Life Happens Announces New Officers and Members to its Board of Directors for 2015
Arlington, Va. – January 29, 2015 – Life Happens, a nonprofit organization focused on educating Americans about the importance of life insurance as part of a comprehensive financial plan, today announced the appointment of three new officers and four new members to its board of directors.
Marc P. Schwartz, J.D., CLU, of Woodland Hills, Calif., is the current chair of Life Happens. On Jan. 1, 2015, he replaced Cindy V. Gentry, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF, of Corpus Christi, Texas. New Executive Committee member Pat Wedeking of Littleton, Colo., has been appointed as secretary and Cliff Wilson, CLU, ChFC, CLF, LUTCF, of Chandler, Ariz., was named Chair-Elect.
Regina Bedoya, CLU, ChFC, CMFC, CAP, CLTC, of Juno Beach, Fla.; Shervin Eftekhari of Nashville, Tenn.; Parks LaMarche of San Diego; Howard Sharfman of Chicago; and Gib Surles, CLU, ChFC, CFP, AEP, MSFS, of Houston, have also joined the Life Happens board.
“We are especially grateful for the dedication and service of our 2015 board of directors, as we move into our third decade,” said Marvin Feldman. “The counsel and financial support from leading insurance companies and producer organizations are indispensable to the mission of Life Happens, and these individuals represent some of the insurance industry’s best and brightest. We welcome them as a part of the leadership that will further Life Happens’ public education mission.”
Life Happens’ 18-member board of directors includes representatives from seven of the insurance industry’s producer organizations and five Life Happens member companies. Officers are volunteer positions held by members of the board.
New 2015 Life Happens Officers and Board Members include:
Marc P. Schwartz, J.D., CLU, is the 2015 chair of the board of directors of Life Happens and principal of Los Angeles-based Windsor Insurance Associates, Inc. Marc has more than 20 years of experience in the life insurance industry. Schwartz is involved in all aspects of marketing and sales support, focusing on advanced marketing and case design. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU). He has served as past president of the Forum 400 (formerly the International Forum) and was a former board member of his local chapter of the Society of Financial Services Professionals (FSP).
Howard Sharfman is president of Schwartz Benefit Services, one of the premier and largest wealth transfer consulting and planning firms in the country. His firm has additional expertise in executive benefits, corporate benefits, general insurance and risk management. He is the Life Happens board representative and chair of Forum 400 and serves as president of the MSG, a leading insurance-based study group. In addition, he has served on the advisory boards of MetLife, ING, John Hancock and Pacific Life and is a member of the advisory board of Partners Financial, one of the largest insurance producer distribution channels in the industry.
Regina Bedoya, CLU, ChFC, CMFC, CAP, CLTC, is president and CEO of RB Financial Advisors, a boutique financial planning firm in Juno Beach, Fla., where she offers financial coaching services to her clients. As a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, she provides specialized financial guidance to clients going through a divorce or who are recently divorced. She is a life member of MDRT, with conference qualifications for 21 consecutive years, multiple presidential citations and the Irvin Konter Award. She has been awarded the MDRT Honor Roll designation and earned five Court of the Table qualifications, and represents MDRT on the Life Happens board.
Parks LaMarche is president of CPS/Integrated Marketing and Insurance Services, which is a full-service brokerage general agency in San Diego. The agency represents over 40 insurance carriers in life, annuity and long-term care insurance. The company specializes in impaired risk life, advanced markets, premium finance and low-cost term. Over 2,500 brokers nationwide are serviced through CPS/IMIS, and he employs a staff of 10. Parks is a long-time member of NAILBA, and served on the board of directors from 2006-09. He is a charter member of the NAILBA Charitable Foundation and served on its board from 2007-11, and as chairman from 2009-10. He serves as our board representative from NAILBA.
Gib Surles, CLU, ChFC, CFP, AEP, MSFS, is founder of The Forrest Group, L.L.C., an estate management firm in Houston and the board representative from AALU. He is a member of the MDRT’s Top of the Table and is a past president of the Houston chapter of the SFSP and the Houston Estate and Financial Forum. He is also the immediate past president of AALU. He received the Benjamin N. “Woody” Woodson Award for outstanding service to the insurance industry in 2011 and the John N. Neighbor’s Award for his special dedication to NAIFA in 2012.
Shervin Eftekhari is president and equity partner of Zander Insurance Group and the board representative from LIDMA. He began his insurance career as an agent with Northwestern Mutual and a registered representative with Robert W. Baird. He co-founded ReliaQuote in 1999, where he designed the operations, managed corporate partnerships and developed sales relations. It grew to become one of the largest direct marketers of life insurance. In 2013, he joined Zander Insurance Group, which provides the most complete suite of insurance products nationwide, including term life, disability insurance, identity theft protection, auto, home, health, employee benefits and commercial lines. He is a co-founder and current board member of LIDMA.
Additional information regarding the 2015 board of directors can be found at www.lifehappens.org/board-of-directors.
About Life Happens
Life Happens is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping consumers take personal financial responsibility through the ownership of life insurance and related products. The organization does not endorse any product, company or insurance advisor. Since its inception in 1994, Life Happens has provided the highest quality, independent and objective information for people seeking help with their insurance buying decisions. The organization supports the insurance industry by providing marketing tools and resources and convening the industry each September for Life Insurance Awareness Month. Life Happens is supported by more than 150 of the nation’s leading insurance company and financial services organizations. To learn more, visit www.lifehappens.org.