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Steve Schneider ...Agent wins industry recognition

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by Ruth Scott

SBJ Contributing Writer

Steve Schneider Jr. has received the Life Underwriter of the Year Award from the Springfield Life Underwriters Association.

The award is based not only on production, but also on service to the association and community involvement.

In addition to the local honor, Schneider was also recognized recently by New York Life Insurance Agency as its Agent of the Year for the local office.

Schneider, whose father was a New York Life agent, came into the business at age 22. "I really got my start in the business via friends and relatives," he said. "I have been fortunate enough to be able to grow with them."

In the early years, Schneider said, he spent a lot of time contacting new clients and building a client base. "Now I work primarily with current clients or direct referrals," he said.

For clients who have large estates, he focuses on estate conservation, repositioning their assets and providing tax-free life insurance to help pay estate taxes.

"Actually, we work as a team with attorneys, accountants and trust officers to minimize estate taxes," he added.

According to Schneider, his is a service-based business, not sales-based. "Of course we have to sell a product," he said, "but mostly we provide a financial service, helping people to create and conserve wealth and avoid unnecessary taxes."

In the past, he said, insurance agents have sometimes not been thought

of in high esteem. "We truly provide

a service, protecting a family's financial needs and encouraging individuals to save and accumulate for future needs."

A member of the Springfield Rotary Club, Schneider also works with United Way, has been involved with Boy Scouts and participates in charitable fund-raising events, such as a recent events for the Developmental Center of the Ozarks, in which he was a celebrity DJ on Hot 106.7.

Schneider, who enjoys fishing, heads to the lake every weekend. He also likes traveling and going to Jimmy Buffett concerts (he is a member of the Ozark Mountain Parrot Head Club), and he doesn't play much golf. "The only golfing I do is in charity golf tournaments," he said.

In his home office, Schneider preserves a piece of the past with decor such as a door from his father's old downtown office. But he is looking ahead, as well.

"I've spent 30 years with New York Life," he said, "and I will probably be with the company another 30 years in some fashion."

Schneider said he is currently working with younger agents, "in hopes that they can continue to provide service in the future, including the next generation."

PHOTO CAPTION:

Steve Schneider is following in the footsteps of his father, also a New York Life representative.[[In-content Ad]]

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