AALU Concludes TRANSFORM Conference

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May 3, 2019                                                                                                                                               (703) 641-8142

AALU Concludes TRANSFORM Conference

Three-day meeting brought together nearly 1,000 in the financial security profession, featured over 30 industry speakers and hundreds of Capitol Hill meetings, and uncovered key insights about the evolution of the financial and retirement security profession


WASHINGTON, D.C. – AALU this week concluded its three-day annual meeting, TRANSFORM 2019. The first-of-its kind conference brought together nearly 1,000 of the best and brightest in the financial and retirement security profession, with industry experts, celebrity and motivational speakers, members of Congress, and AALU members speaking to attendees.

“This year has been a year of transformation for AALU, and this meeting is one key piece of that,” Marc Cadin, AALU President and CEO said. “It’s remarkable the results and insights you get from bringing our profession together to share their knowledge and expertise so we can all understand the steps needed to elevate our profession.”

AALU had over 400 members attend over 260 meetings on Capitol Hill with members and staff, securing overwhelming support for both RESA in the Senate and the SECURE Act in the House. In addition, AALU hosted two town hall meetings with Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richie Neal (D-Mass.) and Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.). Reps. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), Vincente Gonzales (D-Texas), and Steven Horsford (D-Nev.) addressed the conference.

One particular area Cadin highlighted in his keynote speech is the importance of promoting the financial security profession. He said, “People like Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey, and Ken Fisher have been spewing bad advice for years…I assure you that we will rise to the occasion by defending and promoting the honorable work you do every day.”

Speakers and panelists included discussions on the evolution and the future of the industry, the role of diversity in the profession, lessons on disruption, correcting the record on misinformation about the perception of the profession, political updates on current trends and key policies from lawmakers, and the transformation of the industry and its future.

In addition, AALU held its annual business meeting where it elected six new members of its Board of Directors and a new officer on the Executive Committee. They include: Kristi Barens of Mullin | Barens | Sanford Financial, Luis Chiappy of AXA Advisors, R. David Fritz Jr. of Northwestern Mutual, James Hebets of the Hebets Company, James Joyce of Lion Street, and Don Lippencott of Lippencott Financial Group. Ray Bening of Bening Financial Group took over as Chair of the Board at the conclusion of David Byers’ term as Chair and Rick Van Benschoten of Lenox Wealth Advisors joined the Board’s Executive Committee as Vice Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary.

Lastly, AALU for the first time implemented a series of awards called Transformer Awards to recognize leaders in the profession. The “Rising Star” award was given to Andrea Dykes of Howard Insurance for making a mark on the financial and retirement security profession in the early stages of her career, and the “Innovator” award was given to John Hancock Insurance President and CEO Brooks Tingle for his work with the company’s Vitality Program. For more on the Transformer awards, go here.

Other keynote speakers included former NFL star Peyton Manning, Chris Gardner, the inspiration behind and author of the Pursuit of Happyness, Joe Coughlin, Director of MIT TechnologyAge Labs, illusionist David Kwong, and the former executives of Borders, MapQuest, and Yahoo.

Cadin continued, “Our work is not done.  We have to continue to exponentially grow membership, provide more value and service, and continue to grow our best in class advocacy.  Working together as a team with our new Board of Directors and our first-rate professional team, we will continue to transform our organization in order to elevate the profession.”

AALU’s 2020 annual meeting will be held in Washington, D.C., in April. For photos and video of the event, go here.


About AALU

Since 1957, AALU has been the leading organization of financial professionals who provide life insurance and retirement planning solutions for individuals, families, and businesses. AALU has a rich history of success with a single focus on the issues impacting life and annuity products, and the clients its members serve. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AALU is committed to providing its members with the essential tools and services required to help grow their businesses, serve their clients, and protect the financial and retirement security of the American people.

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