David Woods Is Named CEO Of NAIFA

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The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors has named David F. Woods, CLU, ChFC, as its new Chief Executive Officer.

The current president of NAIFA, Richard A Koob, describes the qualities the group felt was needed in a new CEO: “Someone who understands where weve been and where we need to go in the future; someone who is comfortable supervising a staff of senior management; someone who is connected to our industry.”

“David Woods has a unique blend of all those attributes,” Koob says.

As a top producer with Mass Mutual, Woods was a 32-year member of the Million Dollar Round Table. He served as president of NAIFA for the 1986-87 term and has received the John Newton Russell Award.

Currently, Woods is president of the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE) and will keep this position when he assumes his post at NAIFA.

“We havent done a tremendous job of coordinating our activities to provide value to the producer,” he explains. “I think under common leadership, we can do a lot better.”

Woods takes the helm at NAIFA at a particularly difficult time for the association. Over the last few years, the membership level dropped to 75,000, down from a high of 145,000 in the mid-1980s. Additionally, revenues from NAIFAs member magazine were down, and budget cuts resulted in a reduction in NAIFA staff. NAIFAs “cash crunch” also led to a temporary increase in membership dues.

But Woods feels that his biggest challenge is restoring confidence in the association among its members, staff and the industry. “We need to make believers again out of all the constituencies–that NAIFA will be strong, viable and continue to play the essential role that it does in the industry,” he says.

The other challenge Woods faces is the goal the organization has set for itself of rebuilding its membership to 100,000 by year-end 2005.

This is an aggressive goal, he admits, but the work to reach this goal has already begun. A special “Transformation Task Force” of handpicked NAIFA constituents was to have met last weekend.

Going into the meetings, Woods notes they will be “beginning a process of transforming NAIFA from something that was not working very well to something that will be responsive to the needs of its members.”

“Were going to take an in-depth look at how we do things and how we can do them better,” adds Koob.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, December 16, 2002. Copyright 2002 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.