NAIFA mourns passing of CEO Dr. Susan B. Waters

Susan.formalNAIFA statement on the death of CEO Dr. Susan Waters, DM, CAE

Falls Church, Va. – Dec. 16, 2014 – The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors is saddened to announce the death of Dr. Susan B. Waters, Chief Executive Officer of NAIFA. Dr. Waters, 63, died unexpectedly today at her home in Washington, D.C.

“Susan’s passing is a great loss for the NAIFA family,” said NAIFA President Juli Y. McNeely, LUTCF, CFP, CLU. “Susan was a dedicated leader and a strong advocate for our industry. She cared very much about our members and the work they do in securing the financial futures of America’s businesses and families. Our thoughts and prayers are with Susan’s family at this difficult time. We will miss her very much.”

Dr. Waters was named CEO of NAIFA in March 2010 and had served as NAIFA’s Acting CEO since December 2009 and Deputy CEO since October 2007. She had more than 23 years of experience in professional association management, as well as experience in the insurance industry. In 2013, Dr. Waters was the recipient of the American Society of Association Executives’ Key Award, which recognizes the association CEO who demonstrates exceptional qualities of leadership and displays a deep commitment to voluntary membership organizations.

Prior to joining NAIFA, Dr. Waters was president of Sextant Consulting, a firm specializing in association governance, conflict management, strategic planning, leadership development, and meeting facilitation. In her career, she has served as the CEO of three associations, has been a licensed insurance broker, and has served as executive vice president of an insurance agency.

NAIFA’s Board of Trustees will provide further details regarding succession plans in the wake of Dr. Water’s untimely death.

NAIFA invites you to share your condolences by posting comments on this page.


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177 comments

  1. When ever i had a chance to visit with Susan i was always went away knowing that NAIFA was in good hands. She was giving us such leadership.
    Blessings to her family.

    Rice and Jan

  2. I just learned of Sue’s passing. We were college roommates, and friends. I am deeply saddened to learn of her passing. She was an amazing person who taught me much and guided me as a college freshman, when she was a much wiser sophomore.

  3. She is a woman of strength. Her smile is always ready and very approachable. You will be missed, Dr. Susan.

  4. I had the privilege of working for and with Susan during the two years that our tenure at NAIF A overlapped and thought NAIFA made an excellent decision to name her as CEO. She had a firm grasp of association management and how to motivate employees. I am saddened and shocked by her passing and know that she will be greatly missed by her friends, family and NAIFA staff and volunteers.

  5. On behalf of all of your friends at GAMA we offer our deepest condolences to Dr. Water’s family, friends and our sister staffers at 2901 Telestar (GAMA & NAIFA HQs). Dr. Waters was a great advocate for our beloved industry and words cannot fully express our sense of sadness and loss. On a personal note, I will miss Susan as my fellow female CEO, lover of shoes and elevator chatter about what’s next for our industry. She truly believed in NAIFA, our industry and our mission to protect lives. She will be missed and remembered with the fullest of hearts here at GAMA.

  6. So sorry to hear of Susan’s passing. My condolences to her family and those who knew her.

  7. Past President of the Massachusetts Bar Association 1996- Susan was beloved by the MBA, my family and myself. She was a very special woman. She restructured the MBA, brought it to new levels and instituted an Insurance Program for our members that continues to support the MBA’ s significant programs. I was just about to contact her to meet when I travel to Washington in a few weeks. We are all so sad to lose this good friend.

  8. Susan was one of the industry’s finest advocates and an association executive of unrivaled skills. More important, she was a gentle, kind, and wonderful human being. On behalf of the American Fraternal Alliance, our hearts go out to her friends and family.

    • I had the great pleasure to meet and work with Susan when I came to ASAE in 1997. She was a great mentor to me and I appreciated her integrity, graciousness, knowledge, leadership and, most importantly, her willingness to get involved in the important issues of our community. I am so glad she was honored with ASAE’s Key Award in 2013…it was so well deserved. She will be sorely missed by all.

  9. So sorry to hear this news about one of our most respected colleagues and leaders. In a very gentle way, she was able to make her mark on all of us. Susan made ourcommunity that much richer by her contributions to our profession–she will be greatly missedby her previous associations for which she worked and bythose she assisted in her consulting practice. The AMMR staff wishes to express our condolences to her family, association and other colleagues in our profession who will miss her.

  10. Like everyone, Dee Dee and I were shocked to hear of Susan’s death. Her passing at such a young age is a reminder to not take life for granted but to cherish each day that we are here on earth and to make a positive difference in the lives of those that we meet. That was what Susan did. She always had a smile on her face and kind words to share.

    I had the privilege of working with Susan from the very beginning of her time as the Deputy CEO of NAIFA starting in 2007 and I enjoyed countless conversations and phone calls with Susan over the past 7 years…I will miss them and her kindness and dedication to our industry very much. Susan made a difference and I will never forget her.

