1-800-345-2687 lamp@gamaweb.com

SUPER SESSION SPEAKERS

LAMP has a long history of providing top-notch speakers that introduce first-line and front-line leaders to innovative, relevant and forward-thinking strategies, techniques, and tools to help them build their business in the year ahead. All sessions undergo a rigorous peer-vetting process and each speaker must provide an innovative insight into growth and development, a forward-thinking tactical takeaway or a breakthrough trend or tool for action that has been previously tested.

RECRUITING

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Josh Becker
Partner

Strategies for Wealth

Josh Becker is a Partner of Strategies for Wealth, a leading agency of the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. As Partner of the 82-year-old firm, Josh and more than 160 associates have helped thousands of clients significantly increase their wealth, control their assets and maximize their ability to enjoy their wealth and their life.Josh began his career in the industry in 1986. Before joining Strategies in 1997, he managed agency offices in Minneapolis, MN. Under Josh’s leadership, the Firm has led Guardian in core product sales for the last 15+ years; and, the agency has won the President’s Cup Award for the best overall performance in production, recruiting, agent development, and training in 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2012 and 2015. In 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2013 and 2015 the agency won the Medallion Platinum Award. The Firm has also been one of Guardian’s Platinum Agencies since 1998 and has won the National Life Insurance Award since 2000. The Firm has also received the Guardian Quality Agency Award fourteen times (1985, 1988, 1996, 1998-2002, 2004-2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2014, 2015) and the Productive Growth Award since its inception through 2014. The firm has also won Guardian’s Regional-Northeastern representative “Power of 12” Agency Award eight of the last nine years. Josh and his firm are proud supporters of the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center. Strategies for Wealth has raised over 1 million dollars in 14 years for this Children’s Hospital. The firm is also involved each year in New York Cares Day Winter Adaptive Games, the Child Abuse Prevention and Protection Program of NYC, and NYU Cancer Institute’s Melanoma Research Program. He is responsible for overall operations, management development and talent acquisition for the Firm’s three offices. Under Josh’s leadership, Strategies for Wealth ranked 8th in Crain’s Best Places to Work in NYC in 2013, and #82 in 2016. Josh and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Connecticut and have three children. Outside of the office, he enjoys playing golf, landscaping and spending time with his family.

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Loren Hansen
Managing Partner

Thrivent – Chicago Land Region

As the Partner with Thrivent Financial in the greater Madison, WI area, I lead and recruit top sales talent into meaningful careers where I coach, mentor, and inspire my team to succeed in their businesses and be valuable resources to their Christian communities. As a top performing Partner at Thrivent Financial, an award winning, best places to work, Fortune 500 Company, I am honored to provide leadership, mentorship and guidance to our team. I am seeking to meet and connect with professionals who are passionate about helping others to be wise with money and live generously and to understand how Thrivent can make a greater difference in the community through partnership.

Michael Kane
Managing Partner

Penn Mutual

With over 10 years of experience in the financial services industry, Michael has dedicated his career to building an elite team of Financial Services Representatives in the New York market. Michael has a track record of developing teams comprised of both highly productive, experienced representatives who are driving to take their career to new heights, as well as a host of young professionals who are eager to learn from them.

Prior to joining Empire Wealth Strategies, Michael was a Managing Sales Director with Barnum Financial. He is a member of GAMA as well as AALU. In 2007, he graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Financial Management. He is a member of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association.

Michael’s passion for the financial services industry is driven by the idea that individuals can achieve the three essential “I’s”: Independence, income, and most importantly impact.

In his spare time, Michael enjoys golf, tennis, traveling and cheering on the VT Hokies Football Team. Michael resides in New York City with his wife, Mara and daughter, Claire.

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Meghan Wilke
Manager, Agency Sales Recruiting

Mutual of Omaha

Meghan Wilke has been in the industry since 2007 when she began as an advisor. From that role she stepped into leadership as a recruiter and is currently in the home office managing recruiting for the agency distribution at Mutual of Omaha. She has made recruiting her focus and spends her time learning how to build a more productive advisor, manage cultural change, and attract professionals who are new to the advisor career. She started her involvement with GAMA as a LoTT Taskforce member and helped see the LoTTers into their committee status. Currently, Meghan serves on the GAMA Women’s Leadership Committee and is a National Director of WIFS. Meghan is also actively involved in giving back to her community and is proud to have held various leadership roles at a local organizations and most recently to have created a successful Toy Drive for refugee families new to the Omaha area. Her passion lies in being a mother, wife, awesome teammate, and providing supportive guidance to anyone who is looking to take the next step in their career.

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Kyle Sims
Senior Vice President

Moderator

Central Agency at AXA Advisors, LLC

Kyle Sims is a dedicated financial consultant who has experienced tremendous successin developing effective financial plans tailored to his clients’ personal needs. He offers expertise in retirement, capital preservation, and business continuation strategies, which enable him to assist clients in making investment decisions that best achieve their financial objectives.

