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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Aflac Kick Off

Every year Zach heads to Columbus for a big kick-off meeting with Aflac. Back in the day I actually had my Aflac license (and still carry my insurance license) so I was able to go to all of these kick-off meetings with him. When we made the decision to drop my Aflac license (it didn't make sense for tax purposes for me to have it when I rarely wrote any Aflac business anyway!) I was literally devastated that I'd no longer be able to go to this particular event. I know that may sound lame, but it's true! 

As a spouse of someone who is self-employeed (as all Aflac agents technically are) I think it's a BIG DEAL to get to see my husband accept his awards up on stage. I am his biggest cheerleader and biggest support system throughout the year and it's an honor for me to be able to see him shine. To see his hard work recognized and appreciated. Honestly, I really, really, really wish spouses were invited to this event! Whenever I'd leave the kick-off I would feel energized and motivated and appreciative of Zach. It helped us both so much to be there together and be focused together on the upcoming year ahead. 

I haven't been to the kick-off since back when I was pregnant with Kye. This year I was allowed to come because Zach was receiving an especially high honor and they made an exception to the no-spouse rule for me :) I was SO EXCITED!!! 

Aflac is such an incredible company and really has been the perfect fit for Zach's career. When he first decided to go to work with the company, he was a little reluctant. His dad had been with Aflac for many years and Zach didn't want to fall into that whole "I'm doing what my dad did" thing. But we are both SO thankful he decided to go for it. Not only does he love it (how many people truly LOVE what they do each day?) but he is also very good at what he does! Zach is a people person, he has a very adaptable personality and is very relatable to everyone he meets. He also loves competition, even if it's just competing with himself. Aflac gives Zach the opportunity to meet so many new people each day, it allows him freedom to set his own schedule and hours, and it gives him that competitive drive to really be the best he possibly can be. When the sky is the limit, Zach reaches for the stars! 

I debated about including all the pictures in this post that I took that day, because I know it's boring for most people and most of the awards aren't even things y'all would understand...but I decided to include them all. I am SO proud of Zach and his accomplishments and want these included in our family blog books so our children will also be able to see how hard their father works to provide for them and have that example of his strong work ethic to look up to! :)

We got to the kick-off at lunch time and it was awesome getting to visit with so many people I haven't seen in years. Zach and I haven't been on an Aflac trip since April 2012 so it was wonderful catching up with friends and meeting new people who I've heard of but never gotten to meet! The food was also awesome which I quite enjoyed :)

Once the "meeting" portion got rolling it was SO great. They would have different speakers speak on different topics and my "school nerd" self totally came out. I just love learning new things and truly felt so honored that our family represents such an amazing company. After each segment they'd announce awards for different things and the recipients got to go up on stage. Not only did I LOVE being there to see Zach, but it was so so neat to see Jordan too!!! He was up on that stage a TON! I truly consider Jordan my brother. I have that "big sister" love and pride for him and it is so neat how Aflac has blessed his and Casey's lives already. He, too, was reluctant to get with the company at first. I was nervous when he started because I didn't want anything to possibly affect his relationship with Zach! But it has been SO great! Not only has it brought Jordan and Zach closer, but Jordan has truly done so amazing and has for sure found the perfect career for him!

Time for awards! To be honest, I don't even know exactly what a lot of these awards are for? Usually they have to do with amount of premium written, certain contests the company runs (either on a national or state level), trips earned, etc. I just took a ton of pictures and cheered like crazy for my family :)





 Typical Jordan luck (his is similar to my luck haha)...his name got left off the awards list for something he should have won! Of course they made it right :)
This is one that I DO know what it's all about! President's Club is one of the top honors in the entire company. It is a trip that is earned by being one of the top 85 in business written for the year. Not only did Zach earn the trip...but he was the highest he's been in a long time! With over 70,000 agents to be in the top 85 is a HUGE deal!!! Can't wait for IRELAND next month!!!

How awesome is it that Zach not only gets to work along side his best friend (Jordan) but also works for his Dad!!! When Zach first started with the company Mr. Rusty had taken a step back a little but then decided to come back in the management position. He is such an incredible man and I know Zach will be striving to be just like him when his time comes to also be in that district position! 


 Mr Rusty's district was #2 in the state! 
(the number is NOT how much money he made haha we wish!)

Since the kick-off falls on a Friday and is in Columbus, Casey had decided to go up with Jordan to the meeting but wasn't planning to attend. Then they could leave from there to go visit his family (in Kennesaw) for the weekend. On the way to Columbus everyone talked and Mr Rusty got it okayed by the people who planned the event, and she was able to come along to the kick-off too! She loved it just as much as I did and is totally team "let the spouses come!" :) 

Being silly during a break!
 My three favorite people :) 
 Rubbing our pregnant bellies haha
So y'all know that Zach, Mr. Rusty, and Jordan all work together. But the family Aflac affair doesn't stop there! Aunt Karen (Mr. Rusty's sister) also works for the company! She, too, took some time away for awhile but is back! I'm telling you...once you work for Aflac you never want to do anything else! Just the past year, Brad (Courtney's husband) is also working with the company! He wasn't at the kick-off event but he's also a member of Mr. Rusty's district. It's truly a testament to the company when you see how many people do have their family members working alongside them. I know SO many people who work with Aflac and have their spouses, siblings, children, etc who also work with Aflac. Heck, the Amos family founded the company and members of the Amos family still run it (and our state coordinator is also an Amos!). Gotta love the emphasis on FAMILY :)

A couple years ago Zach made the move to a management position. He's considered a "CIT" which means "coordinator in training." He has a team that works with him and it's basically like preparing him to eventually do what Mr. Rusty does and become a district. Jordan is part of Zach's team as are several others and it really is great to see Zach shine in that leadership role. For a big part of last year his team was the #1 CIT team in the country!!! So awesome! A friend of mine, who actually made Britt's baby bedding for me, ended up coming to work with Zach and she has done so well she just recently got promoted to a district in another area of the state. He's now looking to hire some new people so if any of y'all know anyone in the North Florida/South Georgia area who are looking for a career change and you think Aflac might be a good fit for them...let me know and I can get them in touch with Zach!!!




