The Largest Association Fly-In in the Insurance and Financial Services Industry
The Congressional Conference is NAIFA's signature grassroots advocacy event. It returned, May 23-24, as an in-person event in Washington, D.C., this year. Traditionally the largest association fly-in in the insurance and financial services industry, Congressional Conference has been held as a virtual event the past two years due to COVID-19 restrictions.
More than 500 financial professionals registered to attend. Each year, we list the names of attendees who pledge to advocate for their clients, communities, and country.
During meetings with lawmakers and staff, attendees discussed the important services insurance and financial advisors provide Main Street Americans and how policy decisions impact NAIFA’s goal of providing financial security for all. They encouraged Senators to pass the SECURE 2.0 retirement legislation and asked lawmakers to preserve the status of agents and advisors as independent contractors.
NAIFA’s annual Congressional Conference is crucial to our grassroots advocacy strategy. The event brings NAIFA members together as a critical mass to advocate on behalf of their businesses, clients, consumers, and the insurance and financial services industry. It provides targeted advocacy training with briefings on specific legislative issues, best practices for conducting congressional meetings, and tips for developing impactful long-term relationships with legislators.
Photos from NAIFA's 2022 Congressional Conference
The influential lawmaker from Nebraska serves on the powerful Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over trade, tax, and health care policy. He is also a member of the Budget Committee.
Ben Sasse is a fifth-generation Nebraskan with the honor of representing the Cornhusker state in the U.S. Senate. Having never run for anything before, he and his family campaigned tirelessly in a rickety old campaign bus in 2013 and 2014, ultimately winning all of Nebraska's 93 counties in one of the biggest landslides in state history.
After deciding with his family to run for re-election in 2020, Ben set a record, earning the most votes in the history of Nebraska — again winning all 93 counties.
Like many Nebraskans, Ben learned about hard work in corn and bean fields at an early age. The son of a coach and a graduate of Fremont High, he was recruited to wrestle at Harvard and subsequently earned a PhD in American history at Yale. An occasional professor, Ben has spent most of his worklife helping companies and institutions through technological and leadership disruptions. He’s worked with the Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey and Company, as well as private equity firms and not-for-profit organizations, to tackle failing strategies across dozens of sectors and nations.
The Congressional Conference CEO Panel featured the leaders of NAIFA, The American College of Financial Services, the American Council of Life Insurers, and the Insured Retirement Institute. These thought leaders understand the impact and importance of grassroots political influence for the insurance and financial services industry and have spearheaded numerous successful advocacy campaigns.
As the CEO of NAIFA, Mayeux oversees the association's headquarters and national staff and manages relationships with life, health and financial service companies, other industry organizations, legislators, and regulators. He has led NAIFA's modernization and revitalization under the NAIFA 20/20 and NAIFA 2025 strategic plans.
IRI President & CEO
Chopus is the President and CEO of the Insured Retirement Institute. After nearly three decades of experience with major life insurance companies, Chopus is a respected retirement income industry executive and recognized for expertise across annuity product distribution and broker-dealer engagement. A business leader of high-profile initiatives to respond to evolving consumer demands and industry competition, Chopus understands the challenges and opportunities of this vibrant industry.
ACLI President & CEO
As President and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers, Neely leads an industry whose mission is to help families live better lives by achieving financial security and certainty. ACLI's member companies represent 94% of industry assets and provide financial security products and services to 90 million American families. Neely has forged groundbreaking initiatives and partnerships on tax and retirement security policy.
The American College President & CEO
The 10th President and CEO in the storied history of The American College of Financial Services, Nichols continues to draw motivation from founder Dr. Solomon S. Huebner’s pioneering 1927 vision while empowering The College to usher in the next century of excellence. A life of private sector experience and public service brought Nichols to The College, and he shares its commitment to benefit society by educating and influencing the financial services profession.
NAIFA’s panelists have decades of experience working on legislative issues in Washington, D.C. They are in tune with the issues and policymakers making decisions that impact your business and clients.
Jason Abel leads Steptoe's Campaign Finance and Political Law practice and advises clients on a range of government affairs issues, including legislative strategy and process. Abel served as chief counsel for US Senate Committee on Rules and Administration Chairman Charles Schumer and prior to that, as counsel for Senator Schumer in his personal office. Clients benefit from Jason's valuable Capitol Hill experience, where he worked with Senate leaders on both sides of the aisle to craft and execute strategy for several successful pieces of bipartisan legislation.
Diane Boyle joined the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors 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 the 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.
Michael Hedge serves on the NAIFA Government Relations team as the Director of Federal Government Relations. His primary focus centers on financial services, representing NAIFA before the House Financial Services Committee, the Senate Banking Committee, the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and federal regulators. Before joining NAIFA, Hedge served six years as a lobbyist for the Community Associations Institute, representing common-interest communities before state and federal legislators and regulatory agencies.
Dani Kehoe has been involved in fighting, supporting, and/or modifying major tax legislation affecting life and health insurance products, retirement savings vehicles, qualified pension plans, small business tax issues, aging and senior care issues, and life insurance sales practices since 1982. She has also worked on a variety of PAC issues. Kehoe’s clients include trade associations, insurance companies, and firms that specialize in employer-provided benefits and executive compensation. She provides legislative and regulatory lobbying, monitoring and/or reporting services.
As NAIFA’s Director of Government Relations, Jayne Fitzgerald analyzes policy and develops legislative strategies and positions on federal tax, retirement, finance, and other issues important to NAIFA members and their clients. Fitzgerald possesses broad government relations experience in the public and private sectors. She has deep knowledge of the policy issues that impact the insurance and financial services industry and the work of financial security professionals. She previously served as the Economic Policy Advisor to Representative Bill Pascrell, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, where she specialized in tax, pension, and financial services issues.
As a principal in Raffaniello & Associates, Patrick J. “Pat” Raffaniello advocates in Washington on behalf of his clients’ legislative and regulatory matters. Raffaniello primarily represents businesses before the tax-writing committees and the Congressional leadership. With over 25 years of experience serving corporations, trade associations, and other business enterprises, he maintains strong working relationships with key policymakers and is committed to effective, ethical advocacy.