After graduating from Harvard University, Kyle began his professional career in commercial real estate and gained exposure to institutional money management while advising private equity groups, pension fund advisors, REITs, and individual investors in the acquisition and disposition of multifamily real estate assets.

In 2005 Kyle left the institutional investment arena and joined AXA Advisors to work exclusively with individuals and small business owners. This transition has allowed him to focus on building strong relationships with his clients in order to understand their priorities, identify their needs, and develop customized financial plans that specifically address the unique circumstances of each client. Due to his early success and dedication to financial advising, Kyle chose to build a team of advisors; by selecting and recruiting strong talent and implementing a comprehensive training program, he has led this team of 22 highly qualified financial professionals to be recognized among AXA’s top producers.

Since being appointed as Divisional Vice President in March 2008, Kyle has utilized his ability to attract highly skilled individuals, bringing in promising new recruits to join the AXA team. Meanwhile, he continues to coach fellow advisors in developing their technical and sales capacities while maintaining a solid rapport with his clients. Under Kyle’s leadership, his team has received national recognition as the top developing sales team within AXA in 2009 and 2010. Due to his success in leadership, Kyle is frequently invited to speak to local and national audiences on attracting, developing and retaining financial advisors.

Kyle currently resides in Plano with his wife, Julie, and their three children, Brady, Blake and Bolton. He enjoys traveling and spending time with his family and is actively involved in their church and several community outreach programs.

TEAMING

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Troy Korsgaden
President & Consultant

Korsgaden International

Troy Korsgaden is one of the insurance industry’s most respected Consultants, and a highly sought-after speaker.  He has been motivating and educating agency and carrier audiences, ranging in size from 100 to 3,000, for more than 20 years. Mr. Korsgaden is the founder of leading insurance carrier consulting firm Korsgaden International. He is also is the author of many insurance agency “how-to” books, including Power Position Your Agency; Profit from Change; Unleash the Power of Your Agency; and Specialization: The Master Key to Agency Transformation, along with his latest book Success and Sanity.

Over his career, Mr. Korsgaden has been commissioned to speak before major industry organizations such as GAMA, LIMRA and NAIFA, and to agents from North America’s largest carriers, including Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, American Family, Farmers, Cooperators of Canada, and RBC. He has spoken to more than 150,000 insurance Executives, Brokers, Agents, and Staff.

Mr. Korsgaden is also the very successful founder and co-owner of the Korsgaden/Jansma Insurance Agency, which he took from infancy to becoming one of the top Farmers insurance agencies in North America. For his agency’s success, Mr. Korsgaden has won myriad awards, including being the first-ever agent recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from Farmers Insurance Group of Companies. His other industry awards include:
• Commercial Agent of the Year, Farmers Insurance Group, from among 14,000 Agents
• Perennial Million Dollar Round Table Qualifier
• Presidents Council Member for 21 consecutive years (among ½ of 1% of the more than 14,000 U.S. Farmers agents for each year)
• First-ever agent recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Farmers Insurance Group of Companies
• Multiple Agent of the Year Award, Farmers Insurance Group.  From among 14,000 agents Nation Wide.
• Personal Lines Agent of the Year, Farmers Insurance Group.  From among 14,000 agents wide.
• Winner, Small Business of the Year, Visalia, California
• Preferred Underwriting Agent
• Multiple Industry Awards and Recognition

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David LaBricciosa
Managing Partner

AspireWealth Partners

•Certified Public Accountant
•Villanova University Accountancy
•New England Financial’s Chairman’s Council Qualifier
•New England Financial’s Masters Managing Associate Award (multiple years)
•New England Financial’s Sales Manager of the Year (multiple years)
•The Children’s Hope Foundation Edward E. Phillip Award for Outstanding Citizenship

David joined AspireWealth Planners in November 2014 as Managing Partner. He has been described by many as highly committed, very enthusiastic, intensely loyal and extremely knowledgeable in the areas of financial strategy and leadership.

Based in Hunt Valley, Maryland, under David’s direction, AspireWealth Planners aims to be the leading holistic wealth experts in our communities, committed to becoming the premiere resource of wealth accumulation and preservation in the Chesapeake Bay Region and D.C. Metro marketplace.

With the guiding values of providing nothing less than excellence in service, as well as integrity and respect, David is establishing a new culture in the firm—creating a mentoring culture for junior associates and a succession plan for team leaders.

David’s expertise in areas of financial strategy and leadership is evidenced by his track record. Prior to AspireWealth Planners, under David’s direction, Independence Wealth Strategies experience a 68% average sales growth in its top performers. David served as Managing Director there from 2009-2014, during which time the firm achieved MetLife’s Leaders status. As an accolade to the change of culture, the firm won the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2013 and 2014 Best Places to Work Award.

Professional Achievements and Awards: Ed was the first recipient of the North Star Resource Group’s Medal of Honor which recognizes servant leadership, selflessness, service and integrity. Under Ed’s leadership North Star has received the following awards in 2015 and 2016: Finalist for the Invest in Others Corporate Philanthropy Award – 2015 and 2016. Top Workplaces in Minnesota by the Star Tribune 2016. Best in Class: Midsize Company by Minnesota Business Magazine’s Community Impact Awards 2016. Better Business Bureau’s Torch Awards for Ethics 2015/2016. Minnesota Business Ethics Award 2015. 100 Best Companies to Work For 2015. INC. Magazine’s Top 5,000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in the Nation 2015. Master Firm Award with GAMA International – 2015.