  11. David Welsheimer, NAIFA IN President

    It is with a heavy heart that I and NAIFA members in Indiana want to express our condolences and sympathy on Susan’s untimely death. Susan was a wonderful CEO for NAIFA. She will be missed and our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

  12. Susan was a kind and generous person who had a smile on her face and a nice word for everyone. Even though she achieved great success in her professional life she never saw herself as better than anyone and treated our NAIFA staff as friends and equals. She will be greatly missed, and my kind thoughts and prayers are with her family at this difficult time.

  13. NAIFA Maryland sends thoughts and prayers to the Waters family and to Dr. Waters’ NAIFA colleagues. Her commitment, leadership, and friendship will certainly be missed by all. We will honor her service to our industry by inspiring others to serve NAIFA.

  14. It is with a heavy heart that I express my sincerest condolences and deepest sympathy on the untimely passing of Susan to our wonderful NAIFA

    Professional Staff, Volunteer Leadership, and, of course, Susan’s Family. This is a tremendous loss to our NAIFA Family, the Profession, and the

    Industry as a whole–she will be greatly missed.

    I had the good fortune and was blessed to have her wisdom, counsel, guidance, and valued friendship during my tenure on the NAIFA Board from 2007 when she was first appointed as the NAIFA COO continuing through 2012–we remained in close contact with each other throughout the years.

    I know her legacy, contributions, and the quality person she was will forever be etched in to our memories–we are much better as individuals and as an Assocition because of Susan’s passion and unwavering belief in what we do to help and serve others. With special thoughts, Terry

  15. Jill Martineau Cornish, IOM

    I first met Susan in the 1970s at the University of Delaware. In our six years there in the US Chamber’s Institutes for Organization Management, I found a caring, honest and loving person who shared my passion for associations. So many years later, we continued to share the trials and joys of association management and the wonderfully dedicated people who work in the nonprofit world. I will truly miss this generous, kind woman and will always keep her in my heart.
    Jill Martineau Cornish, IOM
    Rockville MD

  16. Our thoughts and prayers are with Susan’s family and the entire NAIFA family. She was a wonderful leader of NAIFIA and our Industry.

  17. From the Board of Directors and Membership of NAIFA St Louis we send our sincere condolences to the family of Dr Waters. I had the opportunity to speak to her briefly at our recent conference in San Diego she was always very polite and professional. She has left some big shoes to fill. I will lift her family and our organizational leadership up in my thoughts and prayers.

  18. What a loss! I only got to know her very recently, and it was immediately clear why people adored her.

  19. One of Susan’s greatest joys was giving back to make a difference for another. Smile Train was one organization of many that she gave her time, treasure and talent. She shared the story of her trip with Smile Train to repair children with cleft lips on the main stage at NAIFA’s annual meeting this past year. Susan will be remembered for her humble, generous and empowering way in helping others in all walks of life.

  20. Very saddened to hear of my friend and colleagues passing. I knew Sue through our mutual work with the American Society of Association Executives. Sue was dedicated to her profession and to her work and was it was always a pleasure to see Sue and catch up with her at ASAE events. I am sure NAIFA will miss her. The association community, of which Sue was a leader, will miss her as well.

  21. Mickey Batsell, Austin Chapter SFSP

    The network of financial services is a brotherhood and a sisterhood of dedicated professionals committed to serving others and protecting their families from many risks. Our family has lost a truly dedicated professional and we are all saddened by Susan’s passing. Let it be a reminder to us all to live each day as a precious gift and make certain that our own house is in order. Our prayers are with Susan’s family during this tragic time. Let this be a reminder for us all to recommit to going the extra mile to serve our clients.

  22. I still can’t believe this has happened. I had the privilege and joy to know Susan for what is probably more than 30 years now. She was always a kind, interested, and inspiring friend and mentor to me. I am so glad to have known her and will miss her very much. My thoughts and prayers are with her family. I hope you can take comfort in the loving memories you have of Susan now and always.

  23. To echo all the other kind words that have been said, Susan was a wonderful person who will be missed by all. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and her NAIFA staff.

  24. A great loss to all NAIFA members as well as our industry. Dr. Waters was a great supporter of or organization on the local, state and national levels. Her sudden passing is a great reminder to all of us of the value we bring to our clients and the importance of what we do for them and their families.

  25. Susan received the highest award and recognition from her association CEO peers a few years ago. Everyone knew what a consummate professional she was. I knew her to be one of the most caring and most kind persons I have ever known. I hope the tears which are being shed for her by the many people Susan touched will be of comfort to her family and friends for the example she set in the way she lived her life and the way she treated everyone she met with dignity and respect. I will deeply miss my special friend with the gentle heart.

  26. Susan was dedicated professional who never once wavered in her passionate support of NAIFA.

    Susan had many roles as NAIFA’s CEO but I think the one she enjoyed more than any other was having the opportunity to talk, one on one, with one of our members or prospects, and I think this says much about who Susan was as a professional and human being.

    I will miss Susan’s intellect, her humor and her kindhearted ways.

    My deepest sympathies to Susan’s family.

