Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer, MGM Resorts International
Michael provides oversight of sales strategies in the MICE and transient segments, including industry relations, diversity sales and MGM Resorts Events & Production Services.
Michael is actively involved in leadership roles in the Meetings and Events Industry and currently serves as the Immediate Past Chairman on the International Board of Directors for Meeting Professionals International.
Michael’s other industry leadership involvement includes board positions with:
- Past Chairman, MPI’s International Board of Directors
- US Travel Association (Executive Committee)
- Co-Chair of the Meetings Means Business Coalition
- Co-Chair APEX Room Piracy Taskforce
- APEX Standards Committee
- GBTA Foundation Board
- HSMAI Foundation Board
- FICP – Hospitality Professional Advisory Committee
- Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce Board of Trustees
Mike has also served on Taskforce positions for PCMA, ASAE and the Convention Industry Council.
Michael has been recognized in the industry for numerous honors including:
- Successful Meetings Top 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry 2013,2014, 2015 & 2016
- Smart Meetings 2015 Smartest Industry Leaders
- HSMAI’s 2014 Top Minds in Sales and Marketing
- Meetings Focus 2014 Trendsetter
- MeetingsNet 2014 Changemakers
- HispanicBusiness.com’s “50 Most Influential Hispanics in the US”
- MPI’s Industry Leadership Award 2015
- LV Hotel Association’s 2016 Industry Leadership Award
- Lanyon’s 2016 Industry Leadership Award
- Timothy S.Y. Lam Foundation’s 2017 Leadership Award in Collaboration
President and Founder, True North Networks, LLC.
True North is a leading national provider of managed hosting, technology and security services within the financial services industry. In 2015, True North launched SecureWorkplace®, a suite of cybersecurity services designed to reduce the likelihood of a successful cyber-attack on their clients. Prior to starting True North, Mr. Ryder worked in the financial services industry serving as Vice President of two banks, managing relationships with Fannie Mae’s largest New England clients, and was the CFO of the largest real estate company in New Hampshire. Steven speaks at varies venues throughout the country each year on cybersecurity.
Founder and CEO, AssessBEST, Inc.
Vice Chairman and CEO, Americans for Annuity Protection
Founder and CEO, AssessBEST, Inc.
ABOUT Americans for Annuity Protection
Americans for Annuity Protection (AAP) promotes public policy that provides a well-regulated, diverse and competitive annuity marketplace serving Americans across the economic spectrum. AAP is a nonprofit 501c4 organization with offices in Phoenix, Arizona; Washington DC and Camp Hill PA.
ABOUT AssessBEST, Inc.
AssessBEST was founded in April 2016 and is an insurance assessment system that identifies guaranteed insurance gaps (GIG)™ in financial plans. Many individuals need guaranteed payouts for retirement income, LTC/Medical Expenses, Education Expenses, Gifting, and Business Succession, but are unaware. AssessBEST uncovers those needs through consistent and reliable data collection and guides the advisor and client to suitability and best interest compliant insurance solutions. AssessBEST, Inc. developed the AssessBEST Software System under vigorous testing and thorough consultation with fiduciary and suitability experts and resources. AssessBEST is a full sales and compliance platform for suitability and fiduciary supervision.
Kim has 35 years of experience in the insurance industry. Most recently Kim served NAFA, The National Association for Fixed Annuities, for almost 12 years and helped the annuity industry to secure many legislative and regulatory victories. In between, Kim worked as a marketing executive for major insurance companies and was responsible for annuity and life insurance product lines. In 1993, Kim served Governor Tommy Thomson in the search for a Commissioner of Insurance and consultant to the Department until a permanent replacement could be found.
Kim O'Brien received her BA from Ripon College, her MFA from the University of Northern Colorado, and an MBA with a double emphasis in Economics and English from Edgewood College, Madison, Wisconsin.
As an avid musical theater fan and dancer, Kim has directed or choreographed over 60 shows in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin. She lives with her husband and college sweetheart of 40 years, Kelly, nestled in the Phoenix Thunderbird Conservatory where she enjoys hiking the mountains with their Irish setters.
