Posts Tagged ‘spotlight’

Ken and Linda Hobbs: Building a Family Business, Part I

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Ken and Linda Hobbs

When Senior Vice President (SVP) Ken & Linda Hobbs, of Margate, FL, first heard about Primerica, they saw the business opportunity as not just a way to make a great income, but also as the perfect complement to their desire to help people. “I was a minister before Primerica,” says Ken. “I went into that line of work because I really wanted to use my life to help others.”

Ken and Linda say they fell in love with Primerica’s mission of helping families to become properly protected through term life insurance, debt free through our debt solutions and financially independent through savings and investing. “We loved everything Primerica stood for plus we really liked the idea of building a business that we could pass on to our kids,” explains Ken.

Working together as a family has always been important for the Hobbses. First in a partnership with Linda and later as a full fledged family business with three of their four sons, Ken couldn’t be more proud of what they’ve built. “From the top down, Primerica is all about family,” says Ken. “In the corporate world, your work life is controlled by your boss. At Primerica, our sons don’t work for us as employees, they work with us, building their own individual businesses within our organization. We benefit from their success but they also benefit from the experience and mentorship we can share with them.”

For more information on how you can create your own Primerica family business, contact your local Primerica representative.

Want to know more? Find out what Ken and Linda’s son, Kris,  thinks about being a part of his family’s Primerica business.

The Primerica Partnership Empowerment Program (PEP) is a recognition program for Primerica partnerships. It is not a business or legal partnership. PEP cannot affect, combine or alter contractual compensation, hierarchical agreements or ownership issues.

The Boys from Tucker’s Crossing

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

While growing up in the idyllic hamlet of Tucker’s Crossing, MS, brothers David and Mike Landrum would spend hours imagining their futures as entrepreneurs – putting together business ventures that would make them wealthy men. But, like so many youthful dreams, they faced little chance of coming true. “Even if we had ever come up with a good idea,” remembers David, “which we didn’t – we didn’t have any money. With most business start-ups, the old adage is true, ‘You’ve got to have money to make money.’”

After high school, David filled his life with managing a health club, attending the University of Southern Mississippi full time and starting a life together with his new wife, Jill.

Mike followed David to university some years later with a promising career in football ahead of him. “Football was a huge dream of mine,” smiles Mike, “I love the strategy, the camaraderie. I really love winning.” Mike continued on into professional football after college.

Meanwhile, the year was 1980 and David had heard about a new company called A. L. Williams – now Primerica. “I liked several things about how Primerica worked,” says David. “You didn’t need serious money to get started. You could start part-time if you wanted to. The business was about helping people and about building a team of other entrepreneurs.”

Only four months after starting with Primerica, David decided to go full-time and opened his own office in the town of Laurel, MS – with Jill as the office administrator. Five months after that he opened his second office on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Next was Jackson, MS, and then on and on.

While David was building his Primerica business, Mike was knocking heads as an Atlanta Falcon when he sustained a career-ending injury. “My dream died on the field the day I was injured,” says Mike. “I didn’t think I would ever find anything to replace football.”

Searching for something to do, Mike returned to Mississippi. “I was at a low point in my life,” say Mike. “I lost $40,000 that I didn’t have to lose on a bad business investment. Nothing was going right.” But then things started to look up. For starters, he met his future wife, Amy.

The next thing to go right was that David convinced Mike to give Primerica a 60-day try. “I could see things were going great for David,” says Mike. “In the beginning I felt awkward meeting with people to discuss their finances. It was just a matter of growing a bit by getting out of my comfort zone.”

After 60 days with David, Mike and Amy were really excited about what they could do at Primerica. “We have both ‘grown up’ with this company,” says Mike. “Things were slow for us at first, but soon picked up. And as, our capabilities and business grew, so did our dreams.”

Today, Primerica really is a family business for the Landrums. Both David and Jill and Mike and Amy have more than 100 offices in their organizations. They are both financially independent many times over. “And it’s all from following our dreams and helping Main Street families,” says David. “We remember Tucker’s Crossing is where we came from.”

