RALEIGH, N.C. – National Agents Alliance proudly held its wildly popular Women’s Seminar at its “Be Your Own Rock Star” Version 2.0 National Convention on Jan. 27 at the Raleigh Convention Center.
The seminar, hosted by Jane Albright, wife of NAA President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Albright, entertained and informed more than 500 female agents and wives of NAA agents. In addition to Albright, the leading lady of National Agents Alliance and the keynote speaker, 10 dynamic leaders stepped to the podium and shared their life experiences, offered wisdom and encouraged those in attendance to strive to lead better lives daily.
Each speaker talked about how National Agents Alliance has enriched their lives, business and relationships with their family through being part of the NAA team. Each woman had high praise for Andy and Jane Albright and thanked the Albrights for starting NAA in 2002.
“Every year that we hold our seminar, I’m always touched by the stories and wisdom that is shared in the room,” Jane Albright said. “Nobody gets through life alone and we’ve all had help from others along the way. This seminar was another shining example of how we can help others and learn to receive help too. The seminar was a huge success.”
Heather Fitzgerald, because of the longevity of her husband in the business, was able to give a perspective from the beginnings of National Agents Alliance, including their relationship with Andy and Jane even before the Alliance was formed. After a year of struggling in another business, Heather’s husband Alex was encouraged to get his insurance license by Andy. The Fitzgeralds are now the top earners with NAA.
Heather told the women about how this business will test you, and explained how “yield” strength – when tensile strength has been stretched so far that it won’t go back to its original shape – is changed. She said being tested can help you expand your horizon and change your life forever even if you don’t realize it.
“Thanks to Jane, I learned to expand my capabilities at home to cope with the business,” Fitzgerald said. “I expanded my dreams and we now have a lifestyle most people only dream of. It has been a lot of hard work, a lot of fun and none of it would have been possible without Andy and Jane.”
At the conclusion of Fitzgerald’s remarks, the seminar’s hostess, Courtney Long, introduced Jane Albright to a standing ovation. After passing out as many accolades on the speakers as were heaped on her, Jane launched into the keynote address.
Albright passed out a new, crisp dollar bill to each member of the audience, teaching them a lesson that will stay with each woman forever. Jane instructed them to take a close look at the dollar bill, feel how the new, crisp bill feels and smell it. She then had each person write Jan. 27, 2012 on the bill.
“You’re going to keep this bill and the date on it signifies the day you got a fresh start – today!” Albright said. “Now, if you’ve ever been hurt, crinkle the bill … for all the times you hurt yourself, crinkle the bill … for all the times you’ve had a lack of communication, said something you wish you hadn’t, crinkle the dollar … for all the times you thought you couldn’t do this business, it was too hard, crinkle it again … if you’ve ever thought of suicide, crinkle the bill … if you’ve ever been divorced, crinkle it … if you’ve been afraid of change, crinkle the bill … if you ever felt under-appreciated, crinkle the bill. Now … flatten it out, try to smooth it out. Notice how different that once new and crisp bill looks after all that. When you go through all these things, you change, just like that dollar bill changed. The dollar doesn’t look or feel the same now. Probably doesn’t even smell the same, but it’s still worth the same … one dollar: 100 pennies, 10 dimes, 20 nickels, four quarters, two fifty-cent pieces. No matter what hard times you have been through, you still have value. You matter. Look at Jeremiah 29:11 … ‘For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ To close I’ll just say, some things are loved because they are valuable. Some things are valuable because they are loved.”
Beth Katz kicked off the seminar by speaking about the power of the women in attendance. “Never doubt that a small, dedicated group can change the world,” Katz said. “Let’s change the world!”
Noelle Lewantowicz, who was born on Christmas Day and married her husband Mike on Halloween, is one of nine siblings. She talked about teaching and working together with others, something she learned growing up in such a large immediate family.
Growing up, Lewantowicz’s mother taught her to squash her fear of climbing a tall, big tree with her siblings, saying “to climb that tree, you have to start.”
Lewantowicz said National Agents Alliance has taught her how each person is powerful and what an individual says does matter. She also said that balance is not found on the couch, it’s found on the beach with a cold drink in your hand, that it’s important to submit your ego because that doesn’t mean you lose control and the best thing you can do for your children is love their father and remember that marriage comes before your children.
Holly Davies chipped in with a mention of the importance of honesty and integrity in dealing with your team, and talked about how National Agents Alliance has helped her grow personally.
“I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate Andy and Jane, my downline and my crossline colleagues, and I advise you all to not think ‘what can NAA do for me?’ but rather, think ‘what can I do for NAA?’” Davies said.
Many shared lessons they learned from Jane and the other NAA wives, especially:
- How to become a team player
- How to get out of the box, my comfort zone
- To not be afraid – You will get nowhere unless you try
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – just pick yourself up and try again
- Talent wins games – teamwork wins championships
Michelle Womack, who was a writing agent when she met husband Mark, spoke about how Jane mentored her through difficult issues.
“Jane told me my job was to build up Mark, not to tell him what he’s doing wrong,” Womack said. “If I had a complaint, write it out, sleep on it and see if you still feel the same way in the morning, then talk about it. I also learned from Gaye Goad a great technique for building a strong marriage – she suggested having a contest to see who can out-serve the other. Great advice!”
Womack finished with some philosophy gleaned from the movie, Soul Surfer, the story of the young, expert surfer who lost an arm to a shark: when told it wouldn’t be easy to surf again, the girl said, “I don’t need easy. I just need possible.”
Gaye Goad took to the stage with the theme of the “Value that National Agents Alliance has brought,” and encouraged the women of NAA to consider the value they possess with four suggestions:
- You must add value to yourself
- Understand your worth
- Learn and grow – “you have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandpa is”
- Add value to others – you have to get out of your own world
- Value what they value
- Value the present and what you have right now – don’t focus on what you don’t have
Gaye closed with this:
- Life is a gift
- Today is a gift
- NAA is a gift
Debbie Benn also shared her story of moving from home to home as a teenager and the struggles she faced as a single mother prior to joining NAA.
At the conclusion of the seminar, the women presented a gift to Jane, but as always, Jane proved to be, just as each speaker had described, a loving, giving, generous mentor and friend as she presented each speaker with a gift certificate for Victoria Secret and a promise that big things are ahead for National Agents Alliance!