Publications & Acknowledgements
1988 Who’s Who, Outstanding Young Leaders of America
2002 Kim founded her own marketing organization and received the 2002 Entrepreneur Award from Sun Life.
2010 Who’s Who, The Annuities Power List, Senior Market Advisor
2014 The Objective Guide to Fixed and Indexed Annuities, acknowledged as “Pioneering Consumer Advocate and Industry Leader.”
2013 NAFA received the Exemplary Leadership Award for “selfless dedication, attention to details and outstanding work” driving NAFA to prosperity and national acclaim.
2015 Speaker at United Nations Global Economic Summit, New York, New York with keynote speaker, Brian Tracy.
2015 Published article in Premier Issue of Global Impact Quarterly, The National Association of Experts, Writers, & Speakers.
Clifford P. Ryan, CLU, ChFC, RHU
Cliff, President and founder of Elder Planning Advisors of Maine, Inc., has over 30 years' experience in the financial services profession. Cliff provides overall firm direction and is the principal in the financial planning and investment management process.
Cliff started his career in financial services in 1983 and began his concentration in Elder Planning in 1990. Since that time he has successfully guided scores of clients through retirement and the years beyond. Cliff holds the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®) and Registered Health Underwriter (RHU®) designations conferred by the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Society of Financial Service Professionals and the Million Dollar Round Table.
In addition to his professional duties, Cliff has served on many local and national boards and committees involving seniors’ and retirees’ issues. He has written numerous articles, presented educational sessions to a variety of public and professional audiences and has appeared as a guest on numerous radio and television programs as well as serving on the MDRT Succession Planning Task Force.
James S. Aussem
James S. Aussem, is a shareholder of Cavitch Familo & Durkin, Co., LPA, a member of its board of directors and chair of the Business Practice Group. Mr. Aussem’s practice is focused on mergers and acquisitions as well as succession planning, and estates and trusts.
Mr. Aussem is a frequent speaker, facilitator, and instructor for many professional organizations on topics such as business succession, estate planning, insurance, trusts and estates. He has spoken at the Society of Financial Service Professionals Arizona Institute, Advanced Planning Clinic, the Cleveland Estate Planning Institute, the AICPA Advanced Planning Institute, the Cleveland Tax Institute, the Ohio Accounting Show, the Ohio Society of CPA’s Annual Tax Seminar, the Ohio State Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, Cleveland Marshall College of Law, the Northern Ohio Planned Giving Day, MetLife Advanced Planning Symposiums, the Riverside and San Bernardino California Estate Planning Councils among other organizations.
Active in many civic and professional organizations, Mr. Aussem was elected to a 3 term on the Executive Committee of the Society of Financial Service Professionals in 2015 after completing a 3 term as a national director and becomes national president September 1, 2017. He serves on the Planned Giving Committees of the Cleveland Museum of Art, University Hospitals and Baldwin-Wallace University. He is a member of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, National Advisory Council and a member of the American, Ohio, and Cleveland Metropolitan bar associations and the Estate Planning Council of Cleveland. He has been chosen as One of America's Best Lawyers every year since 2009 and for the past 6 years he has been chosen in two categories, Corporate Law and Trusts and Estates.
Mr. Aussem has been designated an Accredited Estate Planner (AEP®) by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils. Baldwin Wallace University in 2004 presented him with its Distinguished Alumni Award and The Cleveland Chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals named him its Financial Service Professional of the Year in 2013.
He earned his Juris Doctor degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Mr. Aussem began his legal career as a tax attorney with Ernst & Ernst (now Ernst & Young). He worked his way through undergraduate school employed in the securities industry, as well as in the trust department of the former National City Bank. He graduated from Baldwin-Wallace University with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Mr. Aussem is AV® Preeminent Rated - Martindale-Hubbell
Dick Weber is President and primary consultant for The Ethical Edge, Inc., providing fee-only analytics and consulting services to family offices and high net worth individuals. For 25 years a successful life insurance agent and 20-year life member of the Million Dollar Round Table, he joined Merrill Lynch Insurance Group, and from late-1993 to early 1996 was Vice President and Manager of Client Education and Field Development. For his two year "tour" in upper management with a life insurance carrier, his responsibilities included developing communication programs which enhance client understanding of insurance products and reconcile product performance against product expectations. Following this engagement, he was a co-developer of Dynamic Insurance Solutions and Historic Variability Module – computer-based tools that have begun to revolutionize the way advisors and their clients view life insurance products.
