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The Highest Honor

The John Newton Russell Memorial Award is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an individual in the life insurance and financial planning industry. The award recognizes a lifetime of professional excellence, service to the industry and a commitment to ethical conduct.
Robelynn Award2021 NAIFA President, Tom Michel, presents the John Newton Russell Memorial Award to Robelynn Abadie with NAIFA CEO, Kevin Mayeux and 2022 NAIFA President, Larry Holzberg. Ameritas sent Robelynn roses to honor her achievement.

Robelynn Abadie's acceptance speech

Robelynn Abadie

Robelynn Abadie, Founder and Owner of Abadie Financial Services (AFS), LLC, an insurance and financial services agency in Baton Rouge, LA, is the recipient of the 80th annual John Newton Russell Memorial Award

Abadie has been an agent and financial advisor for more than 43 years. She is a Life and Qualifying member of the prestigious Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), qualifying for the Top of the Table. She is the only woman from Louisiana who has ever qualified for this honor. She is a member of the MDRT Excalibur Society, and in 2004 the MDRT Foundation honored her as a Quality of Life Award recipient.

She has been a pioneer for women agents across the nation as she was a founding member of the Women Life Underwriters Conference (now Women in Insurance and Financial Services) in 1979. She was the charter Chair of the first national women’s study group for insurance professionals in 1986, which continues today as an annual event. Abadie also chaired the development of a national mentoring program for female agents “Friend to Friend,” copyrighted by WLUC and financially underwritten by several of the largest life insurance companies in the nation. She served on the LIMRA and NAIFA task force regarding women’s markets and women agents.

Abadie served as the 2003 National President for Women in Insurance and Financial Services (WIFS). In 2009, she became the National President of the Association of Health Insurance Advisors (AHIA), a conference of NAIFA. Her tenure during the tumultuous health care reform efforts was highlighted by representing over half a million agents and advisors in Washington, D.C., at the Health & Employee Benefits Alliance on Capitol Hill. She served on the Board of Directors for Louisiana Health Plans. In 2010, Abadie was elected President of the Million Dollar Round Table Foundation in Chicago, an international foundation serving members in 74 countries.

Robelynn Timeline-2