Albany, New York, May 19, 2016 —At a celebratory dinner to recognize the exceptional achievements of life insurance agents in New York, NAIFA-NYS on May 16 honored two of its own—Alex Tronco of Northwestern Mutual as winner of the prestigious Spencer L. McCarty Award and Prudential Advisors’ Albert Brodbeck as recipient of the Ben Brewster Government Relations Award.  Joining in the Annual Conference and Day on the Hill event, as a sign that NAIFA-NYS is re-emerging as an important player in the life insurance industry, were Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and Senator Alfonse D’Amato.

“The evening was a tribute to two individuals who have gone above and beyond in supporting a profession they love and in protecting clients who rely on them,” said NAIFA-NYS President Larry Holzberg. “But even beyond that, the dinner was a clear signal that not only are life insurance agents critically important to the welfare of this state, but that NAIFA-NYS is gaining notice for its strong advocacy on their behalf.”

“This conference,” continued Holzberg, “was our Renaissance at the Renaissance Hotel, and the awards dinner was one proof of our success.”

Named for a revered NAIFA-NYS Executive Vice President, the McCarty Award—the highest honor that the organization bestows—is given to someone who shows exceptional dedication to the life insurance industry.  President Holzberg noted that Alex Tronco is well-recognized for his ability to help consumers plan for the future.  The Times Union recently called Tronco’s agency one of the “2016 Top Workplaces” in the Capital region, and the Albany Business Review has recognized Mr. Tronco’s firm as a “Best Place to Work”.  He also is a long-standing supporter of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (, which raises money to help find a cure for childhood cancers, and has provided more than $3 million for the cause.

The Brewster Award showcases superior service to NAIFA-NYS government relations activities.  Al Brodbeck, said President Holzberg, is leading the organization’s re-established Legislation Committee—a vital component of the NAIFA-NYS “Renaissance”—and for decades has helped to guide the organization’s advocacy, including during his tenure as president.  “We also were so very pleased,” said Holzberg, “that Ben himself could be with us at the dinner as we recognized his close friend Al.”

Senator D’Amato, who represented New York State for 18 years in the U.S. Senate, kicked off the evening by introducing Lieutenant Governor Hochul, who spoke of positive economic and other changes taking place at the state level and of her experiences.  In many ways, it was noted, the good news about the economic climate in New York is similar to the renewed spirit at NAIFA-NYS.

The 2016 Annual Conference and Day on the Hill took place from May 15 to 17 at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Albany.

The National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors-NYS (NAIFA-NYS) represents the interests of thousands of life insurance agents and financial advisors throughout New York.  It advocates for a positive legislative and regulatory environment, enhanced business and professional skills, and the ethical conduct of its members in order to protect consumers and to encourage a healthy marketplace.

For more information, please contact Greg Serio, NAIFA-NYS Executive Director, at 518-915-1661 or at