think about the NAIFA Code of Ethics, we are a third of the way through 2022, and this is a good time to review how some of the key activities either about to occur or that have already occurred reflect on our ethical standards.
2022 Congressional Conference in Washington, D.C.
One of our key activities that occurs each year and will soon be held is the 2022 Congressional Conference in Washington, D.C. We can be proud of the active involvement of NAIFA members in the political activities that ensure our democracy in our country will survive and thrive.
Topics: Diversity & Inclusivity COVID-19 Ethics
4 min read
NAIFA President Lawrence Holzberg and CEO Kevin Mayeux joined NAIFA-Greater Washington, D.C., members Brock Jolly (NAIFA Treasurer), Ryan Buck (chapter President), Paul Dougherty (NAIFA Past President), Randy Scritchfield (NAIFA Past Trustee), Brian Haney (NAIFA Young Advisor Team Leader of the Year) and others at this year’s NAIFA-GWDC Success Summit. Joining in from outside of NAIFA-GWDC were NAIFA Trustee Dennis Cuccinelli and past YAT Leader of the Year Carina Hatfield.
Mayeux spoke about how NAIFA is executing on its NAIFA 2025 strategic plan to grow membership, amplify the NAIFA brand, and enhance the membership experience. He also previewed the NAIFA Foundation for Financial Security focused on improving financial literacy in the United States by building a broader base of financial professionals by bringing more quality people into the profession. “We’re going to reach into diverse communities all across this country and bring more people who look like the broad tapestry of America into the profession,” he said.
Holzberg held a Q&A session with NAIFA members. He spoke of the advantages that NAIFA members have when it comes to surviving and thriving in the industry. NAIFA advocates on behalf of members and helps differentiate them from others in the industry, he said. The association also provides important connections that help NAIFA members enhance their careers and grow personally. “I’ve been honored to be in NAIFA for over 30 years,” Holzberg said. “If not for this association, I would not know as much as I have learned. Better yet, I wouldn’t have a network of people I can reach out to. In this area, Paul Dougherty, Keith Gillies in Louisiana, my good friend Tom Michel in California. I’ve developed a range of people and a network of friends who, one, are there for you because that’s what we do in our industry, and two, have helped educate me.”
Keynote speakers for the morning session were Dave Resseguie, the Founder and Chief Shepherd of The Resseguie Group and a contributing columnist for Advisor Today, and Megan Carpenter, CEO and Co-Founder of FiComm Partners, and Candice Carlton, the firm's Head of Advisor Education.
Afternoon keynote speakers were Bill Acheson, a business and body language expert, and Morris Morrison. The presentation by Morrison elevated and inspired the crowd and provided a preview of his high-energy and motivational style that will be on display at NAIFA’s Apex sales summit at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, August 17-18.
Topics: NAIFA Events Professional Development
3 min read
Steve Cain is a self-described “LTC insurance nerd” dedicated to being a lifelong learner and advocating for Main Street USA.
A 25-year veteran of the insurance industry, Cain started his insurance career after playing two years of minor league baseball. When he returned home to Los Angeles, he took a temporary job providing support for a company specializing in long-term care (LTC) insurance. He learned about LTC from his job, but he learned its value from watching his mother handle LTC events for both of her parents. He saw the impact dealing with LTC without proper planning had on her and knew he needed to help families like his own.