Board of Directors

Benjamin Bruins, ChFC
First Heartland Financial Group
1350 NW 138th St, Ste 300
Clive, IA 50325-8300
(515) 273-5120 x102
Ben has been a Financial Advisor for First Heartland Financial Group since graduating from Drake University in 2001. After college, he continued his education and training in financial planning and received the ChFC® (Chartered Financial Consultant®) from The American College of Financial Services. His practice is primarily focused on financial planning and investment management including some unique focus in retirement income distribution planning, social security timing strategies, and pension distribution strategies. Ben resides in Van Meter with his wife, Jen, and their 4 children (Emma , Bella, Bennett, and Easton). Besides an occasional round of golf, Ben enjoys traveling and coaching his kids youth sports teams.


Immediate Past President
Ben Buenzow
Ben Buenzow Insurance Agency Inc.
3273 100th St
Urbandale, IA 50322-3845
(515) 270-8870
Ben began his career with State Farm in 2004 after spending five years working in the social service industry with at-risk youth. Ben owns a State Farm Agency in Urbandale. Ben has received several industry awards from State Farm and NAIFA Quality Awards consistently. Ben was named a Forty Under 40 recipient in 2016 from the Business Record as well as a Four Under 40 recipient from NAIFA Iowa in 2016. Cityview’s Best of Awards awarded Ben as the Best Insurance Agent in the Des Moines metro. Ben enjoys helping his clients to protect their families and those items that are most important to them. Ben is plenty busy with his three young children and wife while residing in Ankeny. Ben also serves as a Board Member with the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce, past chair of genYP (Urbandale’s Young Professional Group), and also is the chair for the national award winning National Night Out community safety event in Urbandale.


Secretary/Treasurer (Big Event Programming)
Jackson Ode
Midland National Life
3100 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312
Jackson started in the life insurance business 25 years ago as an intern for Life Investors Financial Group. Upon graduation from Luther College, he began a career spanning 11 years with Life Investors as an agent, general agent and finally National Vice President of Sales and Marketing. He and his family then returned to Des Moines, where he joined Financial Decisions Group as a Managing Partner for 2 years before becoming the Regional Sales Director for Nebraska and Iowa for Midland National Life Insurance Company. In his capacity as Regional Sales Director, Jackson and his staff work with over 250 independent agents and financial professionals across two states helping them provide life insurance solutions for their clients.

Jackson has been married to his wife, Cara, for 22 years. They have 3 sons, Michael, William and Jack. When Jackson is not in the office, he can be found watching one of his son’s athletic events, enjoying a family meal or working on his golf game.


State & National Committee Person
Keith Hennessey
Farm Bureau Finanical Services
6750 Westown Parkway, Suite 140
West Des Moines, IA 50266
(515) 528-2319
After graduating from the University of Iowa in 1988, Keith entered the insurance industry with Farm Bureau Life and is still with the company. He has been a member of NAIFA since 1992 in the Central Iowa local and has served on various committees prior to serving on the Central Iowa board beginning in 1998. He has also served as president of NAIFA Central Iowa from 2003 to 2004, and as state president of NAIFA Iowa from 2010 to 2011. He has qualified for the National Quality Award 17 times and the National Sales Achievement award 15 times. He also qualified for MDRT in 2004 and 2007. Keith is also a LILI graduate.


Director – Political Chair
Joe Lamberson
Via Consulting Group
2400 86th Street, Unit 32
Urbandale, IA 50322
(515) 393-2049
Joe has been in the financial services business since 1991, specializing in legacy and business succession planning for business owners and their families. He started his career with CIGNA Individual Financial Services in Syosset, NY. Joe also worked with a leading estate planning firm in Melville, NY for several years before moving to the Bay Area in 1997. While in the Bay Area, he continued to focus on helping business owners and their families with legacy and succession planning needs. Joe and his wife moved to Iowa in 2005 to be closer to Mindy’s family and to raise their family. He is passionate about finding ways to help his clients find solutions to their most pressing needs and concerns. Joe and Mindy reside in West Des Moines, IA with their daughters  Haley and Sydney. Joe is active in the community, having served previously on the board of directors for The Boys and Girls Club of Central Iowa and as a Cabinet Member for United Way of Central Iowa. He enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf and coaching his daughter’s activities.


Director – At Large
Eric Raasch
RK Wealth Management, LLC
1200 Valley West Drive, Suite 403
West Des Moines, IA 50266
(515) 348-6019
Eric is a Senior Partner with RK Wealth Management, LLC. Eric’s vision is to help facilitate quality talks to help his clients clarify their dreams, see their purpose and make life better for them and the people they care about. Joining NAIFA in 1989, he has served by running though the leadership chairs and remains an active supporter. Professionally, he has earned his Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designations. He is also a Leadership In Life Insurance (LILI) graduate and member of The Society of Financial Service Professionals. When not advising clients, Eric likes to spend time with his family and keep busy in the community. He serves as Vice President for the Altoona Soccer Club and teaches leadership development with Theta Chi Fraternity. His wife Michele and their two kids, Zach and Olivia, enjoy everything soccer, hosting visitors from France with the Des Moines Sister City Exchange, and traveling together.


