By Linda Lalande
Honoring role models in the insurance and financial community was the order of the day on Feb. 20 at local Los Angeles eatery, Taix French Restaurant. Nearly 100 people showed up to celebrate from the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) LA chapter, and the Society of Financial Service Professionals (SFSP), LA/Pasadena chapter.
The event was chock full of speakers, awards and recognition. The highest honor, the Will G. Farrell Award for 2020, went to Bill Foudy of Foudy Insurance, LA. Also present was the 2019 winner, Grant D. Fraser, CLU, ChFC of Fraser Financial Group in Beverly Hills. Named for Farrell in 1949, this award (and massive trophy!) is granted annually to a member of the life insurance industry distinguished for unselfish service to others in and out of the industry.
Speakers included local members plus guests such as Kevin Mayeux, CAE, NAIFA’s National CEO from Washington, D.C., and keynote Eleanor Johnson, CPA, CLU, CGMA, from Seattle.
Mayeux stressed the importance of supporting the professional community in his presentation. “It’s our 130thanniversary and we are focused on cultivating a culture of belonging to advance the cause of financial advising,” he said. “Advocacy is our cornerstone. We are working at the state and federal level to help legislators make the right decisions to get good things done – not just stop bad things from happening. Our voices are stronger together as we do the noble work of helping 9 million American families secure their financial futures.”
There are 400,000 in the profession, but only 25,000 in the organization, so opportunities for growth are abundant. “Being involved in a professional organization makes you a better producer,” Mayeux said. “We’re committed to elevating the profession by rolling out NAIFA 2020 strategic plan to make us more nimble, poised for growth. We are your voice, and we want to empower you to be wildly successful.” Look for more about the event and the 2020 effort at naifa.org.
The afternoon continued with Johnson’s keynote which was warmly received. Her topic “The Conversation BEFORE the Conversation: How to create a common dialogue that uncovers client priorities and motivates them to move forward with the implementation of planning strategies” revealed a fresh technique. Her “three buckets” level setting approach quickly sets the stage with both clients and advisors to have a productive planning conversation or to get previously “stalled” discussions back on track. She takes the focus from what assets we have, to what those assets are FOR by defining the buckets simply as Lifestyle: what you use in your daily life; Risk: how to protect your lifestyle; and Legacy: what you want to leave to others. Her down-to-earth, touching anecdotes brought her approach to life in a most engaging and practical way. For more details, reach out to Johnson at: linkedin.com/in/eleanorjohnson.
National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA)’s mission is to advocate for a positive legislative and regulatory environment, enhance business and professional skills, and promote the ethical conduct of its members. (www.naifala.org)
Society of Financial Service Professionals (SFSP)’s mission is to empower our members to deliver the highest level of ethical service to their clients, by promoting mutually beneficial multidisciplinary relationships and by providing high-level, top-quality educational opportunities in conjunction with industry experts and thought-leaders. (https://societyoffsp.org/lapa/)
Michael Mares, NAIFA-LA national committee person; keynote speaker Eleanor Johnson, CPA, CLU, CGMA; 2020 Will G. Farrell award winner Bill Foudy; NAIFA-LA President Joanna Dellosa, LUTCF, FSS, RICP, LACP; and NAIFA National CEO Kevin Mayeux, CAE, guest speaker.
President of SFSP-LA/Pasadena and event chair Don Harrington, CLU, ChFC, CFP, with 2019 Farrell award winner Grant D. Fraser, CLU, ChFC. Don coordinates the event for SFSP, and NAIFA-LA Executive Director Janet Fishman, J.D., (not pictured) coordinates for NAIFA-LA.
NAIFA-LA President-elect Glenn Crawford of Taylor Insurance & Financial Services, received an Agent of the Year award for the sixth consecutive year. Congrats!