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25 Rising Stars in Distribution

The world is changing. Consumer expectations, advances in technology, and a new regulatory environment require companies to be creative and flexible in their distribution strategy. Who are the rising stars helping to innovate financial services distribution? 

LIMRA is pleased to present the winners of the 2016 Top 25 Rising Stars of Distribution. These individuals represent talent across many areas of financial services, showcasing the best in management, field development, sales, marketing, customer engagement, and more. 

Winners are under age 40 and were selected from the nominations received from LIMRA member companies.

  • Michael Anza

    Territory Manager
    Colonial Life
    "Michael is a phenomenal distribution leader. His exceptional performance recently earned him a promotion to the territory head of Colonial Life’s New York division." — excerpt from nomination 
  • Matt Bokosky

    Senior Director, National Accounts
    Pacific Life, Retirement Solutions Division
    "Matt has played a key role positioning our suite of products on our #1 distributor platform, coordinating marketing, sales and product development projects associated with this distributor." — excerpt from nomination
  • Chantel Bonneau

    Wealth Management Advisor
    Northwestern Mutual
    "Chantel has grown into one of Northwestern Mutual’s top Millennial producers, earning MDRT and western regional rep in her second, third, and fourth years." — excerpt from nomination
  • James Christie

    Head, Competitive Services Group
    Lincoln Financial Group
    "James has been a key contributor in driving Lincoln life insurance sales. He has grown the competitive services team to be a unique and efficient arsenal, consistently winning new business for Lincoln." — excerpt from nomination
  • Shawn Davis

    National Vice President, Alternative Distribution
    "Shawn has successfully performed many significant roles, from marketing to captive distribution, independent distribution, and sales development and support. He is well respected by peers and has the ability to lead people from all age groups and diverse professional backgrounds." — excerpt from nomination
  • Chrissy Dunning

    Assistant Vice President, Internal Sales
    Protective Life Insurance Company
    "Chrissy is responsible for the Brokerage General Agency internal sales desk. She has transformed her team, leveraging new technologies to create a wholesale model that drove significant sales growth." — excerpt from nomination
  • Riley Essay

    Regional Sales Manager — Worksite Benefits
    Assurity Life Insurance Company
    "Riley is a solution-based thought leader. He rebuilt the entire enrollment and distribution model within his region, customizing it to meet individual brokers’ needs."— excerpt from nomination
  • Jennifer Tierney

    Vice President, Sales and Distribution
    John Hancock Insurance
    "Jennifer is vice president of U.S. insurance sales and distribution at John Hancock. Jennifer is known for her creativity and her ability to find unique and different ways to meet clients’ needs." — excerpt from nomination
  • Matthew Jones

    Vice President, Customer Engagement
    Swiss Re Life Capital
    "Matthew is responsible for providing Swiss Re’s life insurance policyholders a world-class customer engagement experience. He is helping start-up companies transform the insurance market." — excerpt from nomination
  • Steve Madison

    Vice President, Marketing
    Primerica Life Insurance Company
    "Steve was responsible for 18 percent growth in life applications in 2015, using a paperless system and web policy delivery. Under his leadership, his team delivered 200,000 downloads of new sales tools and grew Primerica’s sales force by 8 percent." — excerpt from nomination
  • Felix Malitsky

    Managing Partner
    MetLife Premier Client Group of New York City
    "After serving in the U.S. Army, Felix entered the financial services industry and has become one of the top financial advisors in his peer group. He is an inspiration to all who work with him." — excerpt from nomination
  • Maggie Merica

    Manager, Agency Training Design
    COUNTRY Financial
    "Maggie leads the curriculum and course development for agency sales at COUNTRY Financial and is working to expand agency manager development to provide greater support to the reps. Her efforts resulted in a 70 percent increase in the number of agents qualified for the sales-based contest." — excerpt from nomination
  • Sean O’Connor

    Assistant Vice President and Regional Manager
    Baltimore Life
    "Sean has the unique ability to attract, recruit, and develop agents and leadership. He is responsive, loyal, committed, unselfish, and a leader. He will run through brick walls to help anyone." — excerpt from nomination
  • Matthew Olson

