It was the summer of 1993; I had finished college the year before and was enjoying my Scottsdale bartending job. My dad, who had been in the insurance business for 14 years at that point, encouraged me to apply for a job as an Insurance Agent. He said they were hiring and thought I would be a good fit. At the time, I was running the bar with another employee, and he just turned 30, so old! I thought to myself, I did not go to college to be a 30-year-old bartender. If it
doesn’t work out, I can always go back behind the bar! I applied, passed all the tests, and was hired. I remember when I completed my 10-week contest, they flew us back to Illinois for some more training and to celebrate our successes.

It was then that I heard that 75% of all agents fail in the first 2-3 years. There were 8 of us in that class, and I finished 3rd  Even with my ASU math, I could figure out that I was already on the outside looking in. At that time, I knew I was going to have to work much harder as this was going to be more difficult than I imagined. I spent the first 5 years of my career plodding along, doing just enough to pay the bills and barely avoiding getting terminated.

When one day, a local NAIFA representative spoke at our company’s sales convention. I had no idea who or what NAIFA was, not knowing we even had a professional association. I loved the idea of meeting with other insurance agents and learning successful sales practices. It wasn’t long before I completed my LUTCF and ChFC, served on various committees of NAIFA-Tri-City including being President, and finally being the President of NAIFA-AZ.

Looking back on my now 30-year career, there are so many people to thank, but these stood out the most. First, my dad, without him I never would have started in this business. I know he is looking down and smiling at how successful I have been. Lars Hansen was the local NAIFA representative that spoke that day and encouraged me to sign up. He is the reason I joined NAIFA! Doug McMurray was the  instructor for my 1st LUTCF class. He was kind, positive, and made me believe that I could make a lasting career out of this.

Lastly, I’m going to leave you with the three rules that I have followed. I do believe they have shaped my career and allowed me to retain so many of my clients. One, return every phone call. Two, do what you say you are going to do. Three, tell the truth. Follow these simple rules and you too can have a great career as an insurance agent!

It has been my pleasure to serve you and NAIFA. I am very honored and proud to receive this award.

Thank you.