Thursday, November 1, 2018 from 7:00 AM to 4:15 PM CDT
Add to Calendar 

Overnight Accomodations

Hyatt Place Chicago/Itasca has extended a special room rate for NAIFA of $109 per night. Group room rates are available at the reduced rate, by calling 630-875-1400 and referencing G-NAIF. Hyatt Place Chicago/Itasca, 1150 North Arlington Heights Road, Itasca, IL 60143.


Sara Decatoire 
NAIFA-Greater Illinois 

 NAIFA's Annual - A Day with MDRT 2018

Register Now! Why should you attend?  Watch these videos ...Brian Heckert and Adam Solano.

 - Program Schedule -

7:00   -   8:00               Coffee with Exhibitors

8:00   -   8:10               Opening Remarks - Tammy Butts, CLU, ChFC, Emcee

8:10   -   8:30               Legislative Update – John Wheeler/ IL Representative Jeff Keicher 

8:30  -  10:10               Speaker – Steven Plewes, CLU, ChFC, CPC, ELI-MP, Removing Barriers to Next Level                                     Success

10:10 - 10:30               Break with Exhibitors

10:30 - 11:30               Speaker – Howard Sharfman, LUTCF, Transferrable Sales Ideas, Marketing Concepts                                        for Insurance Producers

11:25 - 11:55               Lunch with Exhibitors

11:55 - 12:55               Speaker – MDRT Speaks – How the Top 1% of NAIFA Members Do It!   

Moderated by MDRT Past President, Brian Heckert, CLU, ChFC AND Featuring: Carl  Zeidler, CFP, MSFS, CLU, REBC, RHU, CASL, Howard Sharfman, LUTCF, and Chis Gandy

12:55 - 1:05                 Closing Remarks & Raffle Prizes - Tammy Butts, CLU, ChFC, Emcee

1:05 -  1:15                  Break

1:15 -  4:15                  Ethics Class – Dennis Dean & Jim Keenan, Moderators 

If you purchase a Table of 10, please submit the names of attendees (with designations) seperately to sara@naifa-il.com.

Featured Speakers 

Steven Plewes, CLU, ChFC, CPC, ELI-MP 

Steve is an experienced and effective communicator and problem solver. Having spent most of his life in the sales world he has developed innate skills for understanding people and helping them to clarify and achieve their life goals. He has developed transferrable skills, tools, and techniques that, when employed, allow professionals to increase their effectiveness and deepen client relationships.

As an independent business owner, Steve used his sales skills, creativity and humor to build a successful relationship based financial services career spanning nearly 40 years. Throughout his career Steve has held a wide variety of leadership positions within the financial services industry. He has been published and quoted in numerous media and financial trade publications and is a frequent industry speaker having spoken from numerous main platforms at conferences around the world including the main platforms of MDRT and Top of the Table.

Steve brings this vast experience, wisdom and unique insights to his work as a professional coach working with professionals in a variety of fields to help them clarify and achieve their personal and professional goals.

Steve is passionate about helping people move forward in life. As a coach he helps people gain clarity around their goals, identify and remove their blocks to progress, gain focus and achieve growth with a sense of purpose and legacy.

Steve has qualified for MDRT for 31 years with 13 Court of the Table and 10 Top of the Table qualifications.

Howard Sharfman, LUTCF

Howard Sharfman, Senior Managing Director of NFP Insurance Solutions, has been recognized as an innovative leader in the insurance business for over two decades. He manages one of the premier and largest wealth transfer consulting and planning firms in the country. Mr. Sharfman’s practice is highly focused on servicing families with multigenerational wealth, family offices, private equity managers and ultra-high net worth advisors. His firm has additional expertise in executive benefits, corporate benefits, general insurance and risk management.

