Congratulations to long-time EBA columnists Mel Schlesinger and Jack Kwicien, who are assuming important leadership posts in the field.

This month Mel begins his one-year term as president of the National Association of Health Underwriters' Board of Trustees. He will officially assume that post at NAHU's annual conference in San Antonio, June 26-29. An active member of NAHU for many years, Mel has served as a local and state chapter president as well as a regional vice president and national vice president.

Jack has already begun his term as president of the Workplace Benefits Association Advisory Board. A member of the Board since 2004, Jack succeeds Rob Shestak as president for 2011-2012.

EBA's columnists are one of our greatest attributes. As a group and individually, each month they create the deepest, most useful guidance and insight you'll find anywhere. From time to time a reader will ask me, "How much do you pay those guys, anyway?" If you've ever wondered the same thing, here's the answer: We don't pay them a dime. They write because they want to help you succeed, and because they have something important to share. They're vivid proof of just how strong the spirit of giving back is among benefits brokers and advisers. So here's to them - and especially this month to Mel and Jack.

While we're at it, one more tip of the hat is in order. Last month the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors awarded the 70th annual John Newton Russell Memorial Award to Marvin H. Feldman. One of New York Life's top agents for decades, Marv currently serves as president and CEO of Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education, better known as the LIFE Foundation, where he does yeoman's work spreading the good news about life, health and disability insurance. If there's anyone out there doing more than Marv to educate young people and foster their interest in making a career in this business, I'd love to hear about it.

The Russell Award is the highest honor given by the insurance industry to a living individual. But perhaps the coolest thing about Marv being honored this year is that his father, Ben Feldman, was the recipient of the Russell Award in 1984.

And lastly, you might qualify for an award of your own this year. We're accepting nominations for EBA's newly expanded Adviser of the Year Awards - there are now four of them - through June 24. So hurry - go to our website,, and click on "Advisers of the Year" in the left nav bar to find out more.

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