Aflac Kick Off

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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 🙂

1 Comment

  1. Robyn Mullican
    March 29, 2014 / 5:57 pm

    Way to go Z!!! Congrats!

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Aflac Kick-Off

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This year Mr. Rusty hosted his district Aflac kick-off at a cute little restaurant in town (Willy’s or something?). It’s funny because I’d never even heard of the place and Valdosta isn’t very big!!! The awards night was on Friday Jan 20th at 6:30. All the associates and a date were invited and of course I wanted to go. The problem was…who would keep Brittlynn? Literally EVERYONE (or their significant other) is selling Aflac now! Mrs. Charlotte would be there to support Rusty, Mom is an agent, Casey would be there to support Jordan and even Robyn would be there supporting Matt. We haven’t had anyone keep Brittlynn yet and we weren’t about to have her first time with a sitter be with someone who we didn’t know very well.

Thankfully Mr. Rusty told us we could bring Britt with us for the evening. We ended up hiring a babysitter for Kye. It was the first time he’s had a legit sitter and it was these two sweet sisters from church. We totally trusted them and weren’t worried about him a bit. It did make me realize, yet again, how LUCKY we are to be surrounded by family! Paying a sitter ain’t cheap!!!

We were the last ones to arrive because I had to nurse Britt before we left. It worked out okay though as we made a nice grand entrance 🙂 Here is everyone at the event!

Mrs. Charlotte took this pic, made me laugh that Zach was cut off of the first one!

Zach, Kristen, Alex, Micah, Jordan, Casey and Me!

Jason, Marcy, Glenn, Blake, Brittany, Selena, Mr. Rusty and Mom!

Two new people…not sure of their names (and it was a hilariously awkward moment when I kept trying to introduce myself huh Robyn???), Tim and his wife, Robyn and Matt

Zach was promoted to a management position in the fall of 2010. Honestly, I didn’t know how I felt about it. Sometimes I still don’t. We originally thought he wouldn’t move up in the company until he had been in it for at least five years. He’d been in it three when he moved up and it felt a little soon to me. But he’s been VERY successful! He has an AWESOME team! Mom actually got the #3 rookie of the year in the WHOLE state!!! How awesome it that?!?!?! I’m VERY proud of how much Zach has stepped up in the management role. He’s matured a lot with this big responsibility and I think he makes a wonderful leader. He’s giving, fair, and does his best to help his team succeed. Alex (who is Javon’s brother-in-law) and Jordan joined Zach’s team at the end of last year and Brandi (who did Britt’s awesome nursery) has joined him this year already. 

Zach has been the #1 in production for the entire state since he first started with Aflac. He’s always #1. For the first time…he wasn’t this past year. While he had a HUGE production year (he was in the top 30 associates for the ENTIRE country!!!) and wrote more business than he’s ever written. He still didn’t make #1. He’s disappointed in that, because Mr. Competitive ALWAYS wants to WIN, but he’s a manager now. Any group he opened he opened while training or helping out someone on his team. Anytime he could he sent them to work accounts for him and gave them very generous splits. Yes, he COULD have been #1 but his team wouldn’t have been as successful and that is something Zach takes pride in. 

Zach’s CIT (y’all need some kind of team name or something)

Jordan, Mom, Zach, Matt and Alex

Mr. Rusty and Zach are similar in their management styles (shocker). They are BOTH very giving and believe in rewarding people who work hard. Mr. Rusty gave out prize envelopes to his top agents in the district (for those of you that are confused…Zach is his team’s immediate manager then Rusty is over Zach as well as all of Zach’s people). 

Mom racked up that night! She won cash from Mr. Rusty and from Zach since she was #1 in his CIT for the year!!! SO proud of her!!!

I was BLOWN AWAY by the numbers…a common thing people complain about when starting with Aflac is that all the businesses around here already have it. That is not true!!! Micah was the #1 group opener in the ENTIRE COMPANY for the year and Jason was the #2 group opener. Out of over 60,000 agents!!! We live in rural south Georgia and they opened more accounts than people who live in big cities! It was AWESOME to hear and such a testament to Mr. Rusty at his great leadership. I hope Zach can build up a team as amazing as Mr. Rusty has!!!

Matt was the #3 group opener in our district, great for his first year especially!

Micah

Jason winning more money!

Zach was the #1 agent in Mr. Rusty’s district. Excited about his prize money…adding it to our Italy fund!

Mrs. Charlotte and Mr. Rusty…amazing hosts of the night!

Casey and Jordan

Matt and Robyn

While everyone enjoyed the food, prizes, and hearing a recap of the AMAZING year 2011 was for our district, Brittlynn was really the star of the show 😉 Timing worked out great because I nursed her before we left then we just let people hold her and enjoy her during that nap. It is the evening nap which, at the time, she was barely sleeping for anyway. Everyone got a chance to love on her and then she did nod off and Mrs. Charlotte stuck her in the car seat then we fed her a bottle before we headed home! I was SO proud of how sweet she was the whole time. She never cried once!!!

Getting ready to have a new baby of her own in July!

Proud Gramma!

Casey is SUCH a wonderful aunt to both of my children!

Mr. Rusty was beyond sweet to let her come with us, I really appreciated being able to be there

G-Mama always helping out

It felt SO GOOD to get dressed up cute and ENJOY a night out. Yes, we still had one kid with us but really I kinda forgot she was there because everyone else was holding her the whole night!!! I loved going table to table talking to everyone and visiting. It was such a fun night and I’m so impressed with the amazing things that happened for everyone with Aflac last year. I know 2011 will be hard to beat, but I believe in Zach (and Mom and Mr. Rusty and everyone else!) and KNOW they can do it!!! Wouldn’t it be great if Zach could continue to build his team and re-claim his #1 spot in the state?!?!

As you can tell, I’m so thankful that Zach works for such an amazing company. If any of you are looking for a career change Zach is hiring and would love to talk to you about potentially joining his team! I’m super pumped for Brandi and think she’ll rock out this year!

We got home before 9:00 and had a pretty good report from the babysitters. I felt SO awkward being a “mom.” I mean, I know I AM a mom but it seriously doesn’t feel like I’m old enough to be hiring baby sitters. I babysat all the time in college and loved it but it’s hard to picture myself on the parental end of things. I’m sure both the girls left thinking that Zach and I were idiots. We blabbered on wayyy too much and just didn’t know what to say or do. I guess I’ll learn with time how to handle all of that kind of thing!

3 Comments

  1. Rachael_Copponex
    February 6, 2012 / 3:14 pm

    As always you guys were looking HOT.  You should have a blog give away to name Zach's CIT group!  PS… why couldn't Courtney take them??

  2. Amanda Phillips
    February 6, 2012 / 6:52 pm

    I think that Jason guy stopped by our office one day.  🙂  Too bad we don't have enough employees to get short term disability 🙁

  3. Julia S.
    February 16, 2012 / 3:49 am

    Anytime you need a sitter, just text me and let me know, and I can come up there 🙂

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