Dick holds an M.B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley with a specialty in Insurance and Finance. He was designated a Chartered Life Underwriter in 1974 by the American College.
Among his various teaching activities, Dick served for 11 years as an Instructor of Insurance at the University of California at Berkeley's Program in Personal Financial Planning and from 1993 through 1998 served as Adjunct Professor of Ethics at the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa. He currently serves as Adjunct Professor of Risk and Insurance in California Lutheran University’s MBA program.
His book, Revealing Life Insurance Secrets: How the Pros Pick, Design, and Evaluate their Own Policies, is published by Marketplace Books and is directed at advisors and financial service professionals. His most recent publication, co-written with Christopher Hause, FSA, MAAA, is Life Insurance as an Asset Class - A Value-added Component of an Asset Allocation, was honored with a 2008 Best Paper Award from the Academy of Financial Services. Hause and Weber published a second volume in the Asset Class series - “Managing a Valuable Asset” - in December 2010.
Dick Weber was the Society of Financial Service Professional’s Kenneth Black, Jr. Leadership Award recipient for 2008 in recognition of his “... exemplary leadership qualities and significant contributions to the fulfillment of the Society’s core values of ethic, education, and relationships.” In 2009, Dick was elected to the NAEPC Estate Planning Hall of Fame and selected to receive the Distinguished Accredited Estate Planner award and designation for “... significant and outstanding lifetime achievements and contributions to the practice and profession of estate planning.”
Dick served as the 2012-2013 President of the Society of Financial Service Professionals.
Daryl Curtis, CLU, ChFC
JDaryl Curtis has been involved in the financial service field since graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from West Texas State University in 1976. He has obtained additional recognized professional designations of Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant from the American College. He has assisted in the transition of 50 dental practices and today helps business owners and doctors plan for their financial future under the company title: Daryl Curtis Wealth Builders.
Daryl believes in involvement in his profession and in the community. He is past-President of the following organizations: Amarillo Area Insurance and Financial Advisors, Amarillo Area Society of Financial Service Professionals, West Texas A&M Alumni Association, Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity Board of Trustees (West Texas chapter). He also is Past President for the Amarillo Family YMCA board. He is a member of the Timbercreek Volunteer Fire Department and was an elected Alderman for Timbercreek Village from 2010 until May, 2015.
John A. Davidson, LUTCF, FSS
John began his Insurance Career in 1981 and is a Life Member of MDRT having qualified for the Million Dollar Round Table every year that he has been in business.
Very active in Association Leadership since 1984, John is the Past President of NAIFA San Fernando Valley, NAIFA California and the National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors, Falls Church Virginia, 2006-07.
In the Political arena, John has been at the forefront of Legislative and Regulatory challenges facing our industry as evidenced by his involvement with the NARAB II Legislation/Optional Federal Charter, the ACA HealthCare Legislation and now the DOL Fiduciary Advisor issue.
In 2010 John ran for U.S. Congress in the 23rd District and finished 2nd in a field of 5 candidates. John remains extremely active in the Political Arena working closely with Members of Congress including Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Congressmen Tom McClintock, Ed Royce, Brad Sherman, Steve Knight, Congresswoman Julia Brownley and also the staff of Nancy Pelosi.
A member of the NAIFA Congressional Council (which he helped to create) John can be seen walking the halls of Capitol Hill advocating on behalf of NAIFA Members, the Insurance Industry and our clients.
John is also involved with AALU, The Society of Financial Service Professionals and The National Association of Health Underwriters. He is currently serving as the Government Relations Chair of NAIFA CA for 2015-16.