  27. Susan was a truly great leader in our profession, always sharing advice and new insights. We shared thoughts in ASAE committees and meetings, including an international outlook. She deserved the Key Award. We will miss her very much among fellows and friends; – not least we wish her family strength in overcoming this sad loss.
    Alfons, Alfons Westgeest FASAE, Managing Partner Kellen Europe, Brussels,

  28. Our thoughts and prayers go to out Susan and her family. She was an amazing women and will be missed. And agree her untimely death is a reminder of how important the work, we advisors do, is!

  29. Susan was a warm, gentle and caring person who’s company was a pleasure to enjoy. In addition, she was an amazingly accessible chief executive – a wonderful change in today’s world. She is missed.

  30. All of us at NAIFA Oregon are greatly saddened by the loss of Susan. She was such a cheerleader for NAIFA and a fine manager of people.
    She will be missed.

  31. Mine and Connie’s condolences go out to Dr. Susan Water’s friends, family and to NAIFA. Over the past several years that I have come to know Dr. Waters she always demonstrated the highest level of professionalism, competence, caring and passion for this Association and industry. She leaves behind a strong NAIFA…demonstrated in nearly any way that it can be measured. Most importantly, demonstrated by having in place the best and brightest to lead us forward. I am sure she would be very proud of our professional staff and volunteers that will continue to advance the mission of NAIFA. Again, Dr. Waters, our heartfelt thanks for your leadership, vision and “leaving it better than you found it”.

  32. Cleo and I are saddened by the loss of Dr. Waters. Susan wa a friend, leader and always approachable. Our deepest sympathy to her family, you are in our prayers.

  33. I am saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Waters. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.

    *I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love. ~Leo Buscaglia

  34. The loss of Dr. Waters as with any NAIFA member is a tragic loss. Dr. Waters always had a smile on her face and was a shining representative on behalf of NAIFA. My deepest condolences to her family in their loss.

  35. Anne Marie Albertine

    My condolences to Dr. Waters’ family and friends. I had the chance to get to know her a bit better at our DC Chapter meetings. She was a wonderful professional who served our industry with dedication and passion. She will be greatly missed.

  36. As a long term member of NAIFA and as a current trustee and Vice Chairman of the Foundation board of the American College,.I, my family and everyone in our firm extend our condolences to the family of the late Dr. Susan Waters. Our prayers are extened during these most difficult times.

  37. I have a very heavy heart today, as I reflect on the tragic loss of a very dear friend. I was so fortunate to know Susan B. Waters, and even more fortunate to have her as a true friend. Yesterday’s news took my wind away, and leaves me very saddened. We have all lost a truly remarkable lady, whose charm, wit and wisdom made her loved by so many. I will always remember Susan as a master storyteller, whose tales kept me simultaneously laughing and scratching my head. I will cherish hearing about the predicaments and silly circumstances she found herself in on a regular basis…and I will sorely miss her laughter. Rest in peace, Susan.

  38. So sorry to hear of Susan’s passing. She was a wonderful leader of NAIFIA and our Industry.

  39. I was so sad to learn of the passing of Dr. Waters. NAIFA-Mississippi will certainly miss her! She was a true advocate for our industry. My sympathies to her family.

  40. When I think of Susan I am reminded of a poem I learned long ago.

    The parish priest of austerity
    climbed up in a high church steeple,
    to be nearer to God,
    so that he might hand his word
    down to his people,

    In his age God said – :Come down and die:.
    and he cried out from the steeple,
    “where art thou Lord”?
    and the Lord replied, “down here among your people”.

    And so was Susan. I will miss her hugs and sage advice.
    y thoughts and prayers go out to her family and all of us who knew her.

  41. Howard Rosenblatt, CLU

    Condolences to Susan’s family and close friends. She will be missed by not only those of us who knew her, but by all current and future members of NAIFA and the insurance community. Her tragic sudden passing reminds us what life insurance agents have been preaching for years. We never know when our last day will be so we must provide for our loved ones and those we care about today while we still can. May her family be comforted by knowing the good she accomplished in her too short time in our world.

  42. All of us at the Society of Financial Professionals are deeply saddened to hear of Susan’s passing. We have admired her exceptional leadership qualities and were impressed by by her resolute dedication and incredible caring. The financial services profession will miss her guiding presence. We will miss her friendship. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to Susan’s family and the entire NAIFA family.

  43. Howard Rosenblatt, CLU

    I want to extend condolences to Susan’s family and close friends. She worked tirelessly on behalf of NAIFA and she will be missed not only by all of us who knew her, but also by current and future members of NAIFA and the insurance community. It reaffirms what life insurance agents have preached for years. No one knows when our last day will be. We must do what we can today to take care of the ones we love and care about. May her family be comforted by the good which she accomplished in her too short time with us.

  44. It is difficult to understand and accept why this had to happen…I can see by reading all these posts that Susan’s impact was broad and deep, and as one (of so many) who counts her as a friend and mentor, I do appreciate why that is. She was a beautiful person inside and out, and always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. She was the utmost example of professionalism, and truly a master craftsman in the art of association management. Furthermore, her love of the joys of life was remarkable, and time spent with her was always a lot of fun. She will be sorely missed by many, myself included. Prayers for comfort and peace go out to all of her family members, colleagues and friends.

