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Thought Leader Bios

NAIFA is the Premier Association in the Financial Services Industry


Our leadership and staff are thought leaders with understanding and expertise on political issues, industry trends and developments, and association matters important to NAIFA members and the media.

Our leaders are frequent speakers at industry events and contributors to trade publications.

Members of the media who would like to interview NAIFA leaders, staff, or other NAIFA members should contact communications@naifa.org.

Lawrence Holzberg

President

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President

Lawrence Holzberg

Lawrence Holzberg, LACP, LUTFC, has a knack for stewarding development and growth wherever he goes. Prior to joining Fortis Lux, he served as Managing Director and Director of Sales and Strategic Initiatives for Wealth Advisory Group. Holzberg was focused on the talent acquisition and leadership development. The Life Brokerage Division grew by 20% under his leadership and he was able to aid advisors to double their business in three years' time. Before that, he was able to aid the growth of the broker distribution channel by 15% year after year at Rampart America. It is clear that Holzberg is dedicated to his work such that growth is exponential. To meet the increasing demand for financial advice and services, Holzberg has been committed to providing expertise and personal attention to help advisors succeed. He will focus on expanding the availability of services that Fortis Lux offers throughout the Long Island region.

Throughout his over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, Holzberg has developed a regional and national reputation for his leadership and a proven track record of developing and managing high-performance teams.

Holzberg received his Bachelor of Business Administration, from Long Island University. Since then he has received certifications for Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow and Life and Annuity Certified Professional both issued by NAIFA.

Bryon Holz

President Elect

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President Elect

Bryon Holz

Bryon A. Holz, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF, CASL, LACP, is President of Bryon Holz & Associates in Brandon, FL. He founded his practice in 1983 to provide investments and insurance to successful individuals and business owners throughout the Southeast. Bryon Holz and Associates specialize in wealth accumulation, retirement income, asset preservation, and legacy planning strategies. The firm's approach to financial services is based on the principle that the customer's needs should always come first.

Holz served on NAIFA’s national Board of Trustees from 2015 to 2019 and was a member of the NAIFA 2025 Strategic Planning Committee. Holz has been a loyal NAIFA member since 1987. He served as the President of NAIFA’s Tampa Bay chapter and the NAIFA-Florida state chapter. He was the 2017 NAIFA-Florida “Advisor of the Year,” recipient of the C.G. Snead/J.F. Bryan, III Memorial Award for Outstanding Service. He is a graduate of NAIFA's Leadership in Life Institute (LILI), twice serving as a LILI moderator, and regularly speaks to audiences around the country.

Holz is a graduate and Presidential Scholar of the University of Tampa. In his spare time, he is very active in his church and community, with a special passion for music, travel, and spending time with family.

Thomas Cothron

Secretary

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Secretary

Thomas Cothron

Thomas M. Cothron, LUTCF, is an Agency Manager with Southern Farm Bureau, a position he has held since 1986. He started in the business in 1979. He has been named Agency Manager of the Year seven times and is a multi-year winner of Southern Farm Bureau’s Team Player Award.

 

Cothron has served as a NAIFA local chapter President and the 2008-2009 President of NAIFA-FL. He served on NAIFA’s national Board of Trustees, 2011-2015. He is a former moderator for LUTC courses. He has regularly attended NAIFA Congressional Conference events in Washington, D.C., and participated in NAIFA-FL Legislative Days for more than 20 years. He serves as a NAIFA Key Contact for several state and federal lawmakers from Florida

Brock Jolly

Treasurer

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Treasurer

Brock Jolly

Brock Jolly, CFP, CLU, CLTC, CASL, CFBS, is a financial advisor with Capitol Financial Partners and the founder of The College Funding Coach. He started in the financial-planning industry with John Hancock and moved to his current firm, affiliated with MassMutual. 