Mr. Sharfman’s ideas and concepts have been shared with peers and advisors around the country through many speeches, presentations, and publications. He has been a leading presenter for insurance industry conferences. He has been a keynote speaker at the Canadian Association of Life Underwriting meeting, a featured guest speaker at the Discovery Financial Summit in Johannesburg South Africa, and guest speaker on two episodes of CNBC Financial Planning Show. In addition, he has been a featured speaker at the Chicago Estate Planning Council, Heart of America Tax Conference and scores of other industry and estate planning council meetings. In 2018, Howard was a key speaker at TOT, MDRT, Forum 400, AALU and NAIFA.

Mr. Sharfman and his team have had the honor and pleasure to serve some of the most financially influential families in the country as a trusted professional insurance advisor and consultant. He has placed or consulted in the placement of over $17 billion of life insurance coverage in the last decade.

He has also developed professional strategic alliances with several major private banks, law firms, and CPA firms. These alliances focus on a belief that the insurance professional should be a trusted advisor on a professional advisory team. 

Brian Heckert, CLU, ChFC

Brian Heckert entered the life insurance profession in 1985 and now manages a multi-disciplined firm with over 1,200 clients in 34 states and more than $350 million in assets. The firm has three locations in the Midwest and a national presence through a strategic partnership with a national 401k marketing firm. Brian and his partner Leo Barczewski are joined by his two sons, Brandon and Michael and 6 support staff. Brian is a successful business leader in southwestern Illinois and brings a breadth of experience to the corporation.  He focuses his practice on retirement plan design as well as retirement and business planning for successful individuals around the country.  As CEO of Financial Solutions Midwest, LLC, Brian dedicates his professional life to providing strategic advice and services for individuals and businesses. Brian is has authored two books, “401knowhow- An insider’s guide to retirement plan options” and “Give and Grow- A study group guide”

He has been a member of MDRT since 1989 and has attended every meeting with ten Top of The Table qualification and seven Court of the Table qualifications.  Brian was MDRT President in 2016 and has given presentations to thousands of advisors in 25 countries.   

Brian has been very active in MDRT and served on many various standing committees. In the industry, Brian is a member of the Estate Planning Council, has been a NAIFA Local President, board member for NAIFA Illinois and is currently serving as the NAIFA Illinois President-Elect.


Carl Zeidler has been involved in the securities and insurance industries since 1975. He founded Wall Street Financial Group in 1988 and has offices in Carlinville, Champaign and Bourbonnais, Illinois, as well as in Memphis, Tennessee.

Carl has earned many designations and degrees, including a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois and a Master of Science in Financial Services degree (MSFS) from The American College.

An active member of the financial services industry, Carl is a member of the American Association of Independent Advisors (AAIA), the National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA), Financial Services Institute (FSI) and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), where he serves as the current president of NAIFA Illinois. He is a 2012 graduate of the NAIFA’s Leadership in Life Institute (LILI).  Additionally, Carl also is a member of Ed Slott’s Elite IRA Advisor Group.*

Chris Gandy

 Chris Gandy has spent the last 19 years helping individuals reach their most important financial goals. In 1999,Chris started his own financial services practice and, since then, has traveled the U.S. working with business owners, physicians, professional athletes and key executives. Chris specifically focuses on the areas of Life Insurance, Disability Income Insurance, Investments, and Tax Reduction Strategies.

Chris was a Communications major at the University of Illinois. Outside of the classroom, he played on the Fighting Illini basketball team where he was co-captain and earned 2nd Team All Big-Ten honors.  After college, Chris played professional basketball for the Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, and in L’Hermaine, France.

Early in his career, Chris worked as a Northwestern Mutual Financial Network Representative. While there, he received numerous awards and was a top producer.  He became an MDRT Member in 2003.  In the spring of 2005, Chris moved his financial services practice to the Molyneaux Financial Group, LLC, a general agency of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. There, he received the Impact Award in 2006 as well as the Management Council and Leaders Conference Honors in 2007.  

Chris is dedicated to helping individuals develop personalized financial strategies and goals. He is the AGA of Midwest Legacy Group which works with many of the major insurance carriers and investment providers in the marketplace to find suitable solutions and products for clients.