  45. Our deepest sympathies go to Susan’s family and her NAIFA family. She was passionate about–NAIFA, and its members and a great leader to NAIFA. Susan will be greatly missed.

  46. Dr. Waters was a kind and intelligent leader. The insurance and financial advisor community lost a true friend with the passing of Susan.

  47. Truly sorry to hear of Dr. Waters passing. She was a great leader who really cared about helping those in the insurance and financial services industry. She also had a great personality and sense of humor. It was an honor to work for her and I am sure she will be very missed by the NAIFA team and it’s members.

  48. I would like to express, on behalf of LIMRA, our condolences on the sudden loss of Susan Waters. Susan was a great advocate for our industry and trusted colleague. Her strong leadership and steady guidance supported and protected the interests of financial advisors, who are instrumental in helping Americans achieve financial security. Many of us at LIMRA knew her personally and appreciated the importance she placed on our organizations’ collaboration. Her dedication and spirit will be missed. Again, we extend our deepest sympathies to her family and everyone at NAIFA during this period of mourning.

  49. “Surround yourself with people who make you hungry for life, touch your heart, and nourish your soul.”

    This is and was Dr. Susan Waters. She will be remembered for her passion for NAIFA, dedication to her staff, and loyalty in serving others.

    I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to work with her and know her as a true dedicated and loyal friend. She is missed greatly.

  50. Mercedes S. Alegre

    On behalf of the Officers and Board Members of the Guam Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, we would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the family of the late Dr, Susan Waters. It is a saddening and shocking moment that nobody expected. We have lost a great leader and a dedicated supporter of NAIFA. Our fervent prayers goes to the whole family. GOD bless you all.

  51. MarcusT.Henderson, Sr.

    While a loss to NAIFA National is certainly immeasurable, it does serve as a reminder of the mortality within all of us. Dr. Waters, in her own special way, has sounded the alarm that our profession is such a necessary one that all in this chosen occupation must defend it’s integrity, standards and ideals on a daily basis. Our hearts and prayers go out to her family and dearest of friends during this extremly difficult time.

  52. Dr. Waters spoke to our Omaha members at our August 2014 meeting and was, as always, an impressive and first-class ambassador for NAIFA. All of us with NAIFA-Omaha offer our deepest condolences to the Waters family and the entire NAIFA staff.

  53. Cherri Coombs Ohmer

    Our hearts and prayers go out to Dr. Susan Waters, her family and our entire NAIFA staff. We have lost a true leader. It is even more difficult to express the loss to the Association Executives throughout the federation. She inspired many, advised wisely and she was very compassionate about her work. She encouraged others with a sweet spirit. We will truly miss her. NAIFA Jacksonville.

  54. Our deepest condolences to the family of Dr. Waters. She will live on in her work, as she served countless people in our industry, thus impacting thousands upon thousands of families. Without doubt, she will be missed. She left this world a better place.

    JB

  55. How blessed I was to meet her just a few short years ago! High character! Deliberate, compassionate, and always listening! She will be missed!

  56. NAIFA-Colorado mourns the passing of a quiet and dedicated NAIFA leader, Dr. Waters reminds many of the following definition of success.

    To laugh often and much;
    To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
    To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
    To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
    To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
    To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
    This is to have succeeded.

    May you rest in peace Dr. Waters. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and the NAIFA staff and board.

  57. Susan was so intelligent, hard-working and knowledgable. She really wanted to help us make our state better. I appreciate her efforts and hard work and am very saddened by her passing. She will be missed by all those she worked with. She was a giant in our industry.

  58. Being able to know Susan and work with her is something that must be counted as a true privilege. I always appreciated her smile, her attitude and the manner in which she approached issues. NAIFA has lost a valued leader and we have all lost a great friend. Peg and I extend our sympathies to Susan’s family and to all of the NAIFA staff. As someone previously stated, we can continue to honor Susan by supporting and building NAIFA.

  59. Chainsaw McCullough Colorado Springs NAIFA President

    I just met her in San Diego, what a great person and truly a dedicated NAIFA CEO. Colorado Springs NAIFA would like to express our deepest condolences and we will continue in prayer unceasingly with you all!!!

  60. John Pauley - NAIFA WV

    Dr. Waters was a true professional and deeply devoted to the mission of NAIFA and our members. I truly enjoyed our time together and the positive attitude and vision she brought to NAIFA. She had a unique ability to engage everyone with her infectious smile and personality .. she will be truly missed. I know there is nothing anyone can do or say to ease the pain of this loss, but know that she is in our thoughts and prayers. We all have a responsibility to continue her legacy .. I know she would want that.

  61. I was shocked and saddened to receive this phone call yesterday. Susan was such a great example of intelligence and poise in leading our professional association. All that our industry is and does is tied to the meaningful lives that people lead. Susan was the real deal and was so very supportive of our local in Northern Virginia ( where she was a great member ! )
    I’m inspired by her example and know that the important work she did to advance our noble association’s mission will live on.
    Rest in peace Susan, your friendship, insight, support and leadership will be missed.
    Thank you for your legacy. It will live on.

