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LEADERSHIP

National Board of Trustees


The members that sit on the National Board of Trustees are either nominated and approved by the Governance Committee or appointed by the Committee. Members typically rise through the chairs at the local and then state level before being selected to the National Board of Trustees.

Additionally, the Secretary position is one that the Governance Committee selects and will be the future President after moving from Secretary to President-Elect to President.

The Board of Trustees purpose is to provide oversight of the membership of NAIFA, provide visionary direction to the CEO and interface with volunteer leadership.

 

Lawrence Holzberg

President

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President

Lawrence Holzberg

Lawrence Holzberg, LACP, LUTFC, has a knack for stewarding development and growth wherever he goes. Prior to joining Fortis Lux, he served as Managing Director and Director of Sales and Strategic Initiatives for Wealth Advisory Group. Holzberg was focused on the talent acquisition and leadership development. The Life Brokerage Division grew by 20% under his leadership and he was able to aid advisors to double their business in three years' time. Before that, he was able to aid the growth of the broker distribution channel by 15% year after year at Rampart America. It is clear that Holzberg is dedicated to his work such that growth is exponential. To meet the increasing demand for financial advice and services, Holzberg has been committed to providing expertise and personal attention to help advisors succeed. He will focus on expanding the availability of services that Fortis Lux offers throughout the Long Island region.

Throughout his over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, Holzberg has developed a regional and national reputation for his leadership and a proven track record of developing and managing high-performance teams.

Holzberg received his Bachelor of Business Administration, from Long Island University. Since then he has received certifications for Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow and Life and Annuity Certified Professional both issued by NAIFA.

 

Bryon Holz

President Elect

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President Elect

Bryon Holz

Bryon A. Holz, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF, CASL, LACP, is President of Bryon Holz & Associates in Brandon, FL. He founded his practice in 1983 to provide investments and insurance to successful individuals and business owners throughout the Southeast. Bryon Holz and Associates specialize in wealth accumulation, retirement income, asset preservation, and legacy planning strategies. The firm's approach to financial services is based on the principle that the customer's needs should always come first.

Holz served on NAIFA’s national Board of Trustees from 2015 to 2019 and was a member of the NAIFA 2025 Strategic Planning Committee. Holz has been a loyal NAIFA member since 1987. He served as the President of NAIFA’s Tampa Bay chapter and the NAIFA-Florida state chapter. He was the 2017 NAIFA-Florida “Advisor of the Year,” recipient of the C.G. Snead/J.F. Bryan, III Memorial Award for Outstanding Service. He is a graduate of NAIFA's Leadership in Life Institute (LILI), twice serving as a LILI moderator, and regularly speaks to audiences around the country.

Holz is a graduate and Presidential Scholar of the University of Tampa. In his spare time, he is very active in his church and community, with a special passion for music, travel, and spending time with family.

Thomas Cothron

Secretary

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Secretary

Thomas Cothron

Thomas M. Cothron, LUTCF, is an Agency Manager with Southern Farm Bureau, a position he has held since 1986. He started in the business in 1979. He has been named Agency Manager of the Year seven times, and is a multi-year winner of Southern Farm Bureau’s Team Player Award.

Cothron has served as a NAIFA local chapter President and the 2008-2009 President of NAIFA-FL. He served on NAIFA’s national Board of Trustees, 2011-2015. He is a former moderator for LUTC courses. He has regularly attended NAIFA Congressional Conference events in Washington, D.C., and participated in NAIFA-FL Legislative Days for more than 20 years. He serves as a NAIFA Key Contact for several state and federal lawmakers from Florida

Brock Jolly

Treasurer

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Treasurer

Brock Jolly

Brock Jolly, CFP, CLU, CLTC, CASL, CFBS, is a financial advisor with Capitol Financial Partners and the founder of The College Funding Coach. He started in the financial-planning industry with John Hancock and moved to his current firm, affiliated with MassMutual. 

In 2005, Jolly began serving on the board of NAIFA-Greater Washington, D.C., in various roles, including as YAT and Membership Chair. During his presidency, the association received a local and a state Bubo Award. 