In 2007, John was the recipient of the Will Ferrell Public Service Award as well as the California Distinguished Service Award for Lifelong service to the Community and the Insurance Industry
Very active in his community, John is a former board member of the California Burn Foundation, Interface Children and Family Services, Teen Challenge, 12 years as a Little League Coach and 4 years as a Youth Track coach. John currently serves as the Chairman of the Finance Committee for his church.
A man of proven faith and character, John and his wife, Dee Dee, reside in Thousand Oaks, California. They have been married for 44 years and have 3 son and 7 grandchildren.
John likes to be introduced as “Just an agent like you” who has to write business every day to keep building his practice.
James W. Mader, CLU, ChFC
Mader & Shannon Wealth Management, Inc.
James W. Mader is President of Mader & Shannon Wealth Management, Inc. He has been in the financial services industry for 41 years, where he spent the first 26 years as a marketing executive with two life insurance companies. In this capacity, Jim hired, trained, and managed thousands of financial services representatives.
He received the designations of Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant from the American College of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania in 1977 and 1984 respectfully. Jim is the past President of the Kansas City chapter of the Society of Financial Services Professionals and has served on the National Board of the Society of Financial Services Professionals. The Society is a 75 year old organization of credentialed professionals with over 12,000 members nationally. SFSP is made up of financial professionals from accounting, insurance, investments, and law.
Jim is licensed in more than a dozen states for life, health, disability, and long term care insurance. Jim has provided expert witness services for investment and insurance litigation for law firms in Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Nevada.
Jason Booher is the founder and CEO of the management consultancy, Northwest Harbor. A remarkable leader with an incredible record of achievement, he is a recognized expert at building, organizing, and leading elite teams and organizations. Prior to founding Northwest Harbor, Jason served for 23-years as a Navy SEAL in both the enlisted and officer ranks. He spent almost his entire career as a SEAL Operator, Leader, Educator, or Innovator, building and leading elite teams in global, no-fail environments. A relentless driver and innovative problem solver, he was consistently handpicked to tackle critical challenges and develop new, cutting-edge capabilities for the SEAL Teams and larger U.S. Special Operations community. He commanded hundreds of combat operations, led the last phase of the famed basic SEAL training called BUD/S, and created two first-ever cross-functional education programs. He spearheaded the use of multi-discipline intelligence teams and cultural expertise in SEAL Team operations, and effectively integrated multiple functions, nationalities, cultures, and women into the full range of Special Operations missions around the globe. He created three first-ever capabilities for U.S. Special Operations and created two new SEAL Units from the ground up – commanding the last elite unit for five years before his retirement from the Navy in 2015. Jason is a highly decorated combat veteran, completing numerous deployments to dozens of counties, including multiple combat tours to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Southeast Asia. In 2010, he was awarded a national-level civilian award for innovation in the defense industry from the National Defense Industrial Association. Jason is an Honors Graduate of the University of San Diego and is the principle architect of Northwest Harbor’s 5-Pillar Approach and Navigate process. As CEO, he leads a diverse group of career Special Operations and private sector functional experts, and advises client senior executives on leadership and strategic development of their companies. Jason lives in San Diego with his family where he continues his passion for service, and is active in the local community, youth programs, and school districts.
Charles Hollander, Jr.
Co-Founder, Red Flag
Twenty-five years ago, Charles Hollander, Jr. entered the competitive field of selling complex life insurance solutions to affluent families and successful business owners. He was fortunate to learn the business of client engagement by one of the industry’s legends and most respected leaders. Early on he was taught; “your advantage won’t be found in what you sell, but how you sell”…”in this profession you don’t get paid to come in 2nd place”. During his career, he has competed and won against almost every type of provider of financial services. He has reached pinnacles of production, industry leadership and now industry research and consulting. Among some who have sought his expertise are the LIFE Foundation, The Forum 400, as well as many of the industries most experienced and top producing advisors. His keynote presentations consistently earn top ratings in both, utility for his content and motivation for his ability to inspire action that leads to change within his audience and the organizations they represent. Charles is a past president and chairman of the board of one of the industry’s most elite member organizations, Forum 400, formerly known as, The International Forum. His firm, Red Flag, is a certified Blue Ocean Strategy® consulting firm—one of the very few in North America.