    Steve O

  62. Lane Boozer - NAIFA Texas

    In as much as it is our chosen profession to assist families, friends and clients during their times of need, it is never easy to receive the unexpected news of the death of one of our NAIFA leaders. Dr. Susan Waters’ passing leaves us all empty and sorrowful.

    But it was her life that we all respect.

    We will miss her dedicated, enduring determination to lead NAIFA to be the finest professional association in the country.

    We all have our own precious thoughts and memories of Susan. Please keep them, cherish them and use them to help fulfill her mission, our mission, for NAIFA’s continued success.

  63. Susan was passionate about–NAIFA, its members and its mission–her charities, particularly SOME [So Others Might Eat] and Smile Train–and her family. She was incredibly effective at building a cohesive staff team and we will miss her many funny stories and thoughtful leadership but she will remain in our hearts and prayers. My deepest sympathy to her family.

  64. My deepest sympathy to Susan’s family and and her NAIFA family. It should give us all pause to consider those things that are important in our own lives…our faith…our friends, our family, our times shared together. All these things will endure in the hearts and minds of those we touch. Susan’s memory will remain with the thousands she touched . I think it was Charlie “Tremendous” Jones who once said, “You are the books you read and the people you meet. ” I am the benefactor of many great things as a result of having known Susan.

  65. It’s a sad day when one of our industry’s finest is taken away. She definitely lived a ‘Life of Significance’, and exuded a leadership style that others will follow. Her family has our deepest sympathy.

  66. It is hard to smile right now though Susan made us smile countless times over the years. From the moment Susan joined NAIFA’s staff, she worked closely with our E & O oversight committee and we all came to admire and love her. With her mostly funny stories of owning two houses on opposite coasts, to her insight, experience and wisdom about Professional Liability (E&O) programs, Susan gained respect and admiration. As great of an association leader that she was, she won our heats by being a loyal and beloved friend. Her team-building and leadership skills as exemplified by our remarkable headquarters staff were second to none. We will miss her as a strong leader, an association icon, but mostly we will miss a dear friend. Betsy and I send our condolences to Susan’s family and our extended NAIFA family. .

  67. My thoughts and prayers are with Susan’s family and the entire NAIFA family. Susan was a true professional and a friend. Susan’s fingerprints of Character, Integrity, and Passion for NAIFA members, staff, and our profession will live on. Joyce and I are saddened by the loss of Susan.

  68. My thoughts and prayers are with Susan’s family. I wish them comfort during this time of mourning. As evidenced by the comments here, Susan was loved by many. A wonderful legacy to leave, indeed. She will be missed.

  69. I’m sorry to learn of Susan Waters passing. Her passion for NAIFA and for America will be missed.

  70. It is a privilege to have worked with Susan for the past seven years. She was a genuinely friendly and charitable person, and she was passionately devoted to serving NAIFA and our members. As a NAIFA staff member, I am heartened to see the outpouring of support and appreciation for Susan in these comments. She will be missed.

  71. The Hawaii Chapter of NAIFA Honolulu sends condolences and prayers to Susan’s family. Her vision and passion to our industry will be a huge part of her legacy and truly remain a part of the fabric of NAIFA..

    Aloha and A hui hou. Dr. Susan Waters……

    • Susan did a great job for the NAIFA organization. She will be missed by all. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

  72. On behalf of Thrivent, please know that we are mourning Susan’s passing with all of you and praying for God’s comfort for you, her friends and family at this difficult time. Susan was always positive and professional and so easy for me to hang out with. She is missed and I know we’ll carry on her great work. Missing her already.

  73. Susan was a lovely, self effacing and caring woman. She graced our association with her dedication to all the members, regardless of position or status, for too short a period of time. All who knew her are better people as result.

    My deepest sympathy to her family and friends.

  74. It was a shock to learn of Susan’s passing! She was the epitome of quiet, dignified leadership. We will miss her encouraging smile and her strength of character. God Bless her family. Our prayers are with them.

  75. We pray that Dr. Waters’ family find comfort inat least realizing the impact Dr. Waters had on our industry and that the entire industry is here to support them. Our deepest and sincerest condolences to the family and NAIFA. From CPS Hawaii — Aloha oe, a hui hou kakou — Farewell, until we meet again.

  76. The Hoopis Performance Network team is deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Waters. She was a great leader and executive who was very consistent. She had a strong passion for what our industry does and she will be greatly missed.

  77. From the moment I met Susan, it was apparent how deeply committed she was to NAIFA’s mission, and to the work of our members. She cared about every aspect of this industry, and was a passionate advocate and leader. I will miss her very much, and am privileged to have worked for her.

  78. Thank you for your friendship. We will miss you!
    Your friends at JAPAN Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Tokyo, Japan.

  79. I’m so sorry to hear this sad news. WOW! Susan’s friendly smile and her support of NAFIA will be hard to replace, she will be missed dearly. … Our deepest Sympathy goes to her family! May God provide her love one’s comfort & peace during this time.

