Congratulations are in order for good friend Keith Hoffman, vice president, Disability and Corporate Benefits, NFP, and winner of this year’s W. Harold Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the International DI Society (IDIS). The IDIS is an organization dedicated to growing the disability insurance industry through education, awareness, promotion of high ethical conduct of the membership and increasing the knowledge base of the agent, producer, company and carriers. (If you write disability insurance as a part of your practice, I urge you to join the International DI Society.) This is the 13th year for this prestigious award, presented to the individual who has demonstrated a long term commitment to DI, has made a distinctive contribution in the industry and follows the ethical standards of the IDIS. Unselfish voluntary service is also a consideration in the selection process. Keith Hoffman undeniably embodies all those qualities.
Keith received his bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, pursued a master’s degree in organizational communications from Florida State University, and worked for the top three disability insurance carriers before joining NFP in 2006. At NFP he is responsible for NFP Disability, a single platform providing sales and support services to all of NFP’s distribution channels. NFP is ranked Top 10 in Best’s Review of Top Global Insurance Brokers and has provided over 30,000 individual disability policies to corporate clients, including many of the Fortune 500, representing over $75 million of in-force premium.
In his 30+ years in the business he’s attended and spoken at conferences and seminars across the country, authored countless white papers and articles, and starred in a number of training videos. He has trained hundreds of agents and brought over 30 of them into the IDIS.
But his passion for the DI business isn’t at all defined by premium or commission dollars—it’s about the people he helps. I see many at the IDIS conference compassionately dedicated to a craft that helps people in physical and emotional distress keep their homes, their lifestyles and their dreams of education for their children intact while dealing with the devastating effects of disability. And almost as an afterthought build a great life for themselves and their families. That’s Keith to a T. But even in a conference full of excellent insurance professionals, his compassion for others, his dedication to the profession and his humble professionalism make him still stand out.
But that’s not even half of the story. His work to help others beyond the insurance contract are even more impressive if that’s possible. In 2002, he was awarded the Unum Philanthropic Award for volunteering to train services dogs so that those clients he serves and many like them returning to work could have that much more comfort and assistance. Keith dedicates his time and knowledge anywhere he can—teaching financial literacy courses in his local school district, Girl Scout troops and the military. He has developed more than one hundred hours of curriculum available for audiences from 2nd grade up through adults with distressed situations.
In 2009, he was diagnosed with cancer and—after surmounting it like he does any challenge—he has gone on to serve on the board of directors for UsTOO, the largest educational and awareness non-profit for prostate cancer, and serves as a patient advocate for the fight against prostate cancer, both locally and nationally, for the Department of Defense through the Congressional Directed Medical Research Program.
Oh, and in 2014 he won swimming gold at the FINA Masters World Championship in Montreal.
Despite this wealth of accomplishment he remains happily humble until you ask about his family. He puffs up and glows with pride when discussing his wonderful wife Terri, who is also in the insurance business, and his lovely daughters Olivia and Ava. Congratulations to Keith, Terri and the girls for a job well done and a life well spent—in service to others and our industry. You are richly deserving of our praise and the W. Harold Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award.[SPH]
Stephen P. Howard
Editor & Publisher, Broker World