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John Bucsek
Managing Partner

MassMutual Financial Group – TriState

John F. Bucsek is the Managing Partner for MassMutual Tri State (MMTS) in New Jersey. John has 32 years of experience in financial services and has been recognized in numerous companies within the industry throughout the years. Since joining the New Jersey based firm, John has made a significant impact on the culture of his new organization. With $70 million in annual revenue, over 200,000 clients, $6.4 billion in client assets and offices in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York, John has evolved MassMutual Tri State into a premier financial services firm with more than 170 dedicated financial professionals.
John spends countless hours working with the youth of his community. Most recently, John managed his town’s Babe Ruth Baseball team that went to the World Series and finished second in the nation. Within a one-year period, he created and implemented systems to support the infrastructure, training, management development and compliance needs of the firm. This has enabled MMTS to become one of the most progressive firms in the area. With an array of highly talented financial services representatives, financial planners, administrative support and team building ability, Mass Mutual Tri State is poised to remain the benchmark by which all firms are measured.

Prior to joining MassMutual, John spent 18 years with First Investors Corporation (FIC) in different management capacities overseeing offices throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. As a Senior Vice President, John created a powerhouse corporation. While concentrating on investment programs, his organizations experienced a double-digit growth in all areas yearly.
As a CFP® practitioner, John knows the value of quality advice in a highly regulated environment. Compliance, morale, growth and integrity have been and remain the key drivers in his organization. His success with financial firms has spanned for decades. His development of financial professionals, specialists and management is based on his broad knowledge of the industry and client needs. By developing financial teams, his organizations have the competitive edge to excel in the industry.

John’s knowledge of the industry is highly regarded and he has been mentioned in several media channels, including USA Today and Forbes.

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Frank Scalese
Managing Partner

Moderator

Blue Ocean Wealth Solutions

Frank Scalese is the Managing Partner of Blue Ocean Wealth Solutions, a Member of the MassMutual Financial Group. Changing people’s lives is the firm’s mission and Frank’s motivation. He started his career as a Financial Services Representative in 1990 after graduating from college and quickly realized that he was leading a life of significance by positively impacting the lives of his clients. Once promoted into management, Frank was eager to recruit people into the business and has earned many awards for his success. Frank received the Management Development Award in 2008, recognizing the significant impact he had in the first three years of service as Managing Director of North Coast Financial Group. He brought the firm from #97 in the company with 45 Representatives in 2005 to #9 with almost double the number of Representatives in 2008. Today Blue Ocean Wealth Solutions, formerly North Coast Financial Group, is still Top 10 in the company and recently grew to over 100 Representatives with offices in East Hills and Long Island City, NY. Frank is most proud of the recognition his office received when it was named the 2011 Office of the Year. This honor is one of the highest levels of recognition given annually to only one MetLife firm for its overall performance, including commitment to customer excellence and care, sales growth and business development, and dedication to high ethical business standards. Most recently, Frank was inducted into the Management Hall of Fame in February of 2016. In July 2016, MassMutual acquired the MetLife Premier Client Group (MPCG), which included Blue Ocean Wealth Solutions, now a member of the MassMutual Financial Group. Outside of the office Frank’s passions are reading and golf. Business and personal development books are his inspiration for growth as a person and a leader. If he isn’t reading and the temperatures are above freezing in NY, you’ll find Frank on the golf course! Frank is married and has one son and two daughters. The most important part of success for Frank is the impact he has on people’s lives. This is demonstrated by his dedication to charitable causes such as the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for which Blue Ocean raised $20,000 in 2010. This cause is near and dear to his heart as his son was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of 8.

CULTURE BUILDING

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Sheri Cooper
Divisional Vice President

Thrivent Financial

Sheri began her career with Thrivent Financial in 1996 as a financial associate in Minot, North Dakota. Three years later, she joined the field leadership team in the Montana/North Dakota region as a recruiting specialist and fraternal director for the state of Montana and Western North Dakota. In 2002, Sheri moved into a corporate role supporting field leaders as a Talent Acquisition specialist. She became a launch manager for the North County Regional Financial Office in 2007 supporting western North Dakota region with recruiting, launch and veteran productivity. Sheri was promoted to partner in 2008 and named Managing Partner of the Northland Region in 2011 leading the region to new heights qualifying for the company’s Master regional status the last five years and named Thrivent’s Region of Excellence in 2014. In 2016, Sheri was promoted and is currently serving as Thrivent’s Divisional Vice President of the Midwest Field Division.

Sheri is an active member in many industry groups including GAMA and GAMA Foundation Ambassadors, NAIFA and WIFS (Women in Financial Services). Sheri is a member of the advisory board for the American College of Ethics.