In 2005, Jolly began serving on the board of NAIFA-Greater Washington, D.C., in various roles, including as YAT and Membership Chair. During his presidency, the association received a local and a state Bubo Award. 
 
When Jolly was president, NAIFA President John Nichols recommended a Taste of MDRT, an event that had successfully been held in Chicago. Jolly mirrored the event in Washington, D.C., and he and his team has successfully hosted it since.  
 
In 2011, Jolly was named YAT Leader of the Year, and in 2012, he served on NAIFA President Robert Miller’s Blue Ribbon Task Force. Also in 2012, he became the Chair of NAIFA’s Investment Committee. Jolly served 4 years as a Trustee on the NAIFA Board and was elected Treasurer in 2018.
 
A graduate of The University of Virginia, Jolly is active on the board of the Greater Washington Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. He lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife, Lauren, and their son Bryson.

Tom Michel

Immediate Past President

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Immediate Past President

Tom Michel

Tom Michel, LACP, is a 32-year veteran of the life and financial-services industry He currently partners with his wife, Kim, at Michel Financial Group in Los Angeles,  a career Builder Agency affiliated with Ohio National.
 
Michel has been successful as an agent and a pension wholesaler. He led his company nationally 4 of the 5 years in that role. As agency manager, his agency led the company nationally in production for three of the four years that he served in that role.  He is a recipient of many production awards, including GAMA’s Diamond Management Award multiple times, and received the 2013 Will J. Farrell Award for meritorious service to industry and the community.
 
Michel has served as a two-term President for NAIFA-Los Angeles, and it won under his leadership the Top State Association Awards. He was also a recipient of two Jack Bobo awards. He was NAIFA-California’s 80th President and National Committeeperson.
 
Michel was elected to the NAIFA Executive Committee in September of 2018. Before that, he was a national trustee, the APIC Western Region co-chair and had served President John Nichols on the NAIFA “Think Tank.”  His advocacy efforts are extensive, with meetings with over 70 elected officials. He was instrumental in key legislative relationships with the passing of NARAB II.
 
Michel and his family live in Pacific Palisades.

Kevin Mayeux

Chief Executive Officer

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Chief Executive Officer

Kevin Mayeux

As NAIFA’s Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Mayeux, CAE, oversees the headquarters and national staff and manages relationships with life, health and financial service companies, other industry organizations, legislators, and regulators. Mayeux supports NAIFA’s Board of Trustees and committees and coordinates efforts with NAIFA’s 90 state and local chapters. As CEO, he led an effort to modernize NAIFA’s operations through the development and implementation of a bold new strategic plan, NAIFA 20/20.

Prior to becoming NAIFA’s CEO, Mayeux served as the Executive Vice President, Chief Officer for North American Operations, and General Counsel for the Institute of Internal Auditors Global Headquarters in Orlando, Fla. In this role, Kevin supervised the core membership services offered to all 75,000 IIA members in North America in 158 chapters throughout the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean islands. Kevin further served as General Counsel, guiding the IIA’s intellectual property protection, affiliation agreements and legal interests around the world. He is a Certified Association Executive and holds a Certificate in Risk Management Assurance.

Mayeux has served as an association management professional for more than 25 years, including serving as the executive director of a statewide trade association in Tallahassee and CEO of an international individual membership society in Indianapolis. He also practiced law in Central Florida. He has held leadership positions on both the state and national level within the association management community, including being named Indiana’s association executive of the year, serving as president of the Indiana Society of Association Executives, and serving on the board of directors for the Florida Society of Association Executives. Mayeux received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and took Masters in Political Science and Public Administration courses concurrent with his Juris Doctorate at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he served as Student Body President. Kevin continues to serve his alma mater as a member of its national alumni board.

