WASHINGTON (Nov. 19, 2021) — NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, recognized Dennis Brown, CEO and owner of M&O Marketing, as the winner of its 2021 Bo Johnson Spirit Award for Lifetime Achievement. NAFA’s highest honor recognizes an individual with courage, spirit and determination that challenges the status quo who inspires others to achieve, contributes unselfishly to others, and works ethically and conscientiously to improve the fixed annuity marketplace. Each year it is bestowed upon a deserving industry leader nominated by an active NAFA member. The NAFA board of directors votes to select the honoree from those nominated.
The announcement was made in front of attendees participating in NAFA’s 13th annual Annuity Distribution Summit in Lake Las Vegas, Nev., which returned to an in-person experience this fall. In addition to a video tribute from Ryan Brown, corporate counsel for M&O Marketing, and Paul McGillivray, sales director at M&O Marketing, Brown’s influence, accomplishments and impacts were detailed by colleague, friend and nominator Paul Garofoli, regional sales director for The Standard.
“Dennis has been a mainstay in our industry for decades. His initial success as a personal producer has provided a solid foundation for the growth and evolution of his insurance marketing firm, M&O Marketing. Having served on multiple advisory boards for various insurance carriers, he has been a catalyst for positive change in the creation of more consumer-centric products. But most of all, Dennis has been a friend and mentor to many of us in the industry and is the embodiment of a relationship-centric businessman,” said Garofoli.
Brown began his career with Prudential in 1977, where he was named Rookie of the Year in his very first year in the business before becoming Prudential’s youngest sales manager in the country. He left the captive world to join M&O Marketing in 1987, where he built the fixed annuity division from almost nothing to where it is today. Brown and his wife, Denise, co-own the business and use yesterday’s knowledge, today’s experience and tomorrow’s vision to provide a versatile and cutting-edge marketing value proposition to the thousands of independent financial professionals they serve across the country.
“Each year, I’m honored and humbled to have the opportunity to present our Bo Johnson Spirit Award to an incredibly talented, passionate and visionary individual. Dennis Brown is the epitome of all that our award stands for,” said Chuck DiVencenzo, NAFA president and CEO. “His decision making and commitment to putting people first has changed the way insurance marketing organizations aim to serve advisors. He has also selflessly given time, talent and resources to protecting fixed annuities and the hardworking people who design, develop and distribute them. Having been a friend and mentor to Bo, it couldn’t be more fitting that we recognize him and the lasting impacts of his drive and dedication.”
Brown was on hand at the Summit to receive the award and a standing ovation from the audience during the presentation ceremony.