When Jolly was president, NAIFA President John Nichols recommended a Taste of MDRT, an event that had successfully been held in Chicago. Jolly mirrored the event in Washington, D.C., and he and his team has successfully hosted it since.  

In 2011, Jolly was named YAT Leader of the Year, and in 2012, he served on NAIFA President Robert Miller’s Blue Ribbon Task Force. Also in 2012, he became the Chair of NAIFA’s Investment Committee. Jolly served 4 years as a Trustee on the NAIFA Board and was elected Treasurer in 2018.

 

A graduate of The University of Virginia, Jolly is active on the board of the Greater Washington Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. He lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife, Lauren, and their son Bryson.

Tom Michel

Immediate Past President

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Immediate Past President

Tom Michel

Tom Michel, LACP, CLTC, is a 32-year veteran of the life and financial-services industry He currently partners with his wife, Kim, at Michel Financial Group in Los Angeles,  a career Builder Agency affiliated with Ohio National.

Michel has been successful as an agent and a pension wholesaler. He led his company nationally 4 of the 5 years in that role. As agency manager, his agency led the company nationally in production for three of the four years that he served in that role.  He is a recipient of many production awards, including GAMA’s Diamond Management Award multiple times, and received the 2013 Will J. Farrell Award for meritorious service to industry and the community.

 

Michel has served as a two-term President for NAIFA-Los Angeles, and it won under his leadership the Top State Association Awards. He was also a recipient of two Jack Bobo awards. He was NAIFA-California’s 80th President and National Committeeperson.

Michel was elected to the NAIFA Executive Committee in September of 2018. Before that, he was a national trustee, the APIC Western Region co-chair and had served President John Nichols on the NAIFA “Think Tank.”  His advocacy efforts are extensive, with meetings with over 70 elected officials. He was instrumental in key legislative relationships with the passing of NARAB II.

Michel and his family live in Pacific Palisades.

Kevin Mayeux

Chief Executive Officer

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Chief Executive Officer

Kevin Mayeux

As NAIFA’s Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Mayeux, CAE, oversees the headquarters and national staff and manages relationships with life, health and financial service companies, other industry organizations, legislators, and regulators. Mayeux supports NAIFA’s Board of Trustees and committees and coordinates efforts with NAIFA’s 90 state and local chapters. As CEO, he led an effort to modernize NAIFA’s operations through the development and implementation of a bold new strategic plan, NAIFA 20/20.

Prior to becoming NAIFA’s CEO, Mayeux served as the Executive Vice President, Chief Officer for North American Operations, and General Counsel for the Institute of Internal Auditors Global Headquarters in Orlando, Fla. In this role, Kevin supervised the core membership services offered to all 75,000 IIA members in North America in 158 chapters throughout the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean islands. Kevin further served as General Counsel, guiding the IIA’s intellectual property protection, affiliation agreements and legal interests around the world. He is a Certified Association Executive and holds a Certificate in Risk Management Assurance.

Mayeux has served as an association management professional for more than 25 years, including serving as the executive director of a statewide trade association in Tallahassee and CEO of an international individual membership society in Indianapolis. He also practiced law in Central Florida. He has held leadership positions on both the state and national level within the association management community, including being named Indiana’s association executive of the year, serving as president of the Indiana Society of Association Executives, and serving on the board of directors for the Florida Society of Association Executives. Mayeux received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and took Masters in Political Science and Public Administration courses concurrent with his Juris Doctorate at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he served as Student Body President. Kevin continues to serve his alma mater as a member of its national alumni board.

Mark Acre

Trustee

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Trustee

Mark Acre

Mark Acre, President of OneSource, started his company in 2007.  Mark is licensed in Property and Casualty, Life and Health insurance.  Mark grew up in Poplar Bluff, MO and moved to Springfield where he attended Missouri State University and received his Bachelor of Arts.  Mark serves on the Board of Directors for NAIFA, helps with the MDA, Special Olympics, and the Care to Learn program.  Mark is passionate about making OneSource the elite agency to work for and to obtain insurance through in our industry.