Michael Gerber

Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel

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Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel

Michael Gerber

Michael Gerber joined NAIFA’s Law and Government Relations department in 1999 and became the association’s General Counsel in 2003. In 2008, Gerber assumed responsibility for NAIFA’s Human Resources team, and in 2016 he was named NAIFA’s Chief Operating Officer. With over two decades of experience with association law and governance matters, Gerber supports NAIFA’s legal, governance, and human resources functions, as well as NAIFA’s overall operations.

Gerber is a 1990 graduate of New York University School of Law and was a litigator in New York City for 9 years before joining NAIFA.

He is a member of the Bar of the District of Columbia, New York and Virginia, and of NAIFA–Greater Washington D.C., and the American Society of Association Executives.

Diane Boyle

SVP, Government Relations

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SVP, Government Relations

Diane Boyle

Areas of Expertise: Disability Insurance, Employee Benefits, Health Care Insurance, Long-Term Care Insurance, 1099 Provision, Cafeteria Plans, Flexible Spending Arrangements, Health Savings Accounts, Medical Loss Ratio, State Exchanges, Employer-Provided Group Health Insurance, Estate Tax, Group Life and Disability Insurance Income, Life Insurance Death Benefit, Life Insurance Inside Build Up.

 

Diane Boyle joined the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors family in April of 1991 and serves as the association’s chief federal lobbyist. Her responsibilities include the development and implementation of legislative and regulatory strategy, and daily execution of association activities to provide advocacy services for professional insurance and financial advisors in order to support a private, competitive insurance marketplace. Prior to expansion of health services to all NAIFA members in January 2010, Boyle served as the executive vice president for the Association of Health Insurance Advisors, the former health conference of NAIFA.

John Boyle

VP, Professional Credentials

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VP, Professional Credentials

John Boyle

As Vice President, Professional Credentials, John Boyle, CAE, oversees the Life Underwriting Training Council Fellow (LUTCF®) designation and the Life and Annuity Certified Professional (LACP™) certification. In addition to administering NAIFA’s existing credentials, he oversees the process of identifying and developing new credentials NAIFA can create for the industry to recognize the expertise and commitment of insurance and financial advisors and help consumers distinguish qualified, ethical professionals.

Boyle joined NAIFA in 2001. In addition to his responsibility for NAIFA’s credentials, Boyle has worked on a variety of programs for NAIFA including professional development, events, awards, Advisor Today, affinity programs, and more. Over the course of 30 years, Boyle has served as an association management professional with multiple organizations. He is a member of ASAE and PCMA and holds the Certified Association Executive (CAE) and Digital Event Strategist (DES) certifications.

Suzanne Carawan

VP, Marketing & Communications

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VP, Marketing & Communications

Suzanne Carawan

For over 20 years, Suzanne has served in lead marketing roles spearheading start-up or turnaround efforts for companies and organizations across a variety of industries. With deep roots in technology, Suzanne routinely serves as a change agent and driver for digital transformation as well as a speaker on a wide variety of topics in brand, channel, digital and inbound marketing.

Since joining NAIFA in 2018, her focus has turned to how to rebrand and reposition the organization after the historic vote to restructure and re-engineer the association. Suzanne serves as the brand architect and leads the marketing and communication efforts for NAIFA and has implemented a centralized enterprise marketing model at NAIFA to power the membership growth program.

Suzanne holds an MBA in global marketing from American University’s Kogod School of Business, a Master’s in Public Health from Tulane University, and a BA in Philosophy from the University of Maryland, College Park. Suzanne is a proud member of the Ohio Society of Association Executives, the American Society of Association Executives, American Marketing Association, and is a member of her local Lions International club.

Erni Davis

VP, Finance

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VP, Finance

Erni Davis

Alaina Faiello

VP, Professional Development

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VP, Professional Development

Alaina Faiello

As the Vice President of Professional Development for NAIFA, Alaina Faiello oversees the strategic direction and design, development, and implementation of all nationally held NAIFA educational programs.