  80. Yuka Nakahara-Goven

    We will miss you, Susan! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  81. Dr. Waters loss is a sad reminder of the importance of our industry. We protect families and small businesses in the event of the unexpected. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and our colleagues and staff in the NAIFA enterprise.

  82. Maria Ferrante-Schepis

    I and my colleagues at Maddock Douglas would like to express our deepest sympathy to NAIFA and the entire insurance community for the loss of Dr. Waters. Our hearts go out to her family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.

  83. The sense of personal and professional loss is almost too much. Dear Susan, gentle, keen intellect, articulate, deeply philosophical with a practical bent, arts enthusiast and supporter, humanitarian, staunch advocate for NAIFA and superb manager. NAIFA will miss her talent and skills. I will miss my friend.

  84. Deepest Sympathy to Susan’s family and her NAIFA family. She will truly be missed and I feel fortunate to have know her. Her kindness and strength will never be forgotten.

  85. My thoughts and prayers to Dr. Water’s family and friends and she will be missed.

  86. We were so blessed to have had such a gracious and learned person at our helm! Dr. Waters will be sorely missed by many of us she touched in her own way. Let all of us take a moment and extend our prayers and our thoughts to her family.
    Elli

  87. Susan lost is a great loss for Naifa and loss to the whole insurance industry my thoughts and prayers are with the Naifa staff and with her family

  88. Thank you, Susan for sharing your intelligence, generosity, humor and grace. I am deeply affected by the sudden absence of you and find solace in knowing you lived with such strong conviction in your passion and beliefs. I won’t forget the “Power of a Smile”.
    “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” ― John Donne

  89. It’s so difficult to believe this very sad news. Susan was such an inspiration and incredibly dedicated to NAIFA for all of us. I feel blessed that I got to meet her and hear her speak over the past few NAIFA National conferences. I send my heartfelt condolences and wishes for strength to her family during this unexpected and most difficult time. RIP Susan. NAIFA Yuma will greatly miss your energy, passion and dedication.

  90. I would like to express my deep condolences to the entire NAIFA Family especially to the national office staff and board with whom she worked so closely and led so successfully as CEO. I had the opportunity to get to know Susan as a colleague in the association management profession. She was a recognized leader in our profession and was celebrated with our association’s highest honor, the Key Award. She has touched many people within NAIFA and within the association management profession. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of us who remember her and celebrate her legacy.

  91. Our thoughts and prayers are with Susan’s family and NAIFA during this difficult time.
    Susan will be missed. Her leadership played an important role at a critical time for the organization.
    She will be missed.

  92. Dr. Waters was a true professional and will be missed not only by her immediate family but the NAIFA family as well. In the brief time I have had the chance to know her, I found her to be a true caring person and her willingness to be available to our members was truly unique. May God bless Susan and all those who came to know her.

  93. Courtney L Livingston

    The members of NAIFA-Glacial Lakes Region extend their thoughts and prayers to the family of Susan Walters and to the staff at NAIFA.
    Courtney Livingston, Local National Committee

  94. Susan passing was a great loss to Naifa and the whole insurance industry my thoughts and prayers are with the staff and Susan family

  95. Heartsick over this sad news. Susan was gracious and welcoming to the new kids on the association block. Her friendliness and humor will be missed. I feel fortunate to have known her. Am glad she had the opportunity to drive a Jag! Big loss for our community, as well as those who were her family and friends.

  96. Beth Scott Clayton, LUTCF, CLTC

    My heart goes out to Susan’s family and to her NAIFA extended family and friends which is large and far-reaching, which is a true compliment to the life of integrity, accomplishment, advocacy, friendship and kindness, for which Susan led. Prayers are with all who mourn the loss of our friend and leader. Susan shall be missed!

  97. Paul Friedman, CLU

    It is with a sad heart in learning of the passing of Susan. I had an opportunity on several occasions over the past years to speak with her as well as her attendance at many of the Greater Washington DC NAIFA meetings. I know I speak for our association in expressing our thoughts and prayers to her entire family.

  98. Shannon Robertson, CAE

    My soul is sad and tears abundant over the loss of Susan. She was a great professional, colleague, peer and NAIFA advocate. I was so glad I got to see her a few short weeks ago and give her a hug and thank her for all she did for NAIFA. But mostly, surprising her in 2013 at the ASAE Convention with Juli McNeely and Rob Smith when she won the ASAE Key Award, was by far a wonderful highlight and true surprise during her most deserving professional honor. Susan, your NAIFA association colleagues will continue to work as #ONENAIFA. My condolences to her family, the NAIFA staff and Board and to our entire Federation. RIP my friend.

  99. Susan, you are missed by the entire NAIFA family and your friends. You brought such a calming presence along w/ your total professionalism when you joined NAIFA in 2010. My condolences to your family. Rest in peace.

  100. I know I join countless others in the association community whose lives were touched by Susan and who now are deeply saddened by her premature passing. Kind, wise and thoughtful, she always found time to lend an ear, laugh with you and offer sage advice. I extend heartfelt sympathies to her family. We and NAIFA have lost a very special lady and lesder. May she R.I.P.

