What’s the good news, ladies? Mentorship!


Very excited to share this month’s installment of “What’s the Good News, Ladies?”  This month you get to meet three women who are very near and dear to my heart. These are three women that I have had the pleasure of mentoring in my career, and I would have never met them if it wasn’t through the opportunities I received in volunteer leadership in serving on the National Board of Directors for Women in Insurance & Financial Services (WIFS).

I have always felt passionately about mentorship — no one in this industry got to where they are today without the assistance of someone looking behind and helping to pull them up. I continue to have amazing mentors and advocates in my career, and I have chosen to pay it forward by mentoring others.

Click here to let me introduce you to Mary, Krystyl and Ashleigh, three bright stars that I am happy to call mentees, colleagues and most of all friends!

What’s the good news, ladies? February edition.

goodnewsfeb2017Who’s feelin’ the love?  With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I am excited to share one of my “loves” with you.  Incredible women in our industry getting it done and paying it forward!  This installment is extra special to me because it includes Karen Roberts, a woman who has mentored me for a number of years.  In addition to Karen, you are going to hear about Cheryl Hughes, who has over 30 years in our industry and Patricia Griffey who has been giving back to our industry by being involved in the National Association of Health Underwriters. Get ready to feel the love and inspiration that these three women bring to our industry!

Click Here to read about these incredible women!

What’s the good news, ladies? Even more women changing the industry.


For our third installment highlighting women who are changing our industry, I’m going to introduce three more  three amazing ladies.  These three are rock star recruiters from Guardian, MassMutual and Penn Mutual.

(Be sure to read our first and second installment of the series.)

I met each of these women by being part of organizations like WIFS, NAIFA and GAMA.  I’ve found that when you connect with women who are involved with industry organizations, they mean business and are always looking to develop themselves and the people around them.

Click Here to see what Samantha, Cheryl and Evelyn are up to this year!

More women who are changing the insurance industry.

Series 2

I’ve enjoyed all the positive feedback on this new series, “What’s the good news, ladies? Women who are changing the industry.” It really has been fun!  For our second installment, I wanted you to hear from four women who come to the industry from entirely different backgrounds.

Juli McNeely, who took over her father’s practice and helped bring it to the next level; Kristin Alfheim, an award-winning financial advisor who runs a successful practice in Green Bay; Meghan Wilke, who took her production experience to the home office level for Mutual of Omaha; and Julie Yunker, who is thriving under a big transition that happened earlier this year with MetLife.

Now sit back, relax and get ready to be inspired by some astounding and accomplished women as they share some of their high points from this year.

Click Here to read all about these amazing women!

The Best Way to Prospect

Prospecting Pic

So I have the pleasure of writing for the Succession Initiative for LifeHealthPro and they come to me with questions from their readers and I get to respond to them!  Here is the latest one:

The Challenge…

How can I make appointments effectively?

Meeting The Challenge…

Hi Terry,

First off, I basically equate that to a mother not teaching her son how to cook and do laundry because she knows he’ll find a wife to do it for him! Learning how to prospect is a life skill in sales. You have to get it down pat in order to be successful in this career. Being handed leads are the reward after you have proven yourself, you know?

OK … now to get off of my soapbox and offer a solution.


Network with everyone and anyone if you are starting out. Book lunches, coffees and drinks with other salespeople and business professionals in different fields. Get your elevator pitch down and be specific about who you want to be introduced to that are good lead sources for you (CPAs, attorneys, etc.) Be specific about your ideal client, too; if you say “business owners,” they are going to hear Charlie Brown’s parents talking and you’ll go nowhere.  Click here to read more!


My Advice to Women Looking for a Career in Financial Services

woman working in finance

No doubt about it, financial services is a great career for women. As the current president of Women in Insurance & Financial Services (WIFS), I ought to know. Founded in 1936, WIFS is the only organization for women, by women, in the insurance and financial services industry. Our core mission is about attracting, developing and advancing women in this career.

My work with WIFS has connected me with women from all across the country. Some of them are veterans who have become extremely successful, while others are just getting started. I often get asked for advice on how women can be successful in this industry. Click here for my top tips to women considering a career in financial services.

Susan Combs Receives SmartCEO Brava! Award
July 1, 2014, 12:20 am
Filed under: Brava Awards, Exciting News, Motivational, SmartCEO, Susan L Combs


Brava_PreEventPR_2014 (2)

New York SmartCEO Announces the 2014 Brava! Awards Winners

40 powerhouse female business leaders to be recognized in
SmartCEO’s Brava! Awards program

New York, NY (June 10, 2014) — New York SmartCEO and Title Sponsor WeiserMazars LLP are pleased to announce the 2014 Brava! Award winners. The Brava! Awards celebrate the distinguished achievements of 40 of Greater New York’s top women business leaders. This year’s class collectively generates more than $1.2 billion in annual revenue and employ over 49,000 individuals. This year’s winners will be profiled in the September/October issue of SmartCEO magazine and celebrated at an awards ceremony on September 23, 2014 at Capitale.

Please see below for a complete list of winners and for program details. To share in the excitement leading up to the event, follow us @SmartCEO #BravaAwards.

