By Cyril Tuohy
The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) has recognized Kristine M. Wolfe with the 2014 C. Carney Smith Award.
The award, established in 1976, is NAIFA’s most prestigious honor for its state and local association executives and has come to symbolize lifetime achievement.
NAIFA President John Nichols said Wolfe’s lifelong dedication to service was “an inspiration to all of us.”
“It’s the work of Kris and dedicated executives like her around the country that has helped make NAIFA so successful over the past 125 years,” Nichols said in a news release.
Wolfe, who has served as the executive director for NAIFA-Greater Detroit since 2005 and previously held the position from 1985 to 1987, will be recognized Sept. 5 at the start of NAIFA’s annual convention in San Diego. She is the 39th recipient of the award which promotes the advancement of professionalism in the field of association management among NAIFA state and local associations.
The award is named after C. Carney Smith, who served as NAIFA’s executive vice president for 15 years, ending in 1978. The award recipient is chosen by industry peers.
Michael D. Vukich, president of NAIFA-Greater Detroit, said Wolfe is “one of the finest executives I have ever worked with.”
“She is a real pro in all aspects of her life,” Vukich said in a news release. “She’s talented, motivated, dedicated and a natural leader. She just makes things happen — and always the right way.”
Gregory R. Kreiner, past president of the NAIFA-Greater Detroit board, said Wolfe “ranges from cheerleader to taskmaster” for the organization, and makes sure the board remains “ever-vigilant” around issues of recruitment and retention.
“She is respected and well-liked by our membership, and she is always cheerful and ready to serve them above and beyond,” Kreiner said.
Wolfe plans and executes the NAIFA-Greater Detroit annual Sales Congress. With the help of prominent speakers and sponsors, the event has drawn more than 400 attendees in each of the last four years, NAIFA said.
This year, with the help of NAIFA-National, Wolfe set a NAIFA-Greater Detroit record for the most new memberships at a one-day event. The event garnered more than 40 new memberships, according to NAIFA.
Wolfe has also raised the visibility of NAIFA-Greater Detroit by doing TV interviews promoting the value of life insurance, and she initiated a partnership with other media outlets such as “D Business” magazine to promote NAIFA.
Under Wolfe’s leadership, NAIFA-Greater Detroit’s financial reserves have also increased, NAIFA said.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at [email protected].
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