With over 20 years’ experience in meeting and event planning, learning and development and project management, Alaina leads the team in the delivery of programming that covers all modalities in both digital and in person events. In 2020, Alaina made the pivotal shift of moving in person programming into the digital space and continues to build out a digital learning strategy for NAIFA members nationwide.

Prior to NAIFA, Alaina worked as a project manager on the Learning and Development team for Advisory Technology Consulting at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). During her time at PwC, Alaina served as a lead with key technology consulting stakeholders and partners to identify and define the annual training needs of their teams to better achieve client success. Additionally, Alaina was responsible for managing multi-million-dollar training budgets as well as development and implementation of firm-wide independence, ethics, and compliance training for over fifty thousand US based partners and employees.

Alaina’s career spans across both corporate and not-for-profit organizations, to include over 14 years working for not-for-profit organizations in healthcare, audit, insurance, and financial industries.

Born and raised in Florida, Alaina earned her Bachelor of Science Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida Rosen School of Hospitality Management in 2002. Alaina lives in Central Florida with her husband, three children, dog, cat, and turtle and is active in her local community serving on her HOA Board. Alaina is a member of the American Society of Association Executives, the Professional Convention Management Association, and The Learning Guild.

Karla Kirk

VP, Growth & Revenue

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VP, Growth & Revenue

Karla Kirk

As NAIFA Vice President of Growth and Revenue, Karla Kirk is in charge of NAIFA’s business development, membership sales, and Centers of Excellence operations. She leads a business-development and sales team focused on advancing NAIFA initiatives to grow membership and corporate non-dues revenue.

Kirk previously served as the Executive Director of the Advanced Practice Center, a collaboration of NAIFA and the Society of Financial Service Professionals, that offers resources, events, and access to experts for financial professionals working on clients’ complex planning needs. In this role, she has become very familiar with NAIFA’s membership, volunteer leadership, corporate partners, and sponsors.

Kirk was also the Vice President of Firm Selection with Lion Street Financial, a network of over 1,000 financial professionals representing almost 200 member firms across the country. She led the firm selection process by attracting financial professionals to join the Lion Street network.

 

Corey Mathews

VP, Member & Chapter Services

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VP, Member & Chapter Services

Corey Mathews

Corey G. Mathews, CAE, a certified  association executive, as NAIFA's Vice President, Member and Chapter Services, provides strategic direction and leadership to the department. Mathews has more than 20 years of association management experience, with nearly all of those years at chief executive or senior management level. Prior to joining NAIFA, Mathews ran his own Florida-based association management company (AMC), Your Association Office (YAO) for two years. Prior to founding YAO, he served as Senior Account Executive for another AMC, where he managed five state associations - including one in the insurance market that led him to obtain a General Lines Insurance License in Florida. His career has been focused on organizational and membership growth with a particular emphasis on turnarounds. The majority of his clients experience at least a 50% growth in membership within three years, as well as obtaining financial reserves equal to or exceeding 50% of their annual operating budget. In addition to his experience as a strategic leader and change-agent, he has managed all operational aspects of an association, including member services, marketing, communication, advocacy, education, events, and administrative/accounting functions. His extremely diverse experience makes him a key asset in directing NAIFA Account Executives on behalf of our Chapters.

Mathews obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Florida and a Master of Public Administration with a specialization in Non-Profit Management from Florida State University. Despite having attended rival schools, he wishes to assure everyone that he is most assuredly a Gator fan! He is also an active leader with Marzuq Shriners, which supports the internationally recognized Shriners Healthcare for Children; a member of Robert Butler Lodge No. 305, Free and Accepted Masons; an Assistant Scoutmaster at Troop 44 in Tallahassee, Florida; and a proud Dad to Jack and Tom.

Phu Ngo

VP, Technology

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VP, Technology

Phu Ngo

Phu Ngo is NAIFA's VP, Technology.

