It was with more than a little surprise that I received the news that David Woods, CEO of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, was planning to retire next August. Somehow I thought David was just going to keep on going–Energizer Bunny-like–at the dizzying pace he has maintained in the last few years as NAIFA’s chief and also the head of the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education.
Either one of these full-time jobs would have been enough to occupy the time and energy of any person–let alone a man past “retirement” age. For someone to handle both is astonishing and it says something about the caliber of David Woods as well as his love for this business.
Dave came to NAIFA at a tough time. The organization was down precipitously from its membership high back in Jack Bobo’s time. In one sense he may have felt like King Canute trying to hold back the tide–tough work, and seemingly unavailing, but somebody’s got to tackle it.
Indeed, the industry owes him a large debt of gratitude for continuing to be an inspirational presence in the face of difficult times. Also to be acknowledged is his success in repairing relations with the American Council of Life Insurers that had become dangerously frayed. This has enabled the business to largely present a united front in the face of numerous legislative challenges.
Dave will still be around for at least another year fighting tooth and nail to turn the situation at NAIFA around. But he should know now how much he is appreciated and how sorely he’ll be missed when he finally calls it a day in D.C.