Wes Booker

Trustee

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Trustee

Wes Booker

Although NAIFA Trustee Wes Booker, LUTCF, lost his father at an early age and did not achieve his goal of becoming a running back for the National Football League, he did not allow these setbacks to prevent him from making it to the top. Instead, he forged ahead, and today, he is a NAIFA trustee, the founder of a professional minor league team, and the owner of a thriving financial practice.

Booker was only three years old when his father died. After graduating from White Hall High School, he played football for the University of Central Arkansas Bears, where he graduated with a Bachelors’ degree in Business Administration.

Upon graduation, Booker joined Farm Bureau Insurance Company, and in 2002, within months of joining the company, he had broken myriad life insurance sales records and won numerous awards. Today, he is the CEO of the Wes Booker Agency, The Horace Mann Companies, in Maumelle, Arkansas. He has won the NAIFA National Sales Achievement Award two years in a row and the NAIFA National Multiline Sales Award.

In addition to winning many awards and accolades, Booker is an active NAIFA volunteer and a member of the association’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, which was created several years ago as part of the association’s 20/20 Strategic Plan. Booker and his team created the highly sought-after NAIFA Diversity Champion Award, which recognizes the exceptional efforts of NAIFA members who seek to promote the full and equal participation of diverse people in the insurance and financial-advising industries.

“The work of the Diversity and Inclusion Program over the years has produced programs that can aid companies and agencies in recruiting and retaining a new workforce that mirrors the changing face of Main Street USA,” Booker said. “We see the principles of diversity and inclusion as fundamental to evolving the workforce in the financial-services industry.”

Booker also founded a professional minor league team for late bloomers, known as the Central Arkansas Rhinos. As head coach and general manager, he used this team to provide good players with an opportunity to play football longer and to be seen by the arena league and the National Football League.

In addition, Booker is a football official. After officiating at the high school level, he was invited to officiate in the Southwestern Athletic Conference(now known as the Southeastern Conference). In 2013, he was inducted into the White Hall Sports Hall of Fame and in 2017, he was inducted into Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame (1991 UCA Bears National Champion Football).

Booker is also a mentor, a motivational speaker, and author of several books, including Field Presence: It’s Not Enough Just to Play the Game. In this inspirational book, he details his struggles to overcome failure, his journey to influence others, and his rise to success. He also serves on many boards and volunteers in whatever capacity he is needed.

Dennis Cuccinelli

Trustee

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Trustee

Dennis Cuccinelli

Dennis Cuccinelli, LACP, began his career with New England Financial, where he was a conference qualifier for numerous years as a producer, business specialist, brokerage manager and DI specialist.

Currently, he is a self-employed employee benefits consultant. He has managed the employee benefits division of general agencies associated with New England Financial and PennMutual.

Cuccinelli uses his knowledge and experience to help insurance producers and employers better understand the health insurance products they use for themselves, sell to their clients and offer to their employees.

Cuccinelli is the past-president of NAIFA-NJ and currently serves as its national committeeperson. He is on NAIFA’s Government Relations, APIC and IFAPAC Committees. He is one of NAIFA’s leading new member recruiters and is active in state and local IFAPAC fundraising endeavors.

He has promoted increased responsibility among insurance producers in New Jersey via changes to the New Jersey Insurance Regulations and is the catalyst of a bill that became law in 2011. He has testified before the New Jersey Assembly Banking and Insurance Committee in support of stronger producer compliance regulations.

Cuccinelli received LIFE’s realLIFEstories Award and is the recipient of the Central Jersey Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors’ Life Underwriter of the Year Award and the New Jersey Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors Underwriter of the Year Award. He is also a recipient of NEF’s Edward E. Phillips Outstanding Citizenship Award.

Christopher Gandy

Trustee

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Trustee

Christopher Gandy

Christopher L. Gandy is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Midwest Legacy Group (OneAmerica) in Lisle, IL. He has served as President of NAIFA’s Chicagoland chapter and has been a NAIFA member since 2003. He entered the insurance and financial services industry in 1999 after playing professional basketball for the Chicago Bulls and the San Antonio Spurs as well as in L’Hermaine, France.