  101. My heart is breaking and with Susan’s family and our community as we mourn her loss. No greater friend or more compassionate person has been a part of my life and affected so many through her work. This is hard to believe as we were planning a meeting in the new year and I think I will always regret we did not set a date sooner. To the NAIFA family I want to express my condolences and sympathy on the loss of your leader and I will pray for each of you during this holiday season. Susan will indeed be missed by many as is evident by the postings thus far. Thank you for providing us an opportunity to share our thoughts and expressions.

  102. So sad and so abrupt. Our thoughts and prayers for her family, friends and admirers.
    May they be comforted in reflection of her gift to the world and the realization of future unity.
    The Bekki Harper Financial Team

  103. On behalf of NAIFA Idaho, our condolences to Dr. Waters’ family. We had the pleasure of a visit from Dr. Waters a few years ago. She was such a warm and lovely woman and will be deeply missed.

  104. So sorry to hear about the passing of Dr. Water and she will be missed by all. Condulences to her family and many friends.

  105. Word of Susan’s sudden death set me back. I’ve known her thru ASAE and its Fellows program for 23 yrs. We were at the Univ. of Md together in the ’70s. Bright, always on top of her craft, generous and kind are all apt descriptors of Susan. She was also an inspirational association executive having successfully having successfully headed any number of significant organizations over her distinguished career that acted as a basis for ASAE’s recognition of her with its top professional honor, the Key Award in 2013. No reflection on Susan would be complete without remembering her fun side–she had a marvelous sense of humor that made her great company. She was a wonderful human being and always a good friend who I will miss.

  106. So sad. Our prayers are with the family and colleagues at this time. Susan will be greatly missed.

  107. I am so saddened by this news of the very sudden passing of my friend Susan Waters, from the first time that I met Susan in San Francisco when she was the Exec of the San Francisco Medical Society she always greeted me with kind words and brought a smile to my face. Her 40 years of dedication to the Association profession will be sorely missed and I am just so very upset. My thoughts go out to her friends, family and the entire NAIFA community.

  108. So sorry to hear of Susan’s passing. She was a strong leader of NAIFA and in the association community — she will be missed by many.

    Sincerest condolences to her friends, colleagues and family.

  109. Elizabeth Ann Brooks

    Very sorry to hear of Dr. Water’s passing. I know the association will miss her leadership.

  110. Rosario Ortiz-Davis

    My condolences to her family and her staff. May she rest in peace. God bless.

  111. I remember meeting Susan when she visited our state (Arkansas) for our state meeting in 2010, and I had the good fortune to be seated next to her at the luncheon by chance only. Here is the new CEO, and I’m a relatively new agent that had been a NAIFA member for just a few years, a local President-Elect. She spoke with me and gave me the full attention and conversation one would usually only find with good friends. The skill and expertise she wielded with legislators and CEO’s of the top leaders in our industry translated to a sincere personal exchange with one single agent she met for the first time.

    I will never forget that interaction.

    My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends

  112. I am saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Waters. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

  113. So sad to hear this news our prayers are with you.

  114. I extend my deepest condolences to the staff, board and members of NAIFA, on the sudden passing of Susan Waters. Susan was my friend for the past 20+ years and we worked together frequently on committees, etc at ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership. Susan was an ASAE Fellow and received the ASAE Key Award, honors that we had in common. She was smart, fun and a true professional. She will be keenly missed.

    -Gary A LaBranche, FASAE, CAE
    President & CEO
    Association for Corporate Growth

  115. Personable, caring, professional and always on the job. These are my memories of Susan. During my days of service on the PAC committee, she was always interested in knowing my feelings on how things were going and would offer insight and perspective without interfering and always, always appreciative for the role of the volunteers among us.

    She was, in short, one class act and I will miss her smile and the warmth of her presence for a long long time. May God be good to her.

  116. Susan was a kind and generous soul. She was dedicated to NAIFA and cared deeply for our members. She will be sorely missed.

  117. John S. Holmes, III

    Over the past few years I had the distinct pleasure of working with Dr. Waters through my membership on the NAIFA Board of Trustees. NAIFA made great strides during her tenure as CEO. She will surely be missed by those who worked for her and those who volunteered their time along side of her.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to her family during this difficult time

  118. What sad news. Susan gave us her all. An example of what a caring person she was: When I left my NAIFA-Maine Exec position, she called me while she was on vacation in Alaska to check in and see how I was doing. I trust the NAIFA family will keep Susan’s family in our thoughts…

  119. Mibb & Peter Browne

    We were saddened to hear of the passing of Susan Waters. Many of us remember Susan’s role as NAIFA was emerging from very difficult times Susan will be recognized as one of our industries strongest proponents of the agent’s role in the Financial Services Industry. We will miss Susan not only as an industry leader but as a friend and confidant. I have always admired her capabilities dealing with the many facets of the NAIFA family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

  120. I’m so glad that I had a chance to talk with her at the NAIFA Northern Virginia IFAPAC event on November 20th. We had a good chat about where the Federation was heading and the good work NAIFA Legislative was doing in keeping the membership aware of the serious issues facing our industry. Dr. Waters certainly grasped the reins when she took over the CEO chair and got right down into the trenches for us. She was an outstanding CEO from everything I knew of her! Susan and her family will certainly be in my prayers!

