By Robert Dixon
American Income Life (AIL) has elected 12 state general agents to its 2013 Executive Advisory Council, according to an announcement.
The Executive Advisory Council serves in a consulting capacity to the president and chief executive of AIL. The council “meets to propose new opportunities and initiatives for the 62-year-old insurance provider,” according to a news release.
Its members represent the top state general agents in the company. The 2013 Executive Advisory Council is made up of the following agents:
- In his ninth year with AIL, Steve Greer is a state general agent in Houston, Texas. “Exactly four years after starting with AIL, my net worth hit $1,” Greer is quoted on his Web site. “I knew most people could never do that in 30 years in the corporate world.” He has served on the Executive Advisory Council twice. Greer is responsible for six Texas offices.
- Sabrina Lloyd is a state general agent in Illinois, and operates an office there and in Indiana and Iowa. Originally from Canada, she came to the United States to assist a family member and planned to attend medical school in New Jersey. “I was looking for a job to support my family and pay for school, and found a career,” she said of her work at AIL.
- As a North Carolina state general agent, Slav Bitman is responsible for four AIL offices. He has been with the company 14 years, according to his Web site. His advice to aspiring insurance agents is “Begin with the end in mind. Believe in the systems being taught. Set up a plan, create a mission, have a passion for the mission and submission to the system.”
- Simon Arias was named AIL’s top state agent of the year in 2011, the youngest agent to achieve that status, according to his AIL Web site. He joined AIL right out of college in 2005 and advanced to a management role within a year. Headquartered in Wexford, Pa., The Arias Agencies operate eight offices in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland.
"Being appointed to AIL's executive council is extremely important to me. It adds a sense of ownership and pride to the work that we do, and it allows an opportunity to provide insight and perspective on the direction that the company is headed," he said in an email interview with InsuranceNewsNet. "Ultimately, it is an honor."
What Arias hopes to bring to the council is his competitive spirit. "I'd like to think that I bring a competitive spirit to the council and assist in making sure that we are thinking big and setting exceptional goals while we plan for the future," he said in the interview.
- Theo Pappas, state general agent in New York and Massachusetts, achieved some impressive milestones during his time with National Income Life, the affiliate of American Income Life licensed in New York, according to his company site. He operates out of an office in Foxboro, Mass.
- Jim Surace has owned the Surace Agencies of American Income Life since 1984. He has taught many AIL leadership training programs, co-authored the State General Agents’ Management Manual and served on nearly all of the company’s management boards and executive committees. The Surace Agencies operate seven offices in Ohio.
- Marcus Smith is a partner in the Surace and Smith Agencies, which operate seven offices in Ohio.
- Fred Hadayia is a state general agent in Pennsylvania and Delaware. Hadayia has been in the insurance business in 1973 and now oversees three offices. Hadayia has been a Founders Club Member and has been an AIL Executive Council Member three times.
- Twelve years ago, Robert Olson, state general agent in Illinois and Indiana, went from owning a home remodeling sales company to selling insurance at AIL. Today he operates four offices in the Chicago-northern Illinois area and one in northern Indiana.
- Matt Henderson is a state general agent in Florida with six offices under his supervision. He has been with the company for 10 years. “To be honest,” he says in a recruiting video, “I was looking for a career in a sales environment to make quite a bit of money.” But he found what most college graduates run into – the need for five to 10 years of experience in sales in order to get the kind of money he wanted.
- Imran Satti is a state general agent in Nova Scotia, Canada. He has been with the company for 11 years and worked as a state general agent for almost six years, according to his company recruiting video.
- With a degree in microbiology from Louisiana State University, Joe Diecedue says he wasn’t especially interested in insurance at first. But he has been with AIL for 10 years, is the state general agent for Louisiana and Mississippi, and operates five offices.
The council's 12 members will play a role in expanding AIL's agent force by appointing 100 sales agents and managers to each of their respective sales teams, the company said.
Headquartered in Waco, Texas, American International Life sells life and supplemental health insurance to labor unions, credit unions and middle-income families. It is a division of Torchmark Corp., a McKinney, Texas-based holding company for seven life insurance companies.
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