Sheri holds a CLF (Chartered Leadership Fellow) designation granted by the American College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, CLTC (Chartered Long Term Care) and FIC (Fraternal Insurance Counselor), a designation granted by the Fraternal Field Managers’ Association. Sheri and her husband, Kelly, have four children. She is an avid runner, sports enthusiast. She is a member of Hope Lutheran church in Fargo, ND.

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Robert Fakhimi
General Agent

MassMutual Financial Group – Northern California

As general agent in Northern California since April 1, 2001, he has led the agency to 13 Chairman’s Trophy bowls (Ten gold, including 2015, and two silver) and 11 Crystal Achievement Awards, an honor he has earned every year since the award’s inception in 2003. The award recognizes agencies that have demonstrated solid performance and growth over the previous year. Bob was the President of the Mass Mutual General Agents association from 2010 to 2011. He also has qualified for the Four Star Award every year since it was introduced in 2010 to recognize agencies for their core product sales. For the past four years MassMutual Northern California has led the company in Premium. In 2014, MassMutual San Francisco led the company in annuity sales for the fifth consecutive year. Fakhimi received GAMA’s coveted First in Class Award in both 2011 & 2012, and this year is a GAMA Master Agency Award recipient. He and his wife, Micki, have three children: Ashley, Nicole and Christopher

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J.R. Toland
President & CEO

Savage & Associates

After 29 years as a financial advisor at Savage & Associates and a tenure on the management team, JR Toland was elected to the role of President and CEO. As a financial advisor, his area of expertise involved assisting small business owners and corporate executives secure comfortable retirement plans. He specialized in designing tax-efficient business succession plans and executive benefit plans that attract and retain the best and brightest people. By helping business owners design a plan for retirement that does not solely rely on the sales of the business, and making sure that their estate plans were designed to minimize taxes, he built a loyal clientele. JR’s experience in helping small businesses transferred fluidly to his new role as the ambassador of growth for the financial services and insurance firm. JR’s vision for Savage & Associates encompasses leadership, innovation, and customer service. He is focused on the client, with an emphasis on improving operational efficiency and execution to maximize a company’s potential, leading to significant growth. Education J.R. graduated from the University of Toledo in 1985, with a bachelor’s degree in finance. He has received his Chartered Life Underwriter (CLUA®) designation along with his Series 6, 7, 24 and 63 securities registrations. Personal J.R. and his wife, Beth, reside in Holland, Ohio. They are very proud parents of four children: Nicole, Troy, Hallie, and Scott. JR strongly believes in giving back to his community. He has served his local church as the Fundraising Chairman and was President of the Athletic Board for seven years.

Additionally, JR has been involved with the mission of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, where he has served on numerous fundraising committees and held the position of Chairman of the Board. Currently he is serving on the Central Catholic High School Board of Directors in Toledo, where he just completed his term as Chairman of the Board. J.R. Toland President and CEO Financial Advisor.

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Gregg LaSpisa
Executive Vice President

AXA Advisors, LLC

Gregg LaSpisa has spent the last twenty-two years in the financial services industry specializing in both business and personal financial planning issues. His extensive experience from his private practice led to his role as Executive Vice President with AXA Advisors in Ohio in 2005. Gregg’s leadership and vision have been instrumental in the growth of business for AXA Advisors in Ohio. The success of his team has resulted in the Cleveland Branch earning the prestigious President’s Trophy award which recognizes the top ten branches of AXA. The President’s Trophy has been awarded to the Cleveland Branch seven times since 2008. The Cleveland branch has also been recognized in the local community and awarded three prestigious awards including the Medical Mutual Pillar Award for their volunteer efforts in the community, The Smart Business Customer Service Award for companies who have demonstrated superior customer service, and The Edward Morley Award for the branch’s involvement with the local Cleveland Food Bank. The success of the Cleveland Branch led to the promotion of Gregg to Regional President of the Central Region in 2017. The Central Region includes twelve offices throughout Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Missouri and Wisconsin. Gregg is responsible for the development of over 850 financial professionals in the region that manage over 200,000 client relationships. Gregg holds series 6, 7, 24, 53, 63, 65, life & health insurance licenses and is also a licensed investment advisor. Additionally, he has earned the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation. Gregg is a graduate of Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, and holds a Business Administration in Management with an emphasis in finance. Gregg is a very active in his community and is a board member for America Scores Cleveland and Ohio Rangers Futbal Club. He is also very active coaching his four children in their various sporting activities.

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Edward Deutschlander
CEO

Moderator

North Star Resource Group

In 2002 Ed became the youngest Managing Partner nationally for the Minnesota Life’s Securian Advisor Network which has over 50 advising firms throughout the country. Ed is the Past President of GAMA International (2007-2008). Ed is the creator of Recruiting University and Do Well by Doing Good. Since 1998 at the age of 27, Ed has been hired as a consultant by many of the largest insurance companies in the world to help them better their recruitment, training and leadership development programs.

