We are a national IMO insurance agency that has been in existence for over 40 years, and represent 35 to 40 insurance companies. Our practice includes fixed insurance products and securities products offered through our national broker/dealer. We work with more than 500 representatives around the country.
I’ve been a NAIFA member my entire career. At first, I was uncertain about NAIFA with respect to my career. But what I found was an association of people who were coming together to advocate for our industry and share our challenges and knowledge. Early on, NAIFA was instrumental in solidifying my decision to stay in this business and helped me succeed.
I started in property casualty and was laid off early on. I had to move 50 miles away to open a practice and traveled 62 miles each day, one way. Without the benefits of my NAIFA membership, I doubt my career would have worked out as well as it has. NAIFA is full of successful people who are both great examples of how to get the job done and are also willing to share that knowledge.
My volunteer time with NAIFA – and I’ve held every position imaginable – was invaluable. At the local and state levels, I’ve run organizations of 600 people and 3,000 people, respectively. I’ve had the opportunity to work with people whose success dwarfs mine. I couldn’t get that experience anywhere else.
There are also practical, everyday benefits of being a NAIFA member. For example, our discount on computer hardware is unmatched for small businesses. I’ve taught the LUTC course and had the opportunity to help others learn what I know about our business. NAIFA’s opportunities cover so much of what we do, that even though I’ve been a member a long time I still find benefits that are new and useful.
As a statement of our commitment to NAIFA and the benefits that are derived from membership, our company pays all NAIFA dues for our representatives. That’s how important I think NAIFA membership is to our profession. From advocacy to member benefits, there is no better investment that I have made in my career.
A.J. (Andy) Kalinowski, CLU, CFP, RHU
Upstate Special Risk/Lifemark Securities
NAIFA Member Since 1972