Keeping It In the Family

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Sam Yanka had been working as a probation officer for 15 years by the summer of 1987. “I was comfortable in my job but, you know, being a probation officer can get pretty old after 15 years,” remembers Sam. “But what was I going to do? My wife, Deb was working as a credit manager, and we had a four-year-old son named Luke.”

But 1987 was to be a watershed year for Sam and Deb – and for their son. “When I found out about Primerica, one of the best things was that I could get trained and start earning money on my off time,” says Sam. “So I put a lot of effort into working the business. Within six months, I could see my way to freedom. I was ready to quit my job and go full-time with Primerica.”

Only a year and a half later, Sam had achieved the title of Regional Vice President and opened his own Primerica office in Oxford, MA. By this time, Deb had quit her job so the two could build their business together.

“It’s been a great 23 years,” says Sam, who is now a Senior Vice President. “We really engaged Primerica as a family and it has enabled us to have the income to live the kind of life, to do things and go places that we could never have done if Deb and I hadn’t stepped out on faith. And, recently, a development that makes things even better – is the fact that Luke has come on board. ”

“After college, I wanted to strike out on my own,” explains Luke. I knew from growing up in the business that Primerica offered something special — but Mom and Dad have always wanted me to make my own choices. So I went to work as an executive recruiter at a staffing agency. Everything seemed to be going fine at first. I liked my job and I was good at it. But then the bottom fell out of the employment market. Suddenly, the job orders started to dry up. Things just got worse and worse. I started to really hate going in every day. No matter how hard I worked, I didn’t have any control of the situation.”

Following in his father’s footsteps, Luke started working with Primerica on nights and weekends. “When the agency laid me off due to lack of business I was ready,” remembers Luke. “I just kicked my Primerica business into high gear. And I have to say that working with Dad has been really unbelievable.”

Luke says he feels lucky to have grown up in Primerica because he knew the direction to take when his job disappeared. “The wonderful thing is that Primerica gave me options – and it can for anybody. I was just blessed to have parents who brought me up and exposed me to the Primerica opportunity. From a young age, I was able to spend time with top Primerica leaders – so I knew that I could do it too. But I think it was a good experience for me to go out and get hit with usual pitfalls that everyone eventually falls into when they work a job. It really brought home to me that the Primerica opportunity was the way I would secure our family’s future.”

Today Luke is working rapidly toward his own Regional Vice President designation and is being helped by his partner, Kim. “She is a busy primary care physician but she takes the time to help me build the business because she knows the future we can have together,” says Luke.

“Luke is coming along fast but I want to stress that he and Kim are succeeding on their own,” says Sam. “He had the advantage of growing up with the knowledge and basic skills to be successful in this business but, like all our young leaders, he’s done it all himself.

“I just think it really says something about a company when so many of the second generation follow their parents into the business.”

Wootens Build Something Special Together

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Mike & Darlene Wooten
Marietta, GA

Mike & Darlene Wooten of Marietta, GA, are Primerica veterans. They’ve been in the business more than 27 years now, but it wasn’t until a year and a half ago that the Wootens started all over … sort of. In February of 2009, their son Brett joined Primerica, and it was the beginning of a family business with endless opportunity.

At just 22, Brett was sure that Primerica was the company for him. He’d just graduated from college and had received offers from companies that promised to pay between $20,000 and $40,000 a year. While he knew that those numbers weren’t bad in the current economy, he also knew that working a job meant that someone else would determine his schedule, his pay and his future. “I got a good degree from a good school,” he said. “But having my future in someone else’s hands was not something I wanted.”

Making the Decision
Brett went to some local Primerica events with his parents, including the 2007 Convention in Atlanta. “It was mind-blowing to see how Primerica had affected so many people’s lives!” Brett enthused. Joining Primerica felt “natural” to him.

He went to his father. “I said, ‘I really want to do Primerica.’ He was excited, but he never pushed me,” Brett remembers. His father remembers, too. “I’ve been in the business longer than he’s been alive,” laughed Mike. “I encouraged him to do whatever he wanted to in life, and he made the decision to come to Primerica.”

