Join us in Hot Springs for NAIFA-Arkansas' 2024 Conference! We can't wait to see you.
Members: $34.95* | Non-Members: $44.95
*Members, help us grow by encouraging a potential member to register and attend the conference. Make sure they mention your name in the "Referred By" section during registration, and we'll refund your registration fee!
Book a room at Oaklawn Resort for our special rate of $130/night | Room Rate is good through February 19th
Group Code - BK216 | Password - 65638104
Chris Gandy is the Founder of Midwest Legacy Group LLC, a boutique concierge insurance group for executives, professional athletes, physicians, business owners, and entrepreneurs. It focuses on the client's interests in wealth accumulation, wealth preservation, retirement strategies, insurance, asset protection, and investments.
Chris played professionally for the Chicago Bulls, the San Antonio Spurs, and in L'Hermaine, France, after playing for the Fighting Illini at the University of Illinois. After the NBA, Chris worked as a Representative for Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, the APEX Consulting Group LLC, and was the Senior Vice President of Sales at MassMutual Chicago.
Thomas O. Michel, LACP, the Managing Director of Michel Financial Group in Los Angeles, was the 2021 President of the NAIFA. Michel served as President-Elect for 2020 and prior to that was NAIFA’s Secretary. He played a leading role on the NAIFA 2025 Strategic Planning Committee. He was also chair of NAIFA’s QME Taskforce which made numerous recommendations regarding NAIFA’s new business model.
Michel has been a loyal NAIFA member since 1986. He has a wide range of experience in the business as an agent, pension wholesaler, and an award-winning agency manager. He formed the Michel Financial Group with his wife, Kimberly A. Michel, creating Ohio National’s first general agency in California. Together they have more than 70 years of experience in the insurance and financial services industry as well as more than 70 years of combined NAIFA membership.
He is a sought-after public speaker, promoting the insurance industry's most notable contributions to society. He has had opportunities to meet and discuss policy with over 100 legislators in his career, including Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris; congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle, including Speakers of the House Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner; chairs of the House Ways and Means and House Financial Services Committees; Governors; state Insurance Commissioners; and prominent Mayors.
FIVE KEY TAKEAWAYS:
Harry Ehrenberg, CLU is one of the founders of the Special Needs Estate Planning Task Force. The task force is an alliance of financial advisors and attorneys who work with parents of children with special needs. He has been advising in this area of estate planning for over 30 years. He has lobbied at both the state and federal level on behalf of these families. The position he advocated became part of the tax act of 1993 (OBRA 93). His expertise in this area has been recognized by the Arkansas Bar Association. He has taught the material covered in this article at continuing legal education seminars. Harry is the parent of a child with special needs.
Katie Burns has been a registered lobbyist in Arkansas for over 20 years. Since 2003, she has dedicated her career working on legislative, regulatory and public policy issues across a four state region as well as Washington D.C. For the last several sessions she has worked on a number of issues on behalf of one of the nation’s largest telecommunications providers. In November of 2018, Burns made the decision to start her own firm. Today she represents clients in healthcare, technology and on procurement matters as the CEO/founder of Cove Street Consulting, LLC.
Katie has served on a number of professional commissions and boards at the direction of industry, the governor and other policy makers. In 2012, Katie was named as one of Arkansas’ Top 40 under 40 -- a high honor recognizing her as a business leader in the state.
Katie lives in North Little Rock with her husband Matt, daughter Ellie (16) and son Charlie (12).
Russ Galbraith has worked in the insurance industry since 1997. Since joining the Arkansas Insurance Department in 2015 as Chief Deputy Commissioner, he has authored the Department’s efficiency report, led the effort to streamline agent pre-license education, and served as hearing officer for numerous agent, company, and consumer issues. Russ is a fierce advocate for state-based insurance regulation and serves as an active member of several NAIC committees, including the Market Actions Working Group (MAWG). Russ strongly believes that Arkansas is a great place to live and do business, and his foremost concentration is bringing new insurers to the state, including re-domestications and captives.
Jimmy is a lifelong Arkansan with over two decades experience in the business of insurance split between the industry and regulatory spaces. Currently, he is the Compliance Director for the Arkansas Insurance Department where one of his team’s main responsibilities is reviewing the rate and form filings of all licensed insurance companies admitted to do business in Arkansas. Over the years he has demonstrated a deep understanding of the complexities of the industry and a commitment to delivering top-notch customer service.