Professional Achievements and Awards: Ed was the first recipient of the North Star Resource Group’s Medal of Honor which recognizes servant leadership, selflessness, service and integrity. Under Ed’s leadership North Star has received the following awards in 2015 and 2016: Finalist for the Invest in Others Corporate Philanthropy Award – 2015 and 2016. Top Workplaces in Minnesota by the Star Tribune 2016. Best in Class: Midsize Company by Minnesota Business Magazine’s Community Impact Awards 2016. Better Business Bureau’s Torch Awards for Ethics 2015/2016. Minnesota Business Ethics Award 2015. 100 Best Companies to Work For 2015. INC. Magazine’s Top 5,000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in the Nation 2015. Master Firm Award with GAMA International – 2015.

Education and Expertise: Ed is a 1993 graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul Minnesota where he played, started and lettered in two varsity sports (Football and Baseball) and served as Captain of his college football team. In addition to his professional and industry commitments Ed enjoys speaking to and educating today’s college students. Ed is asked to speak at universities and colleges around the country on life after college and sharing lessons on leadership and personal development to assist them in their life endeavors after college.

Personal Information: Ed resides in Carver Minnesota with his wife of 25 years, Toni, and their four children Ashley, Jacob, Hannah and William.

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

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Kelly Kidwell
President & CEO at Pacific Advisors

The Guardian Life Insurance Company

Kelly Kidwell is president and CEO of Pacific Advisors, a West Coast-based financial services firm that specializes in advanced estate, business charitable and philanthropic planning.

Kelly started his career in financial services in 1987. In 1993 he founded Pacific Advisors and has grown the firm from a small Southern California boutique to a Guardian Master Agency Award and Diamond International Management Award Agency with more than 200 staff and advisors as well as 3,000 active brokers.

Pacific Advisors was ranked by Guardian to be the first largest DI premium agency overall in 2012 and fourth overall firm for combined Life/DI premium. Recently, Pacific Advisors also earned the distinction of being one of the top 250 international firms by GAMA International, which recognized Kelly for his excellence in management and contribution to the growth and vision of the insurance and financial services industry as a whole.

Kelly has earned several professional designations including CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER, Chartered Life Underwriter, Life Underwriting Training Council Fellow, Certified Specialist in Planned Giving and Chartered Financial Consultant.

Professional memberships and achievements include the Chair of the Charitable Planning Committee for the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU) and Leader of the Volunteer Planned Giving national program for the March of Dimes, from 2001 to 2008. He is a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) and currently sits on the board of GAMA and the American College Foundation.

Kelly is a frequent lecturer for continuing education for accountants, attorneys and financial advisors throughout the country in the areas of advanced estate, business and charitable planning. In 1999, Kelly formed Philanthropy International, a non-profit foundation that helps families set up component foundations and helps charities identify and developed planned gifts.

A longtime resident of Claremont, California, Kelly and his wife Cristy have four children and enjoy taking their family hiking and camping among other outdoor adventures.

Margaret (Margie) Ongkeko
Regional Sales Head

Phoenix South Region

Mission: Service to Others
– Executive Regional Sales Head, Manulife Philippines
– Over 30 years of Insurance & Financial Service
– With over 600 Associates and Leaders all-over the Philippines
– Master Agency Awardee – 2016 & 2017 GAMA International
– GAMA Philippines President & Convention Chair 2015
– Personal Production: Court of the Table – 2016 & 2017 MDRT Member

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Phillip Richards
Executive Chairman & Founder

North Star Resource Group

Phillip C. Richards, CFPA®, CLU, RHU is the Executive Chairman and Founder of the affiliated companies that comprise North Star Resource Group. North Star represents a fully integrated array of financial services and products for individuals and businesses of all sizes and has over 120,000 clients with offices in 22 states with client assets under management exceeding $6 billion dollars.

Phil received his BS in 1962 from Temple University where he served as Student Body President, and received the prestigious Sword Award as outstanding senior classman. A recipient of a four-year wrestling scholarship, he served as Team Captain and was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2010 and the National High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 2010. Phil was elected to the Temple University Board of Trustees in 2009 and was the 2016 commencement speaker for Temple University when he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree.

Phil began his professional career in 1962 with the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company in Philadelphia. In 1965, he joined Hartford Life leading the company in brokerage sales. In 1969, Phil acquired North Star Resource Group which has received the prestigious Master Firm Award every year since 1988 from GAMA International. North Star is celebrating 108 years in business, and was awarded the Community Service Award from Investment News in 2010 and the Better Business Bureau’s Integrity Award in 2011 and again in 2016, voted one of 100 Best Places to Work in MN in 2015 and received the Minnesota Business Ethics Award in 2015 as well.

A winner of numerous industry awards, Phil is the 2005 Inductee into the GAMA International Hall of Fame and is the only firm leader in the world to have received the International Management Award from GAMA International each and every year (43 years) since the inception of that award. In 2007, Phil was named recipient of the 66th annual John Newton Russell Memorial Award, the highest honor in the insurance industry by The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. Phil was inducted into The American College of Financial Services Hall of Fame in 2016. Phil’s first book, 25 Secrets for Sustainable Success, was published in March 2007. He co-authored his second book, The Sky Is Not the Limit, in 2014, and Practice on Purpose in 2015.

