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Happy Christmahanakwanzika!  Can’t believe we are closing out another year.  Who’s ready for a break?  I know my office is. We are in the final days of open enrollment and we have been slammed this year.  The holidays will be a little different for my family as they are the first round with my father no longer here, so I have been on a mission to “find the joy” where I can.  One of the ways I have definitely found the joy this year is by meeting so many wonderful rock star women in our industry from around the country and sharing their inspiring stories with you.  To close out the year, I’m very happy to share the news of Cristy, Michelle, Heidi, who have taken on major initiatives this year with their companies and are sharing some strategies with us this month!

Cristy Gupton, Founder & President, Custom Benefits Solutions

“Looking back on 2018, I’ve come to realize that I’ve changed.  I’ve stopped selling and I’ve started solving problems.  The year started out by holding a large forum in my town about the opioid crisis.  What transpired after that is something I wouldn’t have predicted.  I was asked to speak at about half a dozen regional/national conferences on what brokers and advisors ought to do to address the opioid crisis with their clients.  I still stand by my personal thoughts on how I should address it with my clients: ‘To simultaneously reduce both supply and demand for opioids through smart plan design and employee education.’  Hopefully, with collaboration between myself, my clients and the vendors we work with, we will engage employees more closely and rethink the faults of status quo health care.  I believe a bright future is in store for any organization that strives to constantly challenge the status quo.”

Michelle Pedigo, Head of Field Management – South Region, MassMutual

“One of my professional focuses over the last 12 months has been what we have deemed the ProGrowth movement.  With over 50 percent of America’s wealth now controlled by women, according to Bank of Montreal’s Wealth Institute, our focus has been on attracting more female advisors, and providing support for our current female advisors to evolve into even stronger sales leaders.

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