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NAILBA’s next chapter: Changes evident at year’s last major industry event

Brian Anderson

The winds of change are blowing through the year’s last major industry conference this week in Hollywood, Fla.

NAILBA 36 – the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies’ 36th annual meeting Nov. 16-18 at the Diplomat Beach Resort, is bringing together the wholesale life insurance distribution industry – including representatives from brokerage general agencies, carriers, and insurance industry vendors.

This week’s meeting also presents an opportunity for industry leaders to meet new NAILBA CEO Dan LaBert, who has taken over for Jack Chiasson, CAE, who retired this year after 13 years of running the organization. It also provides this year’s NAILBA Chairman Jim Sorebo the opportunity to roll out his agenda for the coming year.

“I’m excited to embrace the ‘dawning of the new age at NAILBA’ in what we’ve accomplished and the exciting plan for the future, starting with this Annual Meeting,” Sorebo said. “The effort our leadership, volunteers, and staff have dedicated to assembling this year’s program will be demonstrated in our General Sessions, workshops, and in the outstanding networking and business opportunities in our Exhibit Hall.”

While this year’s event is expected to focus primarily on what lies ahead, there will also be an opportunity to celebrate Chiasson’s accomplishments over the years.

Chiasson noted in his May 2017 resignation letter to NAILBA’s board of directors that “NAILBA has never been ‘just a job’ for me,” and concluded, “My work here has been the highlight of my career. I have enjoyed working with an outstanding staff and amazing volunteer leaders to move the organization forward.”

Sorebo said Chiasson will be “remembered by all for his selfless contributions and significant accomplishments, while managing a great staff dedicated to our leading insurance association. For all that we say ‘Thank You and our deepest appreciation.'”

Chiasson’s last day for NAILBA was May 31, when NAILBA Director of Marketing and Communications (and Deputy CEO) Susan Klemmer stepped in as Interim CEO as the organization launched a nationwide search for Chiasson’s successor. Sorebo added that Chiasson left the organization and staff in fantastic shape for the future, NAILBA’s appreciation will be demonstrated with a special “celebration of service” during the black-tie Mooers Award reception this Friday night at the Diplomat.

More meeting highlights

Additional NAILBA 36 program highlights include:

  • Keynote presentations from Theresa Payton (cybersecurity), J. Craig Venter, Ph.D. (renowned biologist who mapped the human genome), Ross Bernstein (best-selling author) and a “Future of NAILBA and Brokerage Panel” composed of the leading authorities in the brokerage community
  • Workshops designed to provide real-world takeaways including presentations by Joe Ross, Melinda Meyer, Tiffany Markarian, Ken Leibow, Amy McIlwain and more
  • A lively exhibit hall featuring over 100 booths from carriers, products and services focused on serving the brokerage community
  • Foundation fundraising activities including the Silent and Live Auctions (Live Auction in conjunction with Mooers Award Reception Friday night)
  • Recognition of the recipient of the prestigious Mooers Award at a black-tie dinner – open to all registrants plus the special celebration of the service of retiring NAILBA CEO Jack Chiasson and entertainment from Alonzo Bodden
  • Networking opportunities that are unrivaled at other industry events including an new after dinner dance party on Friday night

LaBert takes over as NAILBA CEO

Dan LaBert

LaBert, whose first official day in NAILBA’s Fairfax, Va., office was Nov. 4, will oversee the daily operations of NAILBA and work with the Board of Directors to continue implementation of the association’s strategic plan while creating new membership experiences and value.

“I am truly honored to be selected for this position, and I look forward to serving the needs of independent wholesale life brokerage agencies, and helping lead the way in protecting their interests,” LaBert said.

“On behalf of the board and the search committee, I can’t begin to tell you how excited we are to have Dan LaBert as the new NAILBA chief executive,” Sorebo said. “We have an exciting time facing us as an organization, and having the right leader at the helm was our goal as a board and selection committee. We believe Dan has the leadership qualities we are looking for to lead NAILBA for many years to come.”

LaBert comes to NAILBA from the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), where he served as executive director for the 3,500-member organization. Prior to joining NACBA, LaBert served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (22,000 members), where he led a 51-person team, and managed a $10 million budget. LaBert is also the founding Executive Director for the Brewers of Pennsylvania, the state’s official beer guild. His early career experiences include multiple positions with the Leadership Institute, a nationwide nonprofit and nonpartisan leadership training organization.

Like many NAILBA members, LaBert is an entrepreneur. In 2015, he formed FWA Consultants, a keynote speakers’ bureau and consulting agency for some of the country’s finest retired military leaders. The United States Secretary of Defense, General James Mattis, describes LaBert as a “hard charger with excellent leadership skills.”

To view a video announcement from Chairman Jim Sorebo, please click here. LaBert can be reached at the NAILBA office at 703-383-3066 or [email protected]. NAILBA 36 attendees will also have multiple opportunities to meet him during the Annual Meeting.



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