Posts Tagged ‘awards’

Kristine M. Wolfe, CAE, Receives NAIFA’s 2014 C. Carney Smith Award

August 21st, 2014, Comments Off on Kristine M. Wolfe, CAE, Receives NAIFA’s 2014 C. Carney Smith Award.

Kristine M. Wolfe

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors has recognized Kristine M. Wolfe, CAE, with the association’s most prestigious honor in association management: the C. Carney Smith Award. Wolfe has served as the executive director for NAIFA-Greater Detroit since 2005 and previously held the position from 1985-1987.

“I am very pleased to congratulate Kris Wolfe as NAIFA’s 2014 C. Carney Smith Award recipient,” said NAIFA President John Nichols. “Her service to NAIFA members in the Detroit area and nationally is an inspiration to all of us who revere this great association. It’s the work of Kris, and dedicated executives like her around the country, that has helped make NAIFA so successful over the past 125 years.”
Wolfe is the 39th recipient of the C. Carney Smith Award. The award was created to honor the legacy of C. Carney Smith, CLU, who served as the National Association’s Executive Vice President for 15 years, ending in 1978. Established in 1976, the C. Carney Smith Award promotes the advancement of professionalism in the field of association management among NAIFA state and local associations. Through the years, it has come to symbolize a lifetime achievement award for association executives. The recipient is chosen by his or her peers, who strive to select an executive who embodies the very best of what NAIFA stands for: education, involvement, integrity and service to others.

“Hands down, Kris is one of the finest executives I have ever worked with,” said NAIFA-Greater Detroit 2013-2014 President Michael D. Vukich. “She is a real pro in all aspects of her life. She’s talented, motivated, dedicated and a natural leader. She just makes things happen—and always the right way.”

“Kris ranges from cheerleader to task master for the NAIFA-Greater Detroit Board, and she seems to know which hat to wear at the appropriate time to encourage the Board to stay ever-vigilant regarding membership recruiting and retention,” said NAIFA-Greater Detroit 2012-2013 President Gregory R. Kreiner. “She is respected and well-liked by our membership, and she is always cheerful and ready to serve them above and beyond.”

Wolfe’s achievements include:

  • Wolfe plans and executes the NAIFA-Greater Detroit annual Sales Congress. Due largely to her efforts, attendance at the event has exceeded 400 in each of the last four years and more than 40 exhibitors have purchased booths. She secures sponsors and prominent speakers for the event, which receives strong approval ratings from attendees.
  • As part of a membership partnership with NAIFA-National, Wolfe secured 40-plus new memberships during the 2014 Sales Congress, setting a federation record for securing the most new memberships at a one-day event. Due to this and other efforts, NAIFA-Detroit achieved membership growth during the past membership year.
  • Under Wolfe’s leadership, the financial reserves of NAIFA-Greater Detroit have increased. She emphasizes that all expenditures must have a goal of growing membership or providing services to members.
  • Among other public relations work, Wolfe has done a cable TV interview on Life Insurance Awareness Month and initiated a partnership with D Business magazine, Detroit’s premier business publication, to promote NAIFA membership.
  • Wolfe sits on the Estate Planning Board at Oakland University; has served as the executive director for the Financial and Estate Planning Council of Metropolitan Detroit since 2005 and FSP Detroit Chapter since 2005. She has been a member of the American Society of Association Executives since 2007 and the Michigan Society of Association Executives since 2010, and earned the CAE designation in 2013.
  • Wolfe received NAIFA’s Jack E. Bobo Professional Education Scholarship in 2007; chaired the NAIFA Association Executives Advisory Council in 2012; has been the local executive liaison for NAIFA’s Subcommittee on Political Involvement since 2013; and is a 2011 graduate of NAIFA’s Leadership in Life Institute.


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Sy Sternberg Named 2014 John Newton Russell Memorial Award Winner

April 30th, 2014, One Comment ».

The life insurance industry’s highest honor will be presented at the NAIFA Career Conference and Annual Meeting in September as a tribute to his more than 40 years of service and contributions to the industry.

sternbergsyThe National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors is proud to announce Sy Sternberg, former CEO and Chairman of the Board of New York Life Insurance Company, as the recipient of the 73rd annual John Newton Russell Memorial Award. The award is the highest honor accorded by the insurance industry to a living individual who has rendered outstanding services to the institution of life insurance.

Mr. Sternberg will receive the award September 7, 2014, at the NAIFA Career Conference and Annual Meeting in San Diego.

“Sy Sternberg has done as much to advance the institution of life insurance and the agency  distribution system as anyone in the industry,” said Terry K. Headley, LUTCF, LIC, FSS, chair of the 2014 John Newton Russell Award Committee. “The selection committee considered a very strong slate of nominees this year, but ultimately we were honored to unanimously select Sy as the 2014 John Newton Russell Memorial Award recipient.”

As chairman and CEO, Mr. Sternberg successfully steered New York Life to focus on its core values as a provider of life insurance and annuities. Under his leadership, New York Life became the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States and one of the largest life insurance companies in the world. He provided strong support for insurance agents at New York Life, instituting valuable training courses and resources for the company’s field force and promoting improved communication between upper management and agents.

A strong advocate for the life insurance industry, Mr. Sternberg played a key role in shaping industry positions on such issues as regulatory reform and tax reform. His chairmanship of the American Council of Life Insurers encompassed the events of 9/11, upon which he encouraged insurance companies to pay claims quickly and without bureaucratic delays.

Mr. Sternberg has been a strong supporter of industry organizations, including the LIFE Foundation, AALU, GAMA, MDRT and NAIFA. Under his leadership, New York Life was the first company to adopt the GAMA/MDRT mentoring program. He developed and implemented several creative and successful programs to increase NAIFA membership among New York Life agents.

“Sy is known as a great friend to insurance agents and a vigilant advocate for the life insurance industry,” said NAIFA President John F. Nichols, MSM, CLU. “As well as anyone, he understands the important role agents play in providing financial security for 75 million American families. For his significant industry contributions and accomplishments, Sy is a well-deserved recipient of the 2014 John Newton Russell Memorial Award.”

John Henry Russell created the John Newton Russell Award in 1942 as a tribute to his father, an influential leader in the life insurance industry and an early advocate of agent education. John Newton Russell served as NAIFA (then NALU) president from 1916 to 1917 and was a contributing founder of LIMRA International, The American College and the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation.

“I know several recipients of the John Newton Russell Award and never considered the possibility that I would be asked to join this prestigious group,” Mr. Sternberg said. “The JNR Award is a truly unique and very special recognition because it’s awarded by a committee representing every facet of the industry − from agents to life insurance companies, from educational organizations to research. All I can say, is thank you for this great honor.”

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