The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors bestowed the life insurance industry’s top industry honor on Brian Ashe during a luncheon at NAIFA’s Career Conference and Annual Meeting on Tuesday.

Ashe, a principal of Brian Ashe & Associates Ltd., Lisle, Ill., received the coveted John Newton Russell award, an honor accorded by the life insurance industry to a living individual who has rendered “outstanding services to the institution of life insurance above and beyond the call of duty.”

Ashe, a 43-year veteran of the insurance and investment business, assists clients with life, health, disability, annuity and equity products. His practice specializes in estate conservation, retirement planning, employee benefits and business insurance strategies.

“We have more prospects, more products, more attractive pricing and less competition than we have ever had,” said Ashe during his award presentation. “The question is what will we do with this opportunity?

“The answer lies within the people within this room and our attitudes about our future,” he added. “We have the power, but do we have will? You honor and humble me. Let’s stick together and do great things.” 

Ashe is the past president of the Million Dollar Round Table, an international organization with more than 31,500 members in 80 countries. According to the luncheon award program, Ashe has presented at industry events in 38 states and 15 foreign countries.

He has written the “Back Page” column for Advisor Today magazine. His articles and comments, the program notes, have also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, CBSMarketWatch.com, American Online, Money magazine, Redbook magazine, National Underwriter Life & Health, among other general and trade publications.

Ashe is the current treasurer of the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE) and the past president of the Chicago Chapter of the Society of Financial Services Professionals.

The father of four children, Ashe resides in Naperville, Ill.

Established by John Henry Russell in 1942 as a tribute to his father, John Newton Russell, the JNR award recognizes accomplishments and contributions made by an individual to the insurance industry.

The luncheon awards program notes that accomplishments can be for an outstanding contribution during the current year or sustained and meritorious services over a long period.

Ashe, as the 2012 recipient of the JNR award received a citation, a plaque and a crystal spiral flame. His name was also added to a bronze plaque of past Russell Award honorees located at NAIFA’s headquarters in Falls Church, Va.