BURLINGTON, N.C. – North Carolina State University Alumni Association Executive Director Benny Suggs will serve as a special part of National Agents Alliance’s “Be Your Own Rock Star” Leadership Conference kickoff Friday at the Raleigh Convention Center, NAA President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Albright announced today.
Suggs, who was a Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (ret.) and worked as the general manager of the Harley Owners Group (HOG) and Rider Services at Harley-Davidson Motor Company prior to returning to N.C. State, will be on stage to lead the crowd in saying the pledge of allegiance, and will speak afterward.
Suggs, a 1969 graduate of N.C. State, was one of the university’s 2006 Distinguished Alumni of the Year. He has served on the General Hugh Shelton Leadership Initiative Board of Advisors at the university for the last eight years.
Suggs said he is excited to help kick the three-day event off with Andy Albright, a fellow N.C. State graduate.
“My career has had a lot of quote high energy experiences, flying jets off of aircraft carriers, working for an iconic all-American brand in Harley Davidson, that’s a lot of excitement and the emotional quotient is high in both of those experiences,” Suggs said. “From what I can see and from the research that I’ve done, it’s going to be a real high energy, impactful experience with a lot of people (at the Leadership Conference). We have tremendous respect for each other and obviously we know how to have fun together too. I’m looking forward to being just a small part of that, and if I can help out a little then that’s terrific and especially if I can help out a fellow graduate of N.C. State University.”
Albright announced in June that author Chris Gardner (“The Pursuit of Happyness” and “Start Where You Are”) would be the events keynote speaker, along with author Patrick Kelly (“Tax-Free Retirement”) on Saturday.
Additionally, students and faculty from N.C. State’s Entrepreneurship Initiative will be recognized as special guests of NAA and Albright.
“Make no mistake about it, Benny Suggs is Wolfpack through and through,” Albright said. “We made that connection instantly and we are both Wolfpack for life. Suggs’ experience as an admiral in the Navy is also important. This is a guy who has seen the world and he is a driven leader. I admire what he has accomplished in his professional career and we are happy that he will be part of our conference in Raleigh later this week.”
As general manager of the Harley Owners Group, Suggs was responsible for managing an organization with 1.2 million members worldwide. He managed all rider-training programs sponsored by Harley-Davidson as well as authorized rentals worldwide. He had a full-time staff of 60 and thousands of volunteers around the world.
Suggs served for 30 years in the U.S. Navy and was Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. Special Operations Command, upon his retirement in 2000. He also served as Commander of Carrier Group Six/John C. Stennis Battle Group and was director for Operations, Plans and Policy, U.S. Atlantic Fleet where he was responsible for the training and deployment preparations of more than 175,000 personnel.
Suggs is also a Navy aviator, receiving his Naval Aviation Wings in 1971. He has received the Defense Meritorious and Distinguished Service Medals, Five Legion of Merit Medals and Two Navy Commendation Medals.
The N.C. State Alumni Association engages more than 175,000 university alumni through programs and services that foster pride and enhance a lifelong connection to NC State.
Suggs visited National Agents Alliance’s headquarters last week in Burlington, N.C. and left impressed by Albright and his staff.
“There’s a very distinct culture here,” Suggs said after his visit. “I’ve only been here a couple hours, but there’s a culture and it seems casual and fun environment, but there’s high expectations and high energy. There are also core values, solid folks and a lot of respect for each other. That’s pretty obvious and it’s a good feeling.”
“There are a lot of similarities between (NAA) and N.C. State. It’s a fantastic, special place as Dr. (Randy) Woodson says. It makes a tremendous difference to people like me and others in this state, region and the global reach is incredible as well. They are changing lives and it’s a game-changer at N.C. State. There’s a very distinct culture there and I see some similarities here in this visit. It makes me so proud of N.C. State and to be a part of N.C. State. It was one of the significant draws in my decision to come home and to come back to N.C. State.”
ABOUT BENNY SUGGS
Benny Suggs is the North Carolina State Alumni Association executive director, who believes in life it’s all about doing the right thing – and having fun along the way. Suggs, a 1969 N.C. State graduate, served for 30 years in the U.S. Navy and was Deputy Commander In Chief, U.S. Special Operations Command. He was general manager of the Harley Owners Group and Rider Services at Harley-Davidson Motor Co. until he retired in 2000.
ABOUT N.C. STATE ENTREPRENEURSHIP INITIATIVE
The Entrepreneurship Initiative (EI) at NC State distinguishes itself by encouraging multi-disciplinary participation on every level – faculty, staff, industry and outreach partners, and most importantly, students. With Dr. Tom Miller as its first executive director, the initiative was formed In July 2008 in response to the Chancellor’s call to “develop an educated an entrepreneurial work force.” NC State has long been widely recognized as a strong presence in the entrepreneurial community of the region. By organizing and energizing its efforts through the Initiative, NC State will provide a comprehensive springboard for ideas, projects, and partnerships. By leveraging its core strengths in science, engineering, and technology, NC State will develop entrepreneurial solutions to society’s current problems and future needs. Through the Initiative, individual entrepreneurial projects and programs throughout the university unite to provide students with top-tier resources and opportunities.
ABOUT NATIONAL AGENTS ALLIANCE
National Agents Alliance is an innovative lead generation and marketing organization that sells life insurance, annuities, and other financial services products through more than 7,000 active independent sales representatives in 50 states. Focused on serving middle-income families, National Agents Alliance is the No. 1 United States provider of mortgage protection insurance and offers a broad array of other affordable products from highly regarded companies such as Mutual of Omaha, Foresters, and ING. Since its inception in 2002, National Agents Alliance has helped more than 670,000 families successfully apply for more than $78 billion in life insurance coverage.
For more information about National Agents Alliance, visit http://www.nationalagentsalliance.com/contact-us or call 1-866-752-1163.
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