This week I’d like to offer congratulations to Marvin Feldman, CLU, ChFC, RFC, as the recipient of the 2011 John Newton Russell Memorial Award.

Feldman, president and CEO of the LIFE Foundation, received the life insurance industry’s highest individual honor during a special event Monday morning during the NAIFA Career Conference and Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

The award is bestowed annually upon a living individual who has “rendered outstanding services to the institution of life insurance.” Marv certainly fits the bill.

Feldman entered the life insurance business in 1967 as a New York Life agent and held management and leadership positions with New York Life before becoming a partner in the Feldman Agency in East Liverpool, Ohio, and president of Feldman Financial Group in Clearwater, Fla.

He has spoken as an expert on life insurance topics before audiences in 34 countries and has published numerous articles in professional journals – including an opinion piece about how educating consumers is the key to turning the tide of America’s current underinsurance problem that appears in the September edition of Life Insurance Selling.

Since being named president and CEO of LIFE in December 2007, Feldman has been the leading voice in educating the public on the importance of life and health insurance and the crucial role of insurance agents. He had previously served as chairman of the LIFE Board of Directors while running his insurance and financial planning practice in Florida.

Feldman is a former president of the Million Dollar Round Table as well as a 37-year member of the group, which admits less than 1% of the world’s life insurance and financial services professionals who achieve a standard of sales excellence.

“Marv’s dedication to the institution of life insurance and the industry is beyond reproach,” says NAIFA President Terry K. Headley, LUTCF, LIC, FSS. “I can’t think of a better ambassador for our business, our industry, and our profession. As a highly successful agent for many years, Marv clearly understands and appreciates the essential role of agents, who perform the vital job of protecting the financial security of American families.”

“Marv’s passion for the job and commitment to helping people get the financial protection they need is evident in everything he does,” adds Michael L. Weintraub, LIFE Chairman. “We are extremely proud that the NAIFA selection committee has recognized our friend and colleague for his many contributions to our industry and congratulate Marv on this tremendous and well-deserved honor.”

John Henry Russell created the John Newton Russell Award in 1942 as a tribute to his father, an influential leader in the life insurance industry and an early advocate of agent education. John Newton Russell served as NAIFA (then NALU) president from 1916 to 1917 and was a contributing founder of LIMRA International, The American College and the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation.

To read more from Brian Anderson, click here.

For more on articles featuring Marvin Feldman:

Educating consumers: The key to turning the tide

Disability insurance Producer Roundtable: Neglected Risk