Advisor of the Year
Mike Ford is a 40+ year veteran of the financial services industry. Mike and Beverly, his wife of 52 years, have four children and seven grandchildren, and have been Valley of the Sun residents since 1985. After seventeen years as an independent agent, he transitioned from personal production into a management role with a local life and annuity wholesaler in 1989.
He founded the Pro-Formance Financial Group, Inc. in 1995 and after 24 successful years growing the business, he merged with Simplicity Group where he is a Partner and the Principal of Simplicity Glendale. Simplicity Group is one of the largest and fasted growing Financial Services Companies in the US.
Many of you know Henry GrosJean as a past
President of NAIFA AZ. Henry introduced Mike
to NAIFA (NALU then) in 1993 and threatened to take his business elsewhere if Mike didn’t join NAIFA. Mike says that turned out to be one of the best decisions of his career. Mike immediately became involved with NAIFA West Valley. He served on the West Valley board and served as President of NAIFA West Valley from 1998 to 2000. Mike then joined the State board and served as NAIFA AZ President for 2015 – 2016. Mike is a LILI Grad and was LILI Moderator for the LILI class of 2020/2021.
Per Mike, “NAIFA is a great organization, and I can’t imagine my career without the influence of the wonderful friends I have been blessed to know through NAIFA. I’m just an ordinary guy and I feel like there are many of you that deserve recognition more than me. I am very humbled and deeply grateful to receive this honor.”
It was 1972. I was 21 years old and having a successful career in the retail business. My good friend’s father was the President of a Life Insurance company in Springfield, Il and was always trying to recruit me to sell life insurance for his company.
On a Friday night my boss, Mr. Shook was driving home. He had a blowout and lost control of his car. He slammed into a tree and both he and his 8-year-old son were killed instantly. Mr. Shook was 40 years old. The thing I remember most about that tragedy was that his wife and daughter were left without a husband and father and because he didn’t have life insurance, they were also left financially devastated. That event was instrumental in my decision to make a career change and I entered the insurance industry as a life insurance agent.
Fast forward 15 years. My friend Bob was driving home from a doctor’s appointment and had an allergic reaction to his medication. He pulled over but by the time help arrived it was too late. Bob passed away. Bob was 38 years old. He was survived by his wife Stephanie and3 sons. Bob left them prematurely without a husband and father, but he left a $1.2 million dollar life insurance policy and Stephanie and her boys never had to worry about money.
These two events had a profound impact on my life and caused me to commit myself to becoming the best insurance advisor I could possibly be so that my clients would be prepared financially when life happens.
In 1989 I came out of personal production and became a consultant to insurance and financial advisors and for the past 30 + years I have helped agents create solutions so that their clients are protected in both good times and bad. We’re in a life changing business and that’s why I love what I do.
The best part of me is my beautiful wife Beverly who has been my biggest fan for the past 52 years and blessed us with four wonderful children. I’m just an ordinary guy and I feel like there are many of you that are a part of our great business that deserve recognition more than me.