I am deeply honored to receive this award. My thanks to the St. Louis General Office of New York Life and to all who have made this night possible.
Especially to the love of my life, Jennifer Piper. I am humbled and grateful that Divine Inspiration has seen fit to have you stand by me each day.Some say we live in an age where the idea of “noble lives,” of striving, failing, and then trying again; are antiquated notions—relics of a bygone era.We know better. For this office has taught us well.
Our office is a financial institution for “all people.” The notion that meeting with clients is a transformative experience is put into practice every day. Our planning has meaning and purpose as much in the life of a widow as it does in the life of a retired accountant.
Our work shapes the lives of future firefighters and former business owners. Our desire to serve others is in itself a value because it leads us to the very center of our humanity.Every day, we witness the countless efforts of our colleagues as they refuse to discard these ideals. We see those who believe—even if they do not yet fully understand—the power their efforts have to transform the lives of their clients. Ultimately, our efforts ask our clients to answer a straightforward question. And that matter is not: What will you do with your life? Instead: How will you live your life?Our office is one of our community’s best-kept secrets. While it is true your clients are initially engaged by your caring and your competence; they stay for your leadership.
You can be confident the solutions you provide are the best in the industry.I learn from each of you. And if I am a good student, it is because I have had great teachers.
For example, Mike McCann, who tonight is celebrating with us his last Kickoff Dinner as our Managing Partner. It is a blessing this office has had his stewardship for more than twenty years. Six years ago, I met Mike; and he introduced me to himself, our company, and this vocation.
Since that day, by his actions he has taught me the most valuable of lessons: be humble and give all honor and glory to our Creator in Heaven. Mike, thank you for being my mentor and even more for being my friend.Our office is one of our most democratic institutions. This career could be your first, second, or even third vocation; and yes, it offers development, but it also offers us an opportunity to become part of a vibrant group of dedicated professionals who are leaders in the community.I conclude my remarks tonight with the words of the most successful producer in the history of our industry, New York Life’s own, Ben Feldman:Work hard.
Think big. Listen well. Thank you!