The Future of Primerica
Mike was always a very involved father. Brett recalls how his father, because of his Primerica business, always had the freedom of time to travel to away soccer games to support him. “Having him train me was just a continuation of that relationship. It was great getting the experience from my Dad. It was also nerve-wracking wondering if I could ever be as good as he is. I decided to just do what he said, and see where it took me,” he remarked.

It took him to a fast start in Primerica. Already, Brett’s efforts have earned him a Primerica incentive trip to San Diego (which his parents also earned). He’s got big goals and is doing everything in his power to reach them. Now, his 17-year-old brother is showing some interest in the business. “I think he’s seen me get more involved and realized that it’s a real option for him,” Brett said. But, Mike is planning to take the same approach with this son. “I don’t have to sell Primerica to him. He’s seen how the company has affected our family in so many positive ways. We’ll see what happens,” Mike adds. “You never know.”


Spotlight on Daina and Bill Sarafin

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

One Primerica Family’s Story

Texans Daina and Bill Sarafin first heard about Primerica years ago from a Primerica representative who was just beginning his business.

Daina remembers, “I was managing a store and doing executive training and he (Bill) was a supervisor at a chemical plant. And, here, this young man was just out of college and he sat us down and told us … we really needed more to put our finances together.”

The Sarafins had life insurance, 401(k)s and pensions through their workplaces. “But we needed to have our own program in place,” says Daina, remembering that day with the young man at the kitchen table. “To have our own life insurance – so we would have control over our own retirement savings outside of that. Quit saving our money in CDs. Start using mutual funds. Get out of debt. Pay off our credit cards.

“And he put us on a program,” smiles Daina, “and that program led us to be financially independent.”

Fast forward several years and the Sarafins’ daughter, Alisa, met her husband, Todd Greer, while both were in the Air Force. As their tour of duty ended, Todd began looking for a career and was interested in Primerica.

“We were all in favor of it,” say Daina. “We thought they would really be able to help them not only with their finances but also be able to help him with a great career. We knew it was a great company. … We knew some people who were working with Primerica who were making a great living.”

Daina and Bill both wanted Todd and Alisa to move to Houston to so they could build a Primerica business with together. “I kept telling him. I’ll work with you if you come to Houston,” remembers Daina. “Bill was all excited about working with him…” says Daina.

“People were shocked that I left a six-figure income, company car, stock options – but I knew I had to do something different with my life. So I started working with Primerica. I wanted freedom and I was tired of being controlled. I was approaching 50 at that point and I thought when am I going to control my life? When am I going to control my time? If not now, when?

Life Can Change In an Instant

Bill and Daina’s plan was for her to run the couple’s Primerica business until Bill retired in September 2010 at the age of 55 when he would take over. Daina would then spend the majority of her time taking care of the grandchildren.

But that was not to be. On January 16, 2010, Daina received a phone call. Bill had collapsed at work and Daina was instructed to get to the hospital right away. Never in her wildest dreams did she think that she wouldn’t even get the chance to say goodbye to her husband of more three decades.

When Daina arrived at the hospital, the doctors told her that Bill had died of a massive heart attack. Daina couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

“He had all these plans,” sobs Diane. “We’ve been together for over 35 years – ever since we were teenagers and thought we were going to be together forever.”

“I was very blessed to have our finances in order and my Primerica career and didn’t have to worry about money. But there are so many families out there that don’t have anything other than what they have at work and they don’t understand the importance. And they never think it can happen to them.”

She continues, “Life can change in an instant.  I know my life got totally turned upside down with a phone call.”

“And there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about Bill. I miss him every day. But thank God for Primerica. You know, I don’t have to worry about the financial end of it. I can remember him for being the great man that he was. You know, taking care of our family — taking care of our finances. We can celebrate his life and not have to go through a financial crisis that we would have gone through had it not been for Primerica.”

Note: Todd and Alisa have progressed to the Senior Vice President level with Primerica with an extensive business. Daina is a Regional Vice President and has her own team and a highly successful business as well.