My name is Eric Giglione. I am the State General Agent in New Jersey and have been there for almost 25 years. I started in 1979, so I’m recently celebrating 30 years with this Company. As a result, I frequently find myself looking back – thinking back to my first day.
I met Steve Friedlander on that first day. I jumped into the field with Steve, and he was as great then as he is today. I think I’ve had a distinct advantage because I got to work with him. Then I competed with him, and in the second year that I was here I became the number-four producer. I caught the attention of Mr. Rapoport, and the rest is history. AIL gave me a promotion to State General Agent. But let me go back even further in time.
When I came to this Company, I was living out of the back of a van in Ft. Lauderdale. I was from a working class family that had struggled. My dad had a stroke. My mother had cancer. We didn’t have much when I was growing up, so I really didn’t learn to dream. In fact, you didn’t dream at all. When I left home and lived in the back of this van, I went to Florida and walked in to an American Income Life office and was given permission to dream. I never knew I would surround myself with such unbelievable people. So here I am 30 years later, and the opportunity has never been better.
I always worried, as some of us did who were in the Rapoport generation, what the future would be – who would buy us out? When Torchmark acquired AIL, we would sit and talk about it, but we could never dream that it would be as good as it is today. I’m so grateful to this Company for providing a home and an opportunity for me that really has brought out the best in me. It’s allowed me to live my best life and now give it back to others. I’m in legacy mode now.
After 30 years, I’m excited about these young people who come in and are doing things that are greater than we ever did. That’s as it should be. So for me, this is more than a career. It’s more than a job. It’s a purpose. It’s a mission. We will be the premiere in-home life insurance provider one day. I really believe that. So to all of you out there looking for an opportunity, buckle yourselves in for the ride of your lives. This is one of the greatest opportunities in the world – period.