So, first things first ...I won! I’m still in shock over winning the BenefitsPRO Broker of the Year Award!  This was the award that I told you about last month. Internally, they call it the BOY Award, so it was extra gratifying for this GIRL to take the crown!  The BenefitsPRO BrokerExpo conference in Indianapolis was incredible, and I was honored to be recognized by my peers in the industry — truly a highlight in my career thus far.  

This month, I’m excited to introduce you to Cornelia, Joan and ShirleyAnn.  Cornelia has been a longtime advocate for our industry and for women as well, and I feel very fortunate that I met her through her national involvement in WIFS.  Joan has made a huge impact on my career by showing me the value of education and how crucial is is in our industry. She is my go-to resource for anything concerning our industry’s legislative landscape. And finally, ShirleyAnn. I don’t even know where to begin — to know ShirleyAnn is to experience her. She has an exuberance that just makes you want to strive for greatness in our industry.  I am honored to introduce you to these incredible women, and I know you’ll enjoy getting to know them a little better and hearing about the great things they are doing in our industry! 

Cornelia Philipson, CSA, LUTCF, Cornelia Philipson Insurance & Financial Services

“I’ve been in the industry for 32 years and have been involved in WIFS, NAIFA, NAHU almost as long as I’ve been in the business. I’ve served on the local and national boards of WIFS, and twice served locally as president.  I created the national Masterminds webinar programming and chaired for many years. I find when you get involved, you feel more of a commitment to your own success, as well as that of the organizations you work with. 

I love the independence and self-generated activity of our industry, and the comradery of working amongst other, talented women and men.  I feel my clients are my extended family, and search for the answers to whatever issues or concerns they have.  In the past 12 months, I have become even more excited about our industry and the new hybrid plans of life insurance with a LTC rider.  Before she passed, my mother showed me first-hand the importance of long-term care insurance.  As they say, “for everything there is a season” and our products can be the answer to that “season” of life.  I get great satisfaction from knowing I am in an ever-evolving industry and can still make a difference." 

Joan Fusco, HIA, PAHM, RHU, Chief Compliance Officer, Savoy Associates

“I have assisted and educated brokers and employers in understanding health care laws since 1988.  In more recent years, I assist them with navigating the ACA as well as keeping them updated on the proposals to change the health care law. I was recently promoted to the Chief Compliance Officer for Savoy, which allows allowing me to fully focus on compliance issues. I am also actively involved with the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) and in state-specific educational and legislative projects.” 

ShirleyAnn M. Robertson, CLTC, Robertson & Robertson Financial Services

"May 2017 marks my 25th year in the financial services industry.  This is my proudest career achievement and a significant milestone.  It has been an honor to serve my clients and a joy to build lasting relationships with my colleagues.  My overarching mission is “Making an impact, not just a living!” 

My professional routine remains the same from the first day I started.  Simply put, activity yields results.  My clientele has evolved; I’ve weaved myself into a niche market with the number one goal of helping my clients plan for the financial challenges of life.  

My amazing team has been an intricate part of my growth.  My passion and the love of my career keeps me excited and motivated.  Yes, there are days my super powers are not so super, but in those moments, I remember that tomorrow will be a better day and I focus on the good I did today!” 

I’m in awe of these amazing women in our industry.  These three have a special place in my heart and continue to motivate me in my career.  I think it’s so important to have women (and men) who are in the industry so you can pick up the phone and say “Can I bounce an idea off you?”  Peer mentors only make us better.  If you don’t have individuals in your life like this, I encourage you to find a couple.  Just think of an article you read that resonated with you, or the last time you were at an industry event where someone spoke on a panel or asked a question of the speaker that struck a chord. Then connect with them!  

As always, if you know of great women in the industry who are working hard to make this this industry great, send an me an email introduction at I’d love to connect!