North Star has been the leading outlet for its largest partner, Minnesota Mutual, for the last 25 years. North Star has been ranked one of the 3 largest organizations of its kind in the world by GAMA International for the last five years and has over 300 associates in the firm. Combined Gross Revenues were in excess of $58,000,000.

Phil is an Adjunct Professor Emeritus for the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and former Adjunct Professor at Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing China; is a four-time Chairman of Securian’s National Advisory Board and was inducted as its 19th member into its Hall of Fame; served on the Executive Board of Directors for the Minnesota Council for Quality; and is Past President of GAMA International (2002-2003). He is a 45-year arbitrator for the Better Business Bureau; is a past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota/North Dakota Better Business Bureau; and served on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Quality Council. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for The American College in Philadelphia and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in November in NYC. In addition, he is a past Chairman of the LIFE Foundation and currently serves on the Mayo Clinic of Arizona Leadership Council as well as the past treasurer of the Arizona Heart Foundation’s Board of Trustees. He chairs the Scott Richards North Star Charitable Foundation which annually receives 10% of all of North Star’s profits and has given over $3,000,000 to charities in the last ten years.

Phil has been a featured speaker in over 15 countries on topics including strategic planning, leadership, and alternate distribution systems in the financial services industry in the 21st century. He has addressed the annual meetings of over 150 major companies; was a main platform speaker at the National GAMA International LAMP Meeting in 1998 and its Canadian counterpart in Toronto in 1999; a main platform speaker in Singapore, Taipei and Manila in August 2000; and a main platform speaker at the Asian Pacific Conference in Bangkok (where he co-founded GAMA Thailand) in 2001 and 2010 and in Singapore in 2011 and 2015; Crete, Greece in 2002; Athens in 2006, 2010 & 2015; Sidney, Australia in 2005; Buenos Aires, Argentina, Shanghai and Beijing, China numerous times as a lecturer at Beijing University and Shanghai University for Finance and Economics. He was a main platform speaker for MDRT in Vancouver in 2010 and in Ireland in 2012, as well as GAMA LAMP Asia in 2014 and 2016. He was a 2016 Asia LAMP main platform speaker in Bangkok this year as well as being featured in Vietnam and Singapore in August, and will be once again in Singapore in March of 2017.

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Robert Popazzi AVP, Sale Force Growth & Development

Moderator Sun Life Financial Rob started his career in the fall of 1992 as an advisor with MetLife in his hometown of Kingston, Ontario. Since that time, he has held a number of positions with increasing responsibility at MetLife, Mutual Life, Clarica and Sun Life; these roles have evolved from Sales Manager through to Regional Vice President, Western Canada to his current role of Assistant Vice-President, Sales Force Growth and Development for the Sun Life Financial Career Sales Force based in Waterloo, Ontario. In this capacity he is accountable for supporting the Recruitment, Selection, Training and Development of advisors and managers as well as the teams that support the Needs Analysis tools and Salesforce.com. Rob holds a degree in Economics from Queen’s University is a Chartered Life Underwriter and earned his Certified Health Specialist designation in 2012. A student of the insurance business, he has presented a Leadership workshop at GAMA International’s annual LAMP meeting in 2011, was a workshop presenter at Dreamforce 2013, one of the largest conferences of its kind and has facilitated numerous internal leadership workshops. He reads extensively on human development and is actively involved in several study groups in Canada and the US. He is currently the Past President of the Board of Directors for GAMA International Canada, an industry association representing managers in the financial services industry. Rob and his wife Heather spend most of their free time chasing around their 3 year old son Joseph as he explores and tests concepts like fluid dynamics, gravity and physics. They continue to talk about someday playing tennis, running and enjoying the other sports they used to partake in.

ASSOCIATE DEVELOPMENT

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Jason Dummert
Regional President – Southeast

AXA Advisors, LLC

Jason is a 1996 graduate of Brown University, where he received his Bachelors Degree in Economics. At Brown he also played for the school’s football team for four years and was named to the All-Ivy League Team as a senior. His football career continued for a season as he played in the German Football League for the Franken Knights. After seven successful years in corporate sales and consulting, he officially joined the ranks at AXA Advisors in 2003 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2006 he was appointed as a Divisional Vice President, empowering him to build and lead his own organization comprised of associates with various specialties and ranges of experience. In January 2011, he was promoted to Senior Divisional Vice President with the Wisconsin branch of AXA Advisors, LLC. In 2013 he was promoted to Executive Vice President of the South & Western Carolinas branch of AXA Advisors, LLC. Most recently, in 2015 Jason was promoted to Regional President of the Southeast.

kurtKurt Jonson
CEO

Pacific Capitol Resource Group, Inc.

After graduating from the business school at Washington State University in 1993 with emphasized studies in Finance and Accounting, Kurt immediately began his career in the financial services industry. He was part of Pacific Capital’s founding group in 1998, and subsequently purchased the firm from its founder in 2000. Today, he is the Chief Executive Officer.

