LIMRA Home Link

2018 Rising Stars of Innovation

LIMRA is pleased to present the winners of the 2018 Rising Stars of Innovation. These up-and-comers represent talent across many areas of financial services, who have implemented innovative practices within their companies.

Learn more about the individual winners below.

  • Tassie Blackstone

    Director of Sales and Strategy
    brightpeak financial
    “Tassie leads not only the sales team but also product and competitive intelligence at brightpeak financial. She continually pushes the boundaries to drive sales, her team and the company forward by bringing creative solutions to everyday tasks and implementing new ideas to help drive sales.” – excerpt from nomination
  • Colby Custer

    Product Management Consultant
    “Within 12 weeks, Colby developed a new IRA product for MassMutual by breaking down each individual component of the IRA business and driving forward a solution that will contribute over $300 million annually to the workplace business.  She is now relied upon by the business for her experience with B/D and IRA solution.” – excerpt from nomination
  • Anne Do

    Digital Marketing Coordinator
    Sagicor Life Insurance Company
    “Anne develops and uses innovative site analytic tools to collect and categorize data used in marketing advertising spend decisions for Sagicor Life Company. She has been very successful in improving the site's visibility through SEO and SEM techniques to steadily improve site traffic and site conversions while reducing the cost per click.” – excerpt from nomination
  • Lauren Kane

    Senior Manager, Content Strategy
    Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company
    “Lauren has been instrumental in elevating social presence for Penn Mutual and influencing the adviser community to leverage a new selling and engagement tool with clients and prospects. With Lauren's partnership, Penn Mutual has been able to increase 1.1 million employment brand impressions in 2016 to 5.6 million impressions in 2017.” – excerpt from nomination
  • Kelly Katz

    Vice President, Institutional Retirement Marketing
    T. Rowe Price
    “Kelly has implemented a top-notch financial wellness offering and account-based marketing at T. Rowe Price.” – excerpt from nomination
  • Michael Michlitsch

    Director, Policy Management Company
    Valmark Financial Group
    “Michael leads an innovative, unique service offering for Valmark Financial Group.  The Valmark Policy Management Company allows agents to outsource active, ongoing policy monitoring and management so that they can focus on what they do best and clients are provided assurance that policies will deliver the promised benefits.” – excerpt from nomination
  • Carlos Nakandakare

    Director Comercial de Vida
    Mapfre Perú
    “Carlos developed a new commercial team of young professionals at MAPFRE PERU to help engage Millennials in life insurance. He redesigned the working model of the traditional salesforce, implemented a new model of leadership and redefined the model of training, supervising and career line. One of the results of this change has been an average annual growth of 25 percent, an increase of more than three times the market in four years.” – excerpt from nomination
  • Matthew Prom

    Distribution Sales Enablement Technology Manager
    Allianz Life Insurance Company
    “Matt has led numerous mobile- and technology-related initiatives on behalf of Allianz Life and their distribution channels overall. He has led various initiatives, such as developing a compliant means of texting, creating efficiencies through the usage of email campaigns, identifying technology tools to automate personalized correspondence, implementing intelligent calendaring solutions and improving internal processes.” – excerpt from nomination
  • Ashim Avinash Sahu

    Associate Director, Data Sciences
    AIA Bhd Malaysia
    “Ashim employs innovative analysis tools to help AIA understand its customers. In a short space of time, he and his team were able to determine that a key customer need was to have better visibility on the status update of claims. This intelligence was instrumental in the second phase of the My AIA app.” – excerpt from nomination
  • Sarah Thacker

    Underwriting Manager, Voluntary Benefits
    Voya Financial
    “Sarah brings underwriting to the forefront of Voya’s sales and client partnerships, and garners respect as a member of our Employee Benefits leadership team. The results of Sarah’s innovative approaches include better outcomes for clients and their employees, stronger partnerships with brokers, and an accelerated sales trajectory resulting in increased profitable growth. Her collaborative, well-informed, results-driven style is a model to her colleagues across Voya Employee Benefits and within the industry.” – excerpt from nomination

    For media inquiries:

    Catherine Theroux
    Director, Public Relations
    Office: 860-285-7787
    Cell: 703-447-3257

    Erica Iorillo
    Public Relations Consultant
    Office: 860-285-7875
    Cell: 860-371-8638

    People wishing to receive e-mails with LIMRA’s latest news can subscribe to LIMRA News Distribution List