    Vice President, Customer Marketing and Analytics
    Athene USA
    "Matthew heads up a research and analytics team that is tasked to find deeper insights into how to provide the best products, service, and support for Athene’s agents in the field. HIs dedication to exploring new ideas and using insights driven by data is a perfect demonstration of industry thought leadership." — excerpt from nomination
  • Sharon Parsons

    Integration Product Category Leader
    "Sharon integrated Humana’s Employer Group Portfolio and product development, resulting in new products and riders going to market more quickly and efficiently. She is also responsible for the initiative to help transition group participants to Medicare, providing education and other resources." — excerpt from nomination
  • Caitlin Pemble

    Manager, Agency Growth and Development
    Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
    "Caitlin spearheaded a groundbreaking research study on women and sales, which offers key information on how to crack the code on diversity and mirror the marketplace. Caitlin is a strategic thinker, and her ability to lead transformation was demonstrated in the gender balance initiative." — excerpt from nomination
  • Drinie Posthuma

    Business Manager
    Sanlam Financial Advisors
    "Drinie was the youngest named financial advisor at Sanlam Financial Advisors (in South Africa). In her current role, she remains connected to the field, staying in touch with the latest trends and keeping her finger on the pulse of technology, products, and legislative changes." — excerpt from nomination
  • Lisa Rickner

    Assistant Vice President and Head, AdviceNext Consultant Team
    Lincoln Financial Group
    "Lisa heads the advisory consultant team of the Investment products and Platform Group, the retail distribution arm of Lincoln Financial. Under her leadership, the team has adopted the latest technology and practice management tools to improve productivity and service to clients." — excerpt from nomination
  • Andre Robinson

    Head, Advisory Services
    Voya Financial Advisors, Inc.
    "Andre has led Voya’s advisory services for the broker-dealer for the last year. Leveraging his experience and knowledge of the competitive market, as well as technology solutions, he has been an invaluable addition to Voya." — excerpt from nomination
  • Bobby Samuelson

    Vice President
    "Bobby is vice president on MetLife's life product development team. In his role, he continuously challenges the status quo, developing products that are simple and consumer-friendly." — excerpt from nomination
  • Steve Sanders

    Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer
    Columbus Life Insurance Co.
    "Steve has driven the development of innovative technology to complete the digital process from initial prospecting to client contact and delivery of the policy at Columbus Life. He has also launched the company’s YouTube channel, LifeInsights, which provides a new forum for the industry to share best practices." — excerpt from nomination
  • Shane Shinn

    Regional Director
    Guardian Life
    "As regional director at Guardian Life, Shane exemplifies innovation and collaboration. His efforts have increased field leadership more than 300 percent since 2008 and increased field recruits by 250 percent." — excerpt from nomination
  • Michael St. Clair

    Senior Regional Vice President
    "Michael oversees the eastern region of MassMutual’s field force. Under his leadership, his team achieved record sales in 2015, with whole life product sales increasing 15 percent compared with 2014." — excerpt from nomination
  • Jay Stubbs

    Regional Director
    First Protective
    "Jay is regional director for First Protective. In this role, he has added value by providing accountability, consulting, technological support, marketing and branding strategies, and point-of-sale support to the field." — excerpt from nomination
  • Jim Wagner

    Vice President and Managing Director
    Protective Distributors
    "In his first year at Protective Life, Jim transformed the culture and productivity of the annuity internal desk and was instrumental in meeting very ambitious sales goals. Because of his success, his role expanded to include life insurance internal sales, where he achieved similar results." — excerpt from nomination

Happy 100th, LIMRA!

A Happy Birthday Wish

100 Birthday Wish
    From left to right: Jean Pelletier, Joe Krukas, Carolyn Burton, Paul McClain, Rita Baccaro, Frank Santa-Donato, Reba Nassau, Tom Fahey, Gene Mayfield (with spouse Sue), Arch Edgar, Kent Jamison, Don Kauke, Jim Mitchel, Barbara Norton, Dave Logie, Ram Gopian, John Donahue, Bruce Hamstra.