Gandy serves on NAIFA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force and is a member of the NAIFA 2025 Strategic Planning Committee. He is a highly sought after speaker for industry events and has been a speaker at NAIFA’s Performance+Purpose annual conference and published in Advisors Magazine, GQ, Advisor Today and InsuranceNewsNet among other publications.

Gandy is also an active volunteer in the community. He serves on the Board of the Chicago Concussion Coalition, which strives to make amateur sports safer for children, and on the Board of Directors of the Urban League. He is part of the United Way’s Young Community Leaders and volunteers for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization.

Aprilyn Chavez Geissler

Trustee

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Trustee

Aprilyn Chavez Geissler

Aprilyn Chavez Geissler, LACP, of Albuquerque, N.M., is First Executive Vice President of Gateway Insurance Group. She is a member of NAIFA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force and has been a speaker and active participant in NAIFA’s annual Diversity Symposiums. She was recognized as NAIFA’s 2019 Diversity Champion.

Geissler has been a NAIFA member since 2005. She served as a previous term on NAIFA’s national Board of Trustees beginning in 2015. She is a Past President of NAIFA-New Mexico and has served on NAIFA’s Young Advisors Team subcommittee, Communications Committee, and national IFAPAC Committee. She is a graduate of NAIFA’s Leadership in Life Institute (LILI). In 2020, Geissler was named one InvestmentNews magazine’s “Women to Watch.”

In her community, Geissler works with TeamWorks NM, a nonprofit welfare-to-work program for minority women who are single parents or coming out of abusive relationships. She speaks at a group home for victims of domestic violence about the importance of financial literacy, providing important information about creating budgets, planning for the future, setting and achieving financial goals. She also volunteers with Crossroads for Women, and Albuquerque area nonprofit organization that provides housing and therapeutic services to empower women emerging from incarceration.

Evelyn Gellar

Trustee

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Trustee

Evelyn Gellar

Evelyn Gellar, LUTCF®, RICP®, CLTC®, is a Partner with New York Life in Melville, NY. She is a member of NAIFA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force and served as national President of Women in Insurance & Financial Services (WIFS). She has been a NAIFA member since 1993 and currently serves on the NAIFA-New York Transition Team, providing guidance and leadership for the chapter. NAIFA recognized her as its 2017 Diversity Champion for her promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the insurance and financial services field.

At New York Life, Gellar is an expert recruiter, marketing leader, growth strategist, and diversity advocate. Her recruiting focuses on attracting, hiring, and retaining outstanding individuals with strong business acumen and superlative organizational, analytical and strategic problem-solving skills.

Win Havir

Trustee

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Trustee

Win Havir

Win Havir, CPCU, CLF, LUTCF, FSS, AIC, LACP, is the executive vice president of business development for Educators Insurance Resources Services, Inc. She represents The Horace Mann Companies. Her area of focus is coordinating school district and state insurance benefits for teachers and staff, while helping them prepare for a successful and rewarding retirement.  Her practice specialties include auto, fire, life insurance, retirement and student loan solutions. She is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

Havir is also a member of NAIFA’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. She has also served as director, trustee and IFAPAC chair for NAIFA-Saint Paul.  As an agency field executive for State Farm, she encouraged participation in NAIFA at the local, state and national levels and invited NAIFA to present at District Meetings.

Havir has assisted in recruiting multiple new members and has helped the Membership Committee on numerous occasions by making phone calls or visiting prospective members.

Havir is a LILI graduate and moderator, a YAT mentor, and a NAIFA Quality Award recipient. She is also the current president, a past president and charter member of the Greater Twin Cities Chapter of WIFS. She has been involved with the Girl Scouts and was a member of Job’s Daughter Bethel 120. She was recognized with the Ambassador of the Year Award by the Whittier Area Chamber of Commerce.

Havir lives in Stillwater, Minnesota, with her husband, Gary, also an active NAIFA member. Havir’s hobbies include running and traveling the world.

Jamie Hopkins

Trustee

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Trustee

Jamie Hopkins

Jamie Hopkins is the Managing Partner of Wealth Solutions at Carson Group, a national wealth management firm that offers coaching and partnership to financial advisors. A nationally recognized writer, researcher and educator, Jamie is a regular contributor for Forbes, InvestmentNews and MarketWatch. He has been published in dozens of financial, educational and legal journals, and he’s the media’s go-to expert on retirement income planning and tax law.

