As Shari and I settle back into life in Birmingham amid this beautiful fall season, we are reminded every day of all the blessings in our lives. With Thanksgiving upon us, we are particularly thankful for amazing friends and family, including our family at First Protective.
The beauty of this fall season was on full display in Destin, Florida, where First Protective hosted our Fast Start Conference meeting at the magnificent Henderson Beach Resort and Spa on October 23rd through the 25th. This meeting for some of our newest producers was terrific – offering up a plethora of actionable sales ideas, solutions-focused presentations from our partner carriers, and an update from Marketing Underwriter Robin Vigliotte. An Elite Producer panel featured industry leaders Michael Cowart, Jonathan Charest, and Ricky McQuiston, all of whom demonstrated their generosity and selflessness by offering tremendous insight and best practices on how to grow an insurance practice with tips on how to take advantage of all the resources First Protective offers. Best of all, we enjoyed wonderful fun and fellowship among the team of new producers, their guests, and your First Protective team! Just another example of how First Protective puts you first!
As I reflect on Thanksgiving and the changing of the seasons, I want to recognize some other milestones among the First Protective family.
- Buddy Stanford is transitioning to a new chapter in his life. An industry veteran of 38 years, Buddy has been with First Protective since the start and has contributed mightily to our success as he has served his clients. Buddy has decided to align with our good friend Bill Dowell and his team at Vision Financial Group so he can spend a bit more time with his wife Patti, their three grown children, and eight grandkids! We’ll miss seeing Buddy every day in our First Protective office, but we know we’ll see him often as he continues his great service to our industry. As a distinguished recipient of the Spirit of First Protective award, Buddy epitomizes what being a member of the First Protective family is all about.
- Many of you remember Coleman Lipsey in his role as First Protective’s Director of Advanced Underwriting from 1994 to 2003, and as Regional Director from 2004 on. Coleman recently made the decision to retire to spend more time with his wife Georgia, their four grown children, and seven grandchildren. Coleman has been a tremendous contributor to First Protective over the years and is well known for his tremendous understanding of life insurance solutions, love of our business, and passionate support and advocacy for his producers. We’ll miss working with “The Professor.”
- We were recently treated to an office visit from another long-term member of the First Protective family, Bill Miller. For 35 years as an advisor, Bill has provided important financial solutions for his clients and has always given back to our industry, and to the community, even as he and Donna raised their four sons. In fact, Bill’s selfless involvement as a Boy Scout leader had a wonderful impact on my own son, Colin, who became an Eagle Scout in large part due to Bill’s personal involvement, leadership and attention. Bill Miller knows firsthand about the incredible benefits insurance can deliver. About three years ago, he was badly injured in an accident that left him paralyzed. Disability income insurance that Bill acquired through First Protective enabled the Miller family to move forward without the potentially catastrophic financial consequences they may have otherwise faced. Bill’s experience should remind us all that our business is not about selling products – it’s about providing long-term financial security solutions to the families we serve. Bill is eager to tell his story, and we look forward to opportunities soon for Bill to share his own experience with you and other First Protective producers, emphasizing the nobility of our mission and the positive impact we can make on those we serve.
All of us at First Protective are grateful for your business, partnership and your many contributions to all of those we serve together. We send you our heartfelt thanks and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season.