Director – Membership
Jessi Swaim, CFP
AXA Advisors, LLC
4401 Westown Parkway, suite 300
West Des Moines, IA 50266
(515) 231-9300
Jessi is a Financial Planner with AXA Advisors, LLC focusing on financial planning, aiding educators in reaching their retirement goals and Special Needs Planning with Connect the Dots 4 Life. She began her career in the financial industry with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in 2007 after attending the University of South Carolina where she competed for the Women’s Soccer Team. After her start with MSSB in Columbia, South Carolina and discovering her desire for helping clients plan the steps to achieve their desired financial future, she transferred to Chicago, Illinois to return to the Midwest and learn more about planning. Jessi also worked for JP Morgan Securities in Chicago and began her road to obtaining her Certified Financial Planner® designation. Returning to Central Iowa, she started at AXA Advisors, LLC as an Advisor and joined NAIFA shortly after. She also coached at Ankeny Rush Soccer Club while completing her CFP® certification and getting reacquainted with the community. Jessi resides in downtown Des Moines and is also a member of DSM Partnership and Des Moines Young Professionals Connection (YPC).


Director – Community Relations / Golf Event
Josh Rice | LUTCF
Financial Decisions Group
1501 42nd  Street, Suite 375
West Des Moines, IA 50266
(515) 224-0801


Director – Member Improvement / Business Builders
Mark Triplett
AMZ Financial Insurance Services, LLC
2545 106th Street
Urbandale, IA 50322
(866) 204-7712
Mark Triplett believes that there are good, honest, and ethical servants in the financial services industry whose desire is to enrich the lives of those with whom they come in contact. These men and women want to give back to the communities they serve and want to have a profound impact on those communities, both professionally and personally. With simple changes, attention to detail and a consistent process, these financial representatives can serve their communities in an extraordinary way and be the envy of their competitors.

Mark is passionate about providing support that elevates each representative to his or her fullest potential. Mark knows that by developing superior advisers, they can share life-changing strategies that will positively affect Americans across the country. All communities need advisors who will lead their clients to identify their problems, take accountability, and then empower them to make decisions and take action. Advisors who have been open-minded and willing to follow proven processes have experienced a transformation of their business, and their lives, thanks to Mark.

Mark, his wife Melinda and son Hunter live in Polk City, IA. They enjoy boating, alpine skiing, and organic gardening as well as many other outdoor activities.


Director – At Large
Nate Sammler
Nate Sammler State Farm
1850 SW Wh Birch Cir
Ankeny, IA 50023-7216
(515) 964-8102
Nate has been with State Farm Insurance for more than five years and owns a State Farm Agency in Ankeny, Iowa. Nate truly enjoys the privilege of working with families to protect what they’ve worked hard for, and to help them realize their dreams. Nate accomplishes this through individualized insurance and financial service plans that meet each of his client’s personal and financial needs. Nathan is also part of the Ankeny Young Professionals, Ankeny Chamber, and a few business owner groups in the Des Moines Area.


Director – Health Insurance
Tamara Kerrigan
7031 Douglas Ave.
Urbandale, IA 50322
(515) 321-4297
Tammy Kerrigan is the owner of Risk Reduction Solutions, a multi-line insurance agency. Tammy has over 30 years of Employee Benefits expertise working with employers and business owners to create the perfect benefits package to attract and retain top talent for their company. Her industry experience allows her to turn your benefits plan into a strategy by helping you achieve your objectives of employee attraction, retention, and productivity.

Tammy and her husband Jay reside in Ankeny; they are parents to two grown children, Karson and Karli. She enjoys entertaining family and friends, walking and golf. Tammy is a past President of the Board of Directors at Link Associates. Currently serves as the President of this organization’s Foundation Board. She belongs to the Des Moines Business Group and is an active member of National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).


YAT Chair
Nicholas Kalianoff
2700 Westown Pkwy, Ste 270
West Des Moines, IA 50266
(515) 727-5500
Nick has been a Sales Representative for ExamOne since June of 2015. He is a graduate of The University of Iowa with a degree in Economics. He became a member of NAIFA shortly after accepting the position, and became involved with YAT almost immediately. Nick enjoys helping Insurance and Financial Advisors with all of their Paramedical needs for Life, Disability and Long Term care products. He also enjoys spending time with his wife Sarah, watching college sports and spending time outdoors.


Local Executive
Micholyn Fajen
PCG Marketing
(515) 321-0283
With 19 years experience in marketing, Micholyn specializes in market research and analytics, social media and content marketing, and campaign design and implementation. Working with Fortune 500 companies, her solutions maximize profit and creativity. Marketing campaigns for national companies include: Dr. Pepper, Snap-on Tools, Solutia/Shaw Carpeting, NAPA, and Cadillac. Recognized as an award-winning writer/editor, Micholyn strives for excellence, delivering high-quality solutions.