Doug Massey

Trustee

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Trustee

Doug Massey

Douglas Massey, LUTCF, CLU, ChFC, CRES, FSS, is a registered representative with OFG Financial Services, Inc., where he has been since 1992. His practice specialties include retirement planning and life insurance. His company’s focus is on near-retirees and retirees. It also does a significant amount of business in the non-profit and 403(b) market.

A NAIFA member since 1987, Massey has served as Chari of the IFAPAC Committee, was on the NAIFA-TX board of directors from 2008-2014, and was president of NAIFA-TX from 2012-2013.

He has attended every NAIFA Congressional Conference since the meeting’s inception and has attended every NAIFA-TX Legislative Day since 1991. He is one of the key contacts for Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and Rep. Michael Conaway.

Massey is an IFAPAC Defender (monthly contributor), as well as a contributor at several events each year. Over the years, he has recruited and sponsored many NAIFA members and has encouraged past members. He has moderated LUTCF and FSS classes and is a Leadership in Life Institute (LILI) graduate.

Danny O'Connell

Trustee

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Trustee

Danny O'Connell

Danny O'Connell, CEO and founder of Next Level Insurance, started his company to address the future trends of health care, integrating technology and practical solutions to lower costs. Danny has been in the financial services industry since 2001 and has specialized in employee benefits since 2006. Danny became the 3rd Texan ever to be honored by NAIFA in 2014 with their Advisor Today 4 under 40 national award. Danny has over 30 published articles on health care reform and was a frequent contributor for Fox News Radio on the Affordable Care Act. He is frequently asked to speak all over the United States and internationally on various insurance topics.

Vince Vitiello

Trustee

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Trustee

Vince Vitiello

Vince Vitiello is a seasoned marketing and sales executive with expertise in the financial services industry. Vince began his career with MetLife as a sales producer. He has held Chief Marketing & Senior Distribution positions with MetLife, Allianz, and National Life where he has led career, independent, and broker dealer sales organizations, both within the United States and internationally. At MetLife, Vince was responsible for creating and overseeing all Asian distribution in the United States, turning it into one of MetLife’s most profitable segments. Metlife is also where he developed his inextricable dedication to serve the multicultural markets. It is with this intention that Vince started New America Marketing (NAM) to help larger corporations reach underserved markets by inducing a catalyst that lives and breathes diversity- NAM. Today, Vince is an active board member of the Chinese American Insurance Association and is the President of the board of the Interfaith Nutrition group (The INN), which is a charity involved in helping those affected by hunger, homelessness and profound poverty on Long Island.

Brian Wilson

Trustee

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Trustee

Brian Wilson

Brian L. Wilson is a Managing Director in the Bluegrass Mountain Division Office, beautiful Lexington Kentucky with Mutual of Omaha Advisors. In this capacity, he continues to develop the firm, and its culture to be one of service and success. Roots still run deep in recruiting, training and retaining new advisors, developing the next leaders in the firm, assisting advisors with joint work to build their advisor business through referral-based networks and teaching a duplicatable process.

Prior to this, Wilson owned or held senior-level Partner positions at several agencies, including MassMutual, Kentucky Farm Bureau, Neace Lukens and Allstate Insurance Company. Wilson’s practice specialties include insurance and financial advisory services and Investment directed services. He also has expertise in training advisors on building a successful business model and developing leadership within an organization.

Wilson was NAIFA-Kentucky’s President from June 2008 to June 2009 and is the NAIFA-Kentucky Immediate Past President. He has been a NAIFA-Kentucky LILI Chair since 2013. Wilson is an IFAPAC contributor and has made multiple presentations about legislative concerns to local and state organizations. He is a LILI graduate, moderator and mentor and is also a speaker at NAIFA’s local and state association meetings, as well as a YAT mentor. He serves as a chamber ambassador, a middle school girls softball coach and an Upward basketball coach. Wilson also serves as a deacon in his church. He and his wife, Kelly, have four daughters.