Kurt began his career in management in 1995 after a successful start to building his financial planning practice and has won an International Management Award from GAMA (the management association to the financial services industry) every year since 1998. Pacific Capital as a firm is in GAMA’s Diamond category, which is the top production category GAMA recognizes for its member firms. As the President of Pacific Capital, Kurt accepted the Chairman’s Trophy awarded to Pacific Capital by Penn Mutual in 2003. Kurt’s prior Penn Mutual awards include Silver Medal Sales Manager for 1998, Gold Medal Sales Manager for 1999 and 2000. After 20 years in the industry and many awards for production and management excellence, the award Kurt is most proud of is the Maury Stewart Leadership Award given to him by The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company in 2010 for Leadership Excellence. To date, Kurt is the only recipient of this prestigious award.

As a producer for Pacific Capital, Kurt has been recognized as a leading producer having earned Penn Mutual’s Royal Blue Club in multiple years and is a Million Dollar Round Table qualifier.

Kurt earned the Chartered Financial Consultant’s designation in 1998 and the Chartered Life Underwriter designation 1999 from The American College of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He became a Certified Financial Planner in 2000. He is an Investment Adviser Representative of Hornor, Townsend and Kent, Inc. and Advisory Resource Group, LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser registered solely in the state of Washington. Kurt is also a Registered Representative of HTK.

Kurt is a member of many industry and community associations including GAMA International, National Association for Insurance and Financial Advisors, The Society for Financial Service Professionals, Penn Mutual General Agents Association, GAMA Under 40 Study Group, The Futures Study Group, Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, The Harbor Club and Bear Creek Country Club.

Over the years, he has developed two other related companies: Advisory Resource Group, LLC is a state registered Investment Advisory firm, and Corporate Benefits Group, LLC consists of a team of benefits specialists who concentrate their efforts in the benefits market.

Kurt is the proud father of three daughters: Rachel, Anna and Christina.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

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Sarah Ogle
Regional Vice President

AXA Advisors, LLC

Sarah started at AXA as a Financial Professional in 2008 and advanced to Regional VP in 2015. She currently has 14 advisors on her team. In 2015 Sarah received the Team Development Award for 1st in Client Acquisition and 2nd in First Year Hiring. As an advisor, Sarah was recognized as a National Leader in 2010, 2014, and 2015.

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Shane Swanson
Managing Partner

New York Life – Chicago

Shane is Managing Partner of the New York Life – Chicago agency, located in Downtown and Deerfield, IL. He has a diverse professional background as an advisor, Partner, Senior Partner and Managing Partner, as well as several years in zone management. Shane has presented at LAMP 3x before, is Chair of the GIJ committee, and is pleased to have the opportunity to present with a great group of co-presenters at this 2017 LAMP meeting.

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Susan Cooper
Managing Director for the Greater NJ Financial Group

Moderator

Prudential

Most recently, Susan was Managing Partner of Empire Wealth Strategies, the New York City agency of Penn Mutual. She joined Penn Mutual in 2009 and quickly achieved success, winning both the prestigious Penn Mutual Chairman’s Award as well as the coveted Penn Mutual President’s Award. Both awards recognize individuals who have attained the highest levels of performance and leadership. Recognized throughout the profession, Susan won both the 2015 GAMA International Master Agency Award and the 2015 GAMA International Front Line Leader Award. Under Susan’s leadership, Empire Wealth Strategies is continually recognized by Crain’s as one of the best places to work in New York City.

Prior to Empire Wealth Strategies, Susan began her career in Financial Services working at AXA Financial Advisors (formerly Equitable Life Insurance Company). She started as an agent in Wellesley Massachusetts and after a year she became a Qualifying and Life Member of the Million Dollar Round Table. Within ten years she was promoted into senior management as Agency Manager for the west coast of Florida. In only three years, she was able to take the agency from 88 out of 90 to number one in the entire country for which she was awarded the Gold President’s Trophy. Susan was then promoted to President of the Northeast Region and again, within a year, won the Platinum Chairman’s Trophy for becoming the number one Region in the country. Within two years she was promoted to Divisional Executive Vice President to the New York Metro Branch supervising over 450 Financial Advisors and staff. The New York City Branch was awarded the coveted Presidents Trophy in 2003, 2006 and again in 2008.

As an active member of the industry, Susan has served on The Board of Trustees for the American College since 2008, and is a member of LIMRA’s elite Research Agencies Group (RAG). Additionally, she has qualified for GAMA’s Master Agency Award and International Management Award at the Diamond Level for five consecutive years. As an individual producer, Susan has been a qualifying and Life Member of The Million Dollar Round Table since 1985.

Susan continues to be sought after in her industry as a thought leader, most recently being a featured speaker at GAMA and authored research in LIMRA’s MarketFacts Quarterly, Wall Street Journal and various blogs, As an ongoing contributor to her community, Susan has supported many charitable and industry organizations, including (WIFS) Women in Financial Services, GAMA, AALU, The United Way, UJA Federation of New York, The American Cancer Society, and the United Service Organizations (USO).

