Thursday, February 22, 2024 from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM CST
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Mistwood Golf Club
1700 W. Renwick Rd.
Romeoville, IL 60446


Sara Decatoire, CAE, IOM 
NAIFA Illinois 

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 Thank you to our Event Sponsors


















- Meet the Emcee

Eric Essex, LUTCF, FSS, CLTC

Eric Essex is a registered representative with Wela Financial in Yorkville, IL.  For over 25 years he has specialized in developing strategies for individuals, families and small businesses to replace their income and protect their lifestyle, allowing them to realize their goals and dreams while insuring their retirement. 

He began his career as an agent with Liberty Mutual and then moved into management. From there he served the industry as a manager with Prudential until deciding to go back to personal production with New York Life and then became a Life and Financial Sales Specialist with Farmers Insurance. Almost five years ago, Eric seized the opportunity to work with Wela Financial and their amazing team.

Eric and his beautiful and talented wife Roxanne live in Yorkville and have 2 children and 4 grandchildren. He is involved in his community through his local chamber of commerce in Yorkville and Sandwich, Yorkville Kiwanis Club and the Three Fires Council BSA.  He enjoys spending time with his family, camping, hiking and continuing to sharpen his saw.


NAIFA IL 2024 Winter Conference 

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Coffee with the Exhibitors: 9:00 - 10:00 AM

Program:10:00 - 3:30 PM

NAIFA / FSP Social: 3:30 - 5:00 PM

The NAIFA IL 2024 Winter Conference will be held on Thursday, Feb. 22nd at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville. You will experience great industry speakers including Van Mueller, Richard Lazarski, Camille Tan, Diane Boyle and Evan Manning.  

 4 Hours of IL General CE is approved!

Register Now! 

- Program Schedule -

9:00 - 10:00                 Coffee with Exhibitors

10:00 - 10:20               Opening Remarks/Exhibitor Intros – Eric Essex, LUTCF, FSS, CLTC

10:20 – 11:05              Richard Lazarski – Life Happens – The Importance of Disability Insurance

11:05 – 11:50              Camille Tan, CRPC – What you need to know about Social Security

11:50 – 12:30              Lunch with Exhibitors

12:30 – 2:10                Van Mueller, LUTCF, LACP - Selling  KNOWLEDGE and WISDOM Instead of Data and                                    Information                              

2:10 – 2:30                  Break with Exhibitors  

2:30 – 3:15                  Diane Boyle & Evan Manning - NAIFA Government Affairs Rundown 

3:15 – 3:30                  Closing Remarks & Raffle Prizes – Eric Essex, LUTCF, FSS, CLTC

3:30 – 5:00                  FSP / NAIFA Social - McWethy's Tavern at Mistwood Golf Club 

- Meet the Speakers -

Van Mueller, LUTCF, LACP

 January 23, 2024 marks Van’s 51st year as an insurance agent. He is an active member of MDRT having qualified for Court of the Table in 1990 and Top of The Table for the last 33 years.

Van was awarded the Milwaukee NAIFA Distinguished Service Award for 2003. And in 2010 Van was the proud recipient of the A. Jack Nussbaum Distinguished Service Award for NAIFA – Wisconsin. He has also qualified for the National Sales Achievement Award, the National Quality Award, the Health Insurance Quality Award, and has qualified many times for the National Association of Health Underwriters Leading Producers Round Table. Van was selected by Senior Market Advisor Magazine as the 2010 Advisor of the Year.

Van supports many industry organizations. In addition to membership in NAIFA and MDRT, he is also a member of the Society of Financial Service Professionals, an Emissary Contributor to IFAPAC and a Diamond Knight of the MDRT Foundation.

Van has spoken to groups around the world, including being main-platform speaker at MDRT in 1998 Chicago and the Main Platform speaker at the 2001 Top of The Table Meeting Maui. Van was a Main Platform Speaker at the 2003, 2005, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 NAIFA Conventions.  He was a speaker at MDRT and at the NAIFA Convention for 2006, and again in 2007, 2010, 2011, 2018, 2019 and 2020.  He was a main platform speaker for the MDRT Experience in Tokyo in April of 2008.  He has also written many articles for various publications, including the “Close" for Retirement Advisor magazine.  Van has a web-based monthly newsletter subscription that many agents find an invaluable resource for their practice.