Randy Clark

Senior Director, Membership Outreach and Engagement

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Senior Director, Membership Outreach and Engagement

Randy Clark

As Senior Director of Membership Outreach and Engagement, Randy Clark’s focus is on opening NAIFA’s corporate recruitment channels and working with industry leaders to encourage their producers to join and become active members in NAIFA. He has 11 years of experience in association marketing with the National Rifle Association, where he led teams responsible for growing membership programs, contractor sales, events and conferences, and industry partnerships. He also held leadership sales positions with Nauticon Imaging Solutions, AirTran Airways, and Coca-Cola. He holds a BS in Marketing from the University of Maryland.

Jayne Fitzgerald

Director, Government Relations

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Director, Government Relations

Jayne Fitzgerald

As Director of Government Relations, Jayne Fitzgerald analyzes policy and develops legislative strategies and positions on federal tax, retirement, finance, and other issues important to NAIFA members and their clients.

Fitzgerald possesses broad government relations experience in the public and private sectors. She has deep knowledge of the policy issues that impact the insurance and financial services industry and the work of financial security professionals. 

Fitzgerald previously served as the Economic Policy Advisor to Representative Bill Pascrell, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, where she specialized in tax, pension, and financial services issues. She previously worked with lobbying and law firms on a variety of tax, retirement, health, and finance matters. Fitzgerald is a graduate of Georgetown University undergraduate and law schools.

Maeghan Gale

Policy Director

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Policy Director

Maeghan Gale

Maeghan Gale serves NAIFA as the Policy Director with the Government Relations team. In this role she conducts research and analysis, as well as develop and coordinate advocacy policies and positions for NAIFA. She leads efforts to see NAIFA positions incorporated into model legislation and regulations, working closely with partner organizations, government regulators, legislators and NAIFA members.

Gale brings a wealth of firsthand financial service experience to the role and the Government Relations team, having held positions as an Agent/Producer for some of the industry’s leading companies. She previously held multiple insurance and securities licenses, including Property & Casualty, Life & Health, Annuity and Long-Term Care insurance licenses. She also was a recognized Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and Financial Planner.

She holds a Master’s of Science in Marketing from Florida International University, and a Bachelor’s in Political Science and American Government from Queen’s University of Charlotte.  She is currently pursuing a second Master’s in Public Policy from The George Washington University.

Michael Hedge

Director, Government Relations

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Director, Government Relations

Michael Hedge

Michael Hedge serves on the NAIFA Government Relations team as the Director of Federal Government Relations. His primary focus centers on financial services, representing NAIFA before the House Financial Services Committee, the Senate Banking Committee, the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and federal regulators.

Before joining NAIFA, Hedge served six years as a lobbyist for the Community Associations Institute, representing common-interest communities before state and federal legislators and regulatory agencies. He has worked for trade associations in the technology and energy fields and also spent four years representing the interests of the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates as well as in the United States.

Hedge got his start in DC on the staffs of former Ohio Congressmen John Kasich and David Hobson. He conducted his graduate studies at Georgetown University for social and public policy and completed his bachelor’s degree in history from the Catholic University of America, both located in Washington, D.C.

Stephanie Sheridan

Political Director

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Political Director

Stephanie Sheridan

Stephanie N. Sheridan is NAIFA’s Political Director with more than 15 years of experience managing large scale PAC and political affairs programs. Sheridan oversees the day to day operation of IFAPAC, NAIFA’s system of 51 state PACs and one federal PAC. As a senior member of NAIFA’s government affairs department she develops and executes IFAPACs strategic plan. Sheridan leads the PAC team as well as each chapter’s PAC Champions through the myriad of campaign finance compliance concerns and seeks to increase member engagement in the political process.

Sheridan earned her Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Political Science at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in 2000. After completing an internship through The Washington Center Program, she remained in the D.C. area to begin a career in politics. Sheridan lives outside the Beltway, where she serves as the Secretary of her Parent Teacher Organization, and both she and her family participate in community outreach projects serving the homeless population in their city.