Susan received her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Keene State College. Continuing education has always been a passion for Susan, making sure she stays up-to-date so as to provide the latest information to her clients and advisors. This drive has led her to achieve the following designations: Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA), Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP), and most recently in 2014 Susan earned her Master’s Degree in Management (MSM) from The American College.

Susan resides in New Canaan, CT. with her two sons, Michael and Matthew.

02-clara-shihBonnie Godsman
CEO, GAMA International

Bonnie Godsman joined GAMA International 12 years ago, where she rose through the ranks to become vice president for corporate and business development, overseeing all revenue departments, including PMG corporate relations. Under her leadership, GAMA experienced dramatic growth in revenue, membership, membership retention and LAMP attendance. In June 2014, Godsman took the helm as GAMA’s first, and youngest, female chief executive officer.

Before joining GAMA, Godsman held political appointments under the administrations of Suffolk County (N.Y.) Executive Robert J. Gaffney, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and President George W. Bush. She is also founder of Bliss, LLC, a restaurant group based in New York City. In addition, Godsman is a member of the American Society of Association Executive and the National Association of Professional Women.

Born and raised on the south shore of Long Island, Godsman is a proud New York native. Having been bitten by the political bug at a young age, she attended the American University in Washington, D.C., receiving a Bachelor of Arts in political science.

02-clara-shihDarren Hardy
New York Times Bestselling Author & Entrepreneur

Darren Hardy is the former publisher of SUCCESS magazine, an entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author of The Compound Effect and Living Your Best Year Ever: A Proven Formula for Achieving Big Goals.

Darren has been a central leader in the personal growth and success industry for more than 20 years and has led three successful television networks producing over 1,000 TV shows with most every known thought leader of our time. Over the past decade, Darren was the visionary force behind the rebirth of SUCCESS magazine as its publisher and editor. These positions have given him the unique and unprecedented access to interview, investigate and publish the stories of the most successful people on the planet, including Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Howard Schultz, Steve Wynn, Jack Welch and many more. Having uncovered the secrets to their success, Darren now uses them to empower millions of entrepreneurs globally.

02-clara-shihMarshall Goldsmith
Executive Coach

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith is a world authority in helping successful leaders achieve positive, lasting change in behavior: for themselves, their people and their teams.

Goldsmith is the million-selling author or editor of 31 books, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers, MOJO and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There — a Wall Street Journal #1 business book and winner of the Harold Longman Award for Business Book of the Year. His books have been translated into 28 languages and become bestsellers in eight countries.

02-clara-shihMark Zinder
Financial Expert, Keynote Speaker & Investment Coach

A seasoned financial professional and keynote speaker, Mark Zinder has a unique gift for making the complicated clear. His insights on practice management and macroeconomics clarify investor needs and help advisors stand out from the crowd.

Mark came to the financial industry more than 33 years ago as an investment adviser with Dean Witter before moving to the world of wholesaling. By leveraging a strong background in communications, he quickly gained acclaim for his public seminars and became recognized within the wholesale community as a powerful and entertaining speaker.

Shortly after being hired by Franklin Templeton Investments in 1993, Mark was named National Spokesman. His job was to sit down with Sir John Templeton, Dr. Mark Mobius, Michael Price and others, listen to their stories and then travel the world to speak on their behalf. This golden opportunity gave him unprecedented access to the top money managers in the world and hundreds of elite advisors—an experience that helped him develop an uncanny understanding of financial markets.

02-clara-shihSalim Ismail
Speaker, Strategist & Entreprenur

Salim Ismail is a man who is passionate about business, entrepreneurship, and technology. He is a technology strategist, software engineer,
and successful entrepreneur.

Salim travels extensively sharing a global perspective on the impact of breakthrough technologies and how organizations can leverage these disruptions to grow 10x faster than their peers. His book, Exponential Organizations, quickly reached number one on Amazon’s “Best-Sellers in Business Management” and was named Frost & Sullivan’s “Growth, Innovation, and Leadership Book of the Year.” His captivating, educational, and downright jaw-dropping presentations have been labelled as “mind-blowing.”

Salim has spent the last seven years building Singularity University (SU) as its founding executive director and current global ambassador. SU is based at NASA Ames, and its goal is to educate, inspire, and empower a new generation of leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges. SU has empowered people from more than 85 countries to apply disruptive technologies – biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and neuroscience – to more than 100 startups and countless patents and ideas.

02-clara-shihWill Marre
Founder & Managing Partner, Covey Leadership Center

Will Marré (rhymes with “Hooray!”) is the co-founder and former president of the Covey Leadership Center, which brought The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to millions worldwide. Today, Will’s focus is on developing smart power leaders through his Smart Power Institute. The institute is research-based and develops thinking tools, behavioral skills and leadership practices necessary to be effective in the new disruptive economy. Smart Power is based on gender synergy — how men and women can use gender-based strengths to lead and work together to multiply positive results. Will is also a highly requested speaker and trusted advisor on corporate transformation, women’s leadership and igniting innovation.