Van believes that the next decade will be “The Greatest Time Ever” for Insurance and Financial Service Professionals!

Richard Lazarski

Rich Lazarski has built a distinguished financial services practice over the past 50 years, assisting hundreds of clients with financial strategies that address each client’s individual needs and goals.  

Raised in Chicago and a graduate of the University of Illinois, Rich served his country in the U.S. Air Force and began his career with State Mutual Life Assurance Company (a.k.a. Allmerica) in 1967. He quickly established himself as a leader, building a strong clientele made up of accounting, dental and medical professionals.

Rich is a 35-year Qualifying and Life Member of the Million-Dollar Round Table (MDRT) and has been a regular attendee of the annual MDRT meetings. A Series 7 Registered Representative for nearly 45 years, Rich is an outstanding student of our profession, and has invested his time and energy to keep his clients up-to-date on the numerous changes that have occurred in the last 50 years in the areas of risk management, tax and financial planning. As a professional, Rich has always been most willing to counsel and mentor fellow associates throughout his career. As a mentor Rich has positively influenced the careers of dozens of financial professionals.

Rich and his family have lived in LaGrange for the past 40 years. His children and grandchildren live nearby.

Camille Marie Tan, CRPC  

Camille grew up in the insurance industry and has been involved since 2003. She works in partnership with her father at their independent advisory firm Van Ham & Tan Financial. Camille aims to educate clients about retirement planning, social security maximization, and tax aware financial planning. As a graduate of Benedictine University, she actively uses her background in Psychology and Business to build strong lifelong client relationships. She is proud to have helped grow and establish a multigenerational independent practice to serve her community.

She is focused on meeting the needs of small business owners, families, and individuals in her community. Helping her clients understand their financial goals, and how to achieve them is integral to her practice. With education and understanding, Camille helps guide her clients on their financial path. She is passionate about working with clients to help them achieve their financial goals and ultimately a happy retirement.

Camille has been an active member of her professional association since 2004, including serving at Local, State, and National levels. She is a Past President of NAIFA IL, and still volunteers time on programming and advocacy committees. She is a member of MDRT, and regularly attends educational conferences to gain more skill and knowledge. She has served on women’s advisory councils, and DEI committees for NAIFA and insurance company partners.

In her free time Camille is a competitive indoor and open water swimmer, where she regularly competes locally and nationally. She has won one National Champion title and holds several top ten times in her age group. She is also a master scuba diver, and competitive marksman. She is passionate about travel, scuba diving, and adventure. She lives with her husband in Plainfield, IL.

Diane Boyle

Diane Boyle, Senior Vice President of Government Relations, joined the NAIFA family in April of 1991 and serves as the association’s chief federal lobbyist. Her responsibilities include the development and implementation of legislative and regulatory strategy, and daily execution of association activities to provide advocacy services for professional insurance and financial advisors in order to support a private, competitive insurance marketplace.

Prior to expansion of health services to all NAIFA members in January 2010, Boyle served as the executive vice president for the Association of Health Insurance Advisors, the former health conference of NAIFA.

Evan Manning

Evan Manning joined the NAIFA Illinois advocacy team as Government Relations Manager in 2019.  He has experience in the private sector and most recently was an Appropriations Budget Analyst on the Senate Republican Staff.

In his new role, Evan will be responsible for all aspects of the association’s government relations program. He also represents IIA of IL, Illinois State Association of Health Underwriters, and Illinois Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, collectively referred to as the Illinois Coalition of Insurance Brokers and Financial Advisors. The Coalition represents thousands of individuals and firms providing insurance and financial advice to Illinois consumers and businesses.

Evan will work with our leaders in representing the Coalition before the General Assembly, Constitutional Officers, boards and commissions.