 Running through the tunnel of congrats :)

 Love this of Ramsey, Brandi and Jordan!



 Another big honor for Zach: #2 in the entire state for the year! He hates not being #1 but that only gives him something to strive for next year :)
 Showin off his coordinating socks :)




THIS was the big moment! The reason I was allowed to come along :) A couple years ago the state started a Hall of Fame. They inducted several people who had written over 2.5 million in premium career-to-date and every year they add new people who have reached this milestone. Guess who got inducted this year? :) 
 Mr. Rusty's jersey! 8th person inducted!
 Mr. Rusty with Lisa (one of my Aflac favs!)
 Here is a video of the big moment! It was so nice hearing kind words about Zach and neat to see him up on stage with his dad. Mr. Rusty was BEAMING with pride :) I made sure to send Mrs. Charlotte a bunch of pictures and the video as I knew how excited and proud she was as well!
Let's keep in mind guys...this is NOT how much money Zach has MADE. I mean I'd take it if they wanted to give it to us for sure but it's how much business he's written since starting with the company. He's the youngest person to be inducted in the half of fame, I believe also the earliest in his career, and part of the first father-son duo to be inducted!

 Seeing if it fits ;)





 Proud Papa!!!
Haha when up on the stage they gave him a certificate letting him know he's in the Million Dollar Club with Aflac. You can tell he had no clue what that meant. Neither did any of us. From our seats we were trying to figure it out! We even pulled out a calculator to figure up how much money we've made since starting b/c maybe it meant he's made a million dollars?!?!?! Um nope haha. We found out it means that he currently has a million dollars of premium in force. Like policies that are open and being paid by people. They sent him business cards that say "Million Dollar Club" on them and he feels a little awkward when he gives them to people b/c I'm sure they naturally think it means he makes a million dollars haha!
Not only was it a super special day for Zach, but Aunt Karen was the next person inducted right after he was!!! So cool! I'm glad I got to be there to see her big moment too!!! And she and Mr. Rusty became the first brother-sister duo to be inducted :)








 Million Dollar Club!
 Showin off their jerseys!


 Can you tell by my huge grin how excited I am? 
I always loved being at football events to support Zach and attended every awards banquet possible along beside him. I even would go to these academic lunch things they would have on Mondays to hear about his accompaniments, even though he wasn't at most of them haha. I truly believe my role as Zach's wife is to be his cheerleader and the one there to encourage him in all that he does. Am I perfect at it? Heck no! Having kids makes it difficult to always be there for him like he needs me to be, but I am so honored to be his wife and so proud of him for ALL he does! Aflac has truly provided Zach with the perfect thing to fulfill the void that football ending left in his life. I love seeing him succeed and am SO thankful I was allowed to be there on that special day!!!
 Alex kept us ALL cracking up all day!!!
 So so sweet that Zach put this on Instagram!
With Aflac, the awards and contests never stop coming! Truly this company believes in rewarding people for their hard work. After the kick-off meeting people who qualified were able to stay in a hotel room for the night (for free!) and attend a party at the state coordinators home. Spouses aren't invited but I've heard these parties are like TV show worthy! Very awesome and totally all-out in themes. Which y'all know I appreciate :) 

Zach and Jordan both qualified for the party so they requested to share a hotel room. The theme this year was Viking so they got dressed up and headed to the party while Casey and I went to dinner at O'Charleys! The parties are legit parties where people naturally drink and such so Zach and Jordan (and Mr. Rusty and Aunt Karen, etc) never stay too, too long. It's an honor to qualify for the event and Zach takes it seriously to try his best to be at everything he can be, but it's also important to let that Christian light shine! Everyone knows our crew doesn't drink or anything and everyone has ALWAYS been super respectful of that and none of us have ever felt uncomfortable or anything like that (same goes on Aflac trips...we went to a winery once on one and the people there were so accommodating to our requests to not have any alcohol). I think it's wonderful that we can all be ourselves and be accepted and respected! The boys had a GREAT time with everyone at the party and they looked pretty awesome in their Viking attire too :)

Zach played it off like he wore his high school letterman jacket (his mascot was the Vikings) just to have an easy costume...but I think he just legit was eager to have an excuse to bust out that jacket ;)
 Haha classssic



 They took it all SO seriously when they were getting ready! 
Casey and I had a wonderful dinner and when the boys got back we went out to hit up some ice cream :) When the boys first left for the party Jordan gave Casey and I the giggles and it never stopped. I mean ALL night we kept laughing and laughing and laughing. So much so that my cheeks hurt! That hasn't happened in a long time. It was so, so fun :) We all stayed up super late talking and laughing and actually even got into trouble. Which that, too, is hilarious. I mean we were probably the only room on our floor who hadn't been drinking yet we got into trouble for being too loud! Haha! The two pregnant women are crazy ;)
We all had SUCH a fun time!!! The next morning we headed home and Casey and Jordan headed to Kennesaw. I am SOOOO thankful for the opportunity to attend such a great event and it truly reminded me how blessed we all our to have Aflac and to be part of the Aflac family. I know Zach is excited for his coming year and the many years to come! Here is his jersey hanging on display :) Have I mentioned just how PROUD I am of him?!?!? So proud! And it was SUCH a fun time!!! Maybe us spouses will get invited to go again soon :)

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