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New presidents named at Life Happens, MDRT

Insurance Forums Staff

A couple of high-profile life insurance industry organizations recently announced new presidents – with one long-time exec adding to her role and another beginning his one-year term.

Here’s the rundown on both developments:

Faisa Stafford promoted to president of Life Happens

Life Happens recently announced the promotion of Faisa Stafford, shown at left, to president of the organization, effective Jan. 1, 2019.

Stafford, the current COO and CFO, will continue putting her talents to work by leading the only not-for-profit organization in the insurance industry that is dedicated to educating Americans about the importance of life insurance and related products in a sound financial plan, and supporting industry members that sell those products.

The announcement was made by Marvin H. Feldman, current CEO and president: “Faisa has been dedicated to the core mission of Life Happens since she started 15 years ago. She’s absolutely the right person to lead our organization at this time, as we continue to innovate with our technology solution—Life Happens Pro—in the insurance-based social-media and marketing realms.”

Feldman will continue his role as CEO, which complements his five-decade career in the industry as an advisor, mentor and active member of numerous industry organizations.

Stafford began her career in accounting with several Washington, D.C.-based private technology and real-estate businesses, and made the transition to Life Happens (then The LIFE Foundation) in 2003. She has held various roles within Life Happens, while always being passionate about increasing efficiencies and implementing technology to streamline processes to better serve the industry and Life Happens’ members. She has been Life Happens’ COO and CFO for the past 11 years, overseeing operations and finance.

“I have a keen interest in leveraging the organization’s ever-growing campaign, program and technology initiatives. We have an innovative staff and a marketing-technology solution for insurance companies that is completely unique in our business,” Stafford says. “Partnering with these companies and industry organizations to help Americans get the life insurance coverage they need, along with other related products, will always remain key for me and the organization.”

The Life Happens Board of Directors unanimously approved Stafford’s appointment to her new role as president. “She is a rock in the organization,” says Robert Garneau, chair of Life Happens’ board of directors. “We have come to rely on her skill and ability to innovate, and know that she is the best person to keep Life Happens at the forefront of both education and technology innovation.”

MDRT announces 2019 executive leadership team

MDRT, the Premier Association of Financial Professionals, recently announced the appointments of Ross Vanderwolf, CFP, to President and Randy L. Scritchfield, CFP, LUTCF, to Secretary of the organization’s Executive Committee.

Vanderwolf, a 31-year MDRT member from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, will be the 93rd President of MDRT and will succeed 44-year member James D. Pittman, CLU, CFP, of Portland, Ore., who will become the Immediate Past President.

Regina Bedoya, CLU, ChFC, a 25-year member from Juno Beach, Fla., will serve as First Vice President and Ian James Green, Dip PFS, a 20-year member from London, England, will serve as Second Vice President.

MDRT’s 2019 Executive Committee includes, from left, Ian Green, Regina Bedoya, Ross Vanderwolf, James Pittman and Randy Scritchfield.

MDRT is internationally recognized as the standard of excellence in the financial services profession and supports members through resources and networking opportunities to advance their careers. The 2019 Executive Committee will lead the association of more than 66,000 international members from 500 companies and 72 nations and territories for a one-year term that began Sept. 1, 2018. Together, they will encourage members to embrace the mission and core principles of the organization.

“To be MDRT goes beyond simply achieving a production requirement; it means joining a global community where we strive to succeed based on MDRT’s deep-rooted tradition of shared learning for the betterment of our clients, organization, peers and the financial services industry,” Vanderwolf said. “I’m honored to carry on the legacy as President and lead more than 66,000 of the world’s top financial services professionals on the path to personal and professional growth each year.”

Vanderwolf will lead the Executive Committee’s mission to uphold the organization’s strict membership, professional and ethical standards as well as empower members through innovative ideas and strategic resources. Expanded networking opportunities and industry insights will continue to help members elevate their careers, experience business growth and develop strong client relationships.

Vanderwolf, who has nine Court of the Table and eight Top of the Table qualifications, is a Platinum Knight-level donor of the MDRT Foundation, is constantly voted one of Australia’s Most Trusted Financial Advisers and is the recipient of multiple awards for excellence in the industry.

Formally accepting the nomination to become the newest member of the Executive Committee during this year’s MDRT Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, Scritchfield, of Damascus, Md., is a 34-year MDRT member with three Court of the Table and 17 Top of the Table qualifications, an Excalibur Knight-level donor of the MDRT Foundation and a member of its Inner Circle Society.

About MDRT: Founded in 1927, Park Ridge, Ill.-based Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), The Premier Association of Financial Professionals®, is a global, independent association of more than 66,000 of the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals from more than 500 companies in 72 nations and territories. MDRT members demonstrate exceptional professional knowledge, strict ethical conduct and outstanding client service. MDRT membership is recognized internationally as the standard of excellence in the life insurance and financial services business. For more information, please visit mdrt.org and follow them on Twitter @MDRtweet.

About Life Happens: Arlington, Va.-based Life Happens is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping consumers take personal financial responsibility through the ownership of life insurance and related products. The organization does not endorse any product, company or insurance advisor. Since its inception in 1994, Life Happens has provided the highest quality, independent and objective information for people seeking help with their insurance buying decisions. The organization is on the leading edge of technology innovation to support the insurance industry by providing marketing and social-media tools and resources through its proprietary Life Happens Pro digital platform. In addition, it convenes the industry each September for Life Insurance Awareness Month, which it created in 2004. Life Happens is supported by more than 140 of the nation’s leading insurance company and financial services organizations. To learn more, visit www.lifehappens.org.



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