“Brava winners possess the utmost qualities in a leader — vision, passion, compassion, dedication, perseverance. Every one of this year’s winners exhibits these qualities in running their business, their families and their philanthropic activities. They give 110 percent of themselves,” says Rick Crane, regional president of SmartCEO Media. “We are honored and humbled to recognize a group of women who are truly making a difference in the world.”

The winners will be celebrated at the New York Brava! Awards ceremony on September 23, 2014 at Capitale. An expected sell-out event, over 300 local C-level executives and guests will attend to celebrate their achievements. Past Brava! winners will also be in attendance to welcome the new class of winners and grow the community. The event will kick off with a cocktail reception followed by the awards ceremony and a final toast to the women leaders of Greater New York.

About SmartCEO
SmartCEO’s mission is to educate and inspire the business community through its award-winning magazine, connections at C-level events and access to valuable online resources. SmartCEO’s integrated media platforms reach decision makers in the Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, metropolitan areas.

About the Brava! Awards
The Brava! Awards program celebrates female CEOs who combine their irrepressible entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for giving back to the community. Brava! Award winners are exemplary leaders of both their companies and their communities. They encourage local philanthropy, mentor up-and-coming leaders and set their companies on the path to tremendous growth. Each year, an independent committee of local business leaders selects winners based on the quality of applications submitted. SmartCEO shares their inspiring stories in the September/October issue of SmartCEO magazine and celebrates their success at an awards reception in September.

Complete Program Information:
2014 Brava! Awards
Date: Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Time: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Location: Capitale
130 Bowery, New York, NY 10013
Attire: Business Cocktail

2014 New York Brava! Winners:
Wen Zhou, 3.1 Phillip Lim
Ann Gottlieb, Ann Gottlieb Associates
Dominique Debroux, Big Belli, LLC
Claudia Baricevic, Capitale
Susan L. Combs, PPACA, Combs & Co.
Elisabete Miranda, CQ fluency
Samantha DiGennaro, DiGennaro Communications
Cheryl Ann Lawrence McDaniel, Direct Success Inc.
Jennifer N. Nevins, DW Smith Associates, LLC
Susan Lindner, Emerging Media
Erika Weinstein, eTeam Executive Search LLC
Amanda Judge, Faire Collection
Hilda Polanco, Fiscal Management Associates
Stacy Francis, Francis Financial, Inc.
Maureen Henegan, Henegan Construction Co., Inc.
Marilyn Kane, Iridium Capital LLC
Julie B. Kampf, JBK Associates
Lynne S. Katzmann, Juniper Communities
Karen Gurl-Martell, KGM Consulting, Inc.
Gwen Whiting and Lindsey J. Boyd, The Laundress New York
Jil Larsen, Magic Mix Juicery
Robyn Streisand, The Mixx
Dr. Robin Smith, Neostem
Cheryl Biron, One Horn Transportation
Denise Mari, Organic Avenue and Mari Lifestyle
Joanna Phillips, Phillips Brokerage
Jill Scalisi, Scalisi Skincare
Jennifer Blumin, Skylight Group
Lori Leitgeb, Stack Builders
Mary Nittolo, The STUDIO
Sarah Endline, Sweet Riot
Leslie A. Firtell, Tower Legal Solutions
Liz Elting, TransPerfect
Nadine Cino, Tyga Box
Susan White Morrissey, White and Warren

Nonprofit Winners
Saranne Rothberg, ComedyCures Foundation
Gail A. Magaliff, FEGS Health & Human Services
Ruth Rathblott, Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF)
Carol Robles-Román, Legal Momentum
Marsha Firestone, Ph.D., Women Presidents’ Organization

To find out more about the 2015 Brava! Awards nomination process, email us at For information about sponsorship opportunities, email us at



Susan Combs named Best Rising Star 2014 by LifeHealthPro


This year’s nominations for the National Underwriter Industry Elite Awards were stronger than ever, a who’s who of the best and brightest in the realms of market innovation, industry awareness, community outreach and young talent. Our winners and honorable mentions this year stand out for their leadership, drive and brilliance that only the Industry Elites can offer.​ It was an especially difficult selection process as each and every entry stood with great merit. But alas, only one can be chosen. With that, we present to you the 2014 National Underwriter Industry Elite Awards.

To read the full write up on the award, click here!

Best Advice I Ever Got
November 21, 2011, 2:31 pm
Filed under: Motivational

My father always told me there are three major aspects  to your life – you have the person you are with, the place where you live, and the thing you do for a living.  If you’re happy with 3 out of 3 then you are living a golden life; but on any given day, if you can be happy in at least 2 of those aspects, you’re doing just fine.  But if you’re happy with only one or none at all, the get off your butt and do something about it.  Surround yourself with supportive people who “get” you; to whom you don’t have to explain yourself.  Live in a place that excites you and that cultivates who you are and who you want to be.  Choose to do something you love because invariably you’ll do it well.

My friend Ron Williams has a saying, “If you are not a wind in my sail, then you are an anchor on my tail.” I have a tremendous husband (my word not his), a great family, and fantastic friends.  I have them all because I choose to have them in my life (and yes, that goes for my family).  I live in a city that doesn’t bullshit me; it gives me just as good as it takes from me.  And I get to decide on the clients I want to work with.  My business theory is fairly simple – if I wouldn’t Friend someone on Facebook, then I don’t want them as a client.  That’s how I lead my life.

No matter what your aspirations are in life be the kind of person that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil says, “Oh crap, they’re up.”