Women in Insurance & Financial Services Announces 2015 Award Winners

ALBANY, NY (11/12/2015)(readMedia)-- Several women were honored by Women in Insurance & Financial Services at the Annual WIFS Awards Ceremony held on October 29 in Baltimore, Maryland.

"WIFS awards recognize the personal accomplishments of these amazing members, while highlighting the collective voice that our organization gives women in the industry," stated Immediate Past President, Susan L. Combs during the ceremony.

The following awards were presented:


The ANGEL award is given to either a member or a non-member of WIFS who has demonstrated attributes that have been instrumental to the success of peers. These attributes include: A – Assistance; N – Nurture; G – Guidance; E – Ethics; L – Leadership. This year's ANGEL Award recipient is Karen Roberts, ChFC, CDFA, Wealth Planning Specialist and owner of The Emerald Financial Group.

Karen is a past national president of Women in Insurance and Financial Services (WIFS), past president of local Boca Raton, Gold Coast Chapter of WIFS, and a past president of the Broward County Chapter of The Society of Financial Service Professionals. She is an active participant in the WIFS Mentoring Program.

Karen devotes her time and expertise in financial planning to the Jewish Adoptions and Foster Care Agency (JAFCO) and was also recently appointed the Financial Advisor for her sorority, Alpha Xi Delta, which is located on the FAU campus. Through her various formal and informal mentorship roles, she has touched thousands of individuals.


The Member of the Year award recognizes the consistent and ongoing commitment and contribution to WIFS on a local or national level. This year's recipient is Cheryl Canzanella, LUTC, Brokerage Director at MassMutual.

Cheryl has enjoyed long term success in the industry and has been recognized within the industry and her community for her accomplishments. As the President Elect of Jacksonville's National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) Cheryl serves at the local, state and national level and was the recipient of the 2014 NAIFA-FL President's Award. She is the Founding Past President of the Northeast Florida chapter of Women in Insurance and Financial Services (WIFS) and was nominated for WIFS National's Woman of the Year Award in 2014. In 2014 she was honored for her personal and professional accomplishments as one of Jacksonville's 40 Under 40 and was recognized as a finalist for Pioneer of the Year for Women in Business in 2015.


The Chapter of the Year award recognizes the chapter that excels in the areas of membership, governance, planning, programs, membership and engagement. The 2015 Chapter of the Year is Gold Coast, which services North Broward and South Palm Beach Counties in Florida. Chapter President, Michelle Greene, accepted the award on behalf of the Gold Coast Board and membership.


This is the highest level of recognition a WIFS member can receive from her peers. It honors an individual who has gone above and beyond to support WIFS and our industry. The 2015 recipient is Juli McNeely, CFP, CLU, LUTCF, Owner of McNeely Financial Services and Immediate Past National President of NAIFA.

Juli is the first woman to hold the position of President in the 125 year history of NAIFA. This accomplishment speaks volumes for her leadership, commitment, and passion for the industry. She is a highly engaged member of WIFS and a driving force in the creation of the collaborative advocacy agreement between WIFS and NAIFA.

Juli also holds the Series 7 and 63 securities licenses through SII Investments Inc. She is a qualifying member of MDRT and in 2011, was the recipient of the NAIFA Wisconsin A. Jack Nussbaum Distinguished Service Award. In 2013, Juli was named one of the "Top 20 Women You Need to Know" in insurance by LifeHealthPro. She is highlighted in the recently published book Financial Services: Women at the Top.

About WIFS

More than 75 years strong, Women in Insurance & Financial Services, headquartered in Albany, NY, is the only organization in the insurance and financial services industry exclusively devoted to supporting the careers of women and helping them succeed in this business. The WIFS mission is to attract, develop, and advance the careers of women in the financial services industry.

Over 1,100 WIFS members throughout the country receive value from monthly education programs, local chapters in over 20 US markets, annual national conference, professional development, member discounts, corporate partnerships and affiliations.

For more information about WIFS and upcoming programs, visit www.wifsnational.org or contact Deborah Duffy, Executive Director at 866-264-WIFS (9437).