Having been a foundation of leadership at CreativeOne for the last 21 years, Will Moneymaker has made plans to retire this December. The birth of his first grandchild and a calling to serve others give Will much to look forward to in his upcoming golden years.
Coming from a background in operations and product management for a couple of different software companies, Will was intrigued by an opportunity brought to him by a good friend.
“The founder of Creative Marketing, Ron Essary, was a friend of mine and asked me to come over and stretch myself and handle finance and operations for a company that had 16 employees at the time,” Will said. Cut to today and CreativeOne has grown to more than 130 employees.
Throughout his 21+ years here, Will has seen many things change for the better in our industry, including the selection of products available for people who are planning their retirement and the level of professionalism for independent insurance agents.
With the ongoing litigation and discussion around the DOL’s recent fiduciary rule, Will believes, “It’s a pretty clear example of the previous administration’s zeal to burden a perfectly functioning industry with its overreach of governmental regulation, and hopefully it will be repealed.”
So what does the fiduciary rule mean for CreativeOne? According to Will, we couldn’t be in a better position. “If the rule stays in its current form, CreativeOne is situated as an ADO (Agent Development Organization) and has the apparatus currently to work underneath this DOL fiduciary rule. We’re positioned better than anyone I can see out there, but with that being said, it’s my prayer it be repealed.”
Since Will’s start at CreativeOne, some things have changed, but some have stayed steadfast. “When I started, it had all the feeling and energy of a startup and the ability to make decisions on the fly that were important. Even though we’ve grown, and went through a period where an insurance company owned us, that spirit has never gone away. We still do extremely well at turning on a dime and how far we’ve come with the potential DOL fiduciary rule is a great example of that,” he said.
“We continue by transforming from your standard IMO to an ADO. We are extremely well positioned to know what’s important to agents, what’s important to their clients and how to make it work with insurance companies,” he said. “Those things haven’t really changed over the years.”
As far as his biggest influences in the industry, he looks to Ron Essary, Bob Speake and current CreativeOne partners Mark Heitz, Mike Tripses and Lance Sparks. He then explains what he’s going to miss most about working at CreativeOne: the people.
“It will always be the people. It’s the expertise, the industry knowledge, the ability to work with really good people on a daily basis, those are things I’m sure I’ll miss the most,” Will said.
In the industry’s ever-changing landscape, Will hopes agents continue to serve an underserved population with retirement income planning—it’s a huge gift and responsibility. He also encourages CreativeOne employees to never forget who the customer is and serve them well.
Will had been toying with the idea of retirement, but his grandson’s birth solidified his decision to do so. “My daughter who lives in Seattle had our first grandchild. People had talked to me about the impact that would have on my life and the draw and the pull of grandchildren, and it has been absolutely one of the most powerful things I’ve ever felt,” he said.
The new family addition forced Will to reflect on his past as well. “I’ve spent a lot of time at work trying to increase the value proposition of CreativeOne throughout the years and have a little bit of regret about not being the best father I could’ve been during that time. I fully plan on being the best grandfather—Opa—I can,” he said.
As for his future, Will’s excited about the adventure of it all. He doesn’t plan on treating every day like it’s Saturday, but looks forward to less stress. “I’ve devoted the majority of my life to CreativeOne and making it better, and it has definitely been fun, but this is the next chapter in my life,” he said.
There’s a lot he wants to do, including outreach for his church in Lawrence, Kan. He hopes it will involve some sort of jail ministry in that local community. He also wants to spend more time with his wife, grandson, fish, hunt and play golf.
He’s excited drawing nearer to Christ and serving God, wherever that leads. When it comes to CreativeOne, he’s eager to hear all the stories about it “winning” because he’s certain it will.
Someone once told him a long time ago, “You have to prioritize your life: God, family, work. The rest will fall into place.” This adage is as true today as it was then.
Congratulations on a job well done, Will. You’ll be missed around the halls of CreativeOne, but your legacy will help fuel our future successes. Here’s to your retirement and what’s to come!
FOR FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR USE WITH THE GENERAL PUBLIC.
CP-0829 – 2016/11/14