  121. I’m so glad that I had a chance to talk with her at the NAIFA Northern Virginia IFAPAC event on November 20th. We had a good chat about where the Federation was heading and the good work NAIFA Legislative was doing in keeping the membership aware of the serious issues facing our industry. Susan certainly grasped the reins when she took over the CEO chair and got right down into the trenches for us. She was an outstanding CEO from everything I knew of her! She and her family are in my prayers!

  122. Shocking and sad news today to hear of Susan’s death. It should be a reminder to all of us in this business, that death comes many times out of the blue. I think Susan would tell us that, to have us use her story as an example. Having spoken to her many times over the last 4 or 5 years, I know how dedicated she was to the NAIFA members. We have lost a dear friend and colleague. God bless her family, especially at this time of year.

  123. How difficult life can be at times, but when you meet and work with someone like Susan, you take away many memories of grace under pressure, growth of a leader and love of a professional organization, its members and what they stand for. For those of us who have been blessed to know Susan, we are in pain. Our thoughts and prayers are with this amazing women’s family and friends, she will be missed by all who she touched and she touched so many! God Bless dear friend!!!

  124. Charlotte Crandall

    I am totally shocked and saddened by the loss of Susan who was so dedicated to NAIFA and its members.
    Susan was always willing to listen and offer advice when needed. I will miss her wise counsel and her smile and hug whenever I saw her in person. You could not help but love and admire this talented woman. My deepest sympathy to her family. She will be missed by all who knew her.

  125. WIFS sends their deepest sympathies and condolences on the passing of Susan. She was an amazing woman and gave so much to the organization she loved. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her friends and family at this time, she will be deeply missed.

  126. I’m sadden to hear of Susan’s passing. She was a wonderful women and a tremendous advocate for our industry. My prayers are with her family.

  127. Oh my! Susan has been such a great asset to our association. We will miss her a lot. I will certainly pray for peace and comfort for her family.

  128. Susan was a great leader for the NAIFA staff, a wonderful mentor for me as an association professional, and one of the best storytellers I ever knew. I miss her already.

  129. Susan was the consummate professional and a cherished CEO. It was an honor to work under her excellent leadership. I mourn her passing and extend my condolences to her family.

  130. My thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Waters family. Thank you for loaning her to our industry!!

  131. It is with deep regret and sadness that I read of the death of Dr. Walters, she will be missed by the entire industry but her work is perpetual.

  132. Dr Waters had many gifts and brought them to NAIFA to help change us, enrich us and make us better!! She will be missed by many. God be with her family and her NAIFA family at this difficult time.
    Take Care,
    Kim

  133. I am shocked and saddened by Susan’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. She will be missed by all of us who knew and worked with her.

  134. From NAIFA-Walterboro, we cannot express how shocked we are to hear of her passing. She was a great lady! I have personally had the opportunity to have lunch with her and to listen to her views and ideas of NAIFA. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.

  135. Although I have never personally met Dr Susan Waters
    I will always be grateful for the level of professional
    Standard she brought to the industry and her dedication
    Is admirable. My thoughts and prayers go to Her family.

  136. I am saddened to hear the news and give my sympathy to Dr Water’s family and wish them a happy future.
    She did a very good job for our federation.

  137. Susan’s kindness will be remembered and missed by many. My condolences to her family.

  138. Susan was a terrific leader for NAIFA and a tireless advocate of our great industry. I spent many hours with her on LIFE & NAILBA joint efforts with NAIFA over the years. She was generous with her time, and always full of compassion and a spirit of “lets do this”. NAIFA and our entire industry will miss her leadership skills greatly. My prayers are with her family for peace and with the NAIFA Board of Trustees as they seek a new leader for 2015 and beyond.

  139. Susan was the consummate professional and a big part of the financial turnaround of our NAIFA. She came to Delaware last year to be a speaker at our State Career Conference. She engaged with young and more seasoned members and her passion for our industry was unwavering. This news takes a bite out of the Holiday Season. She will be sorely missed and difficult to replace.

  140. We entend our sincerest condolences from Jerseyville, Illinois and will keep the family and friends in our prayers.

  141. We are shocked and saddened by the news of the passing of Dr. Waters. She will be sorely missed as a very professional, quite giant. The respect earned among her peers was quite evident.

  142. My prayers go out to the NAIFA family and Susan’s family. She had a true passion for our industry and will be greatly missed.

  143. My sincere condolences go to the family of Dr. Waters. Although I did not know her personally, I know her passing is a great loss to NAIFA and our industry..

  144. Susan was a great leader and a friend to many. I was so saddened to hear of her death. I enjoyed getting to know her on her visits to Tennessee and she was a friend to us. She will be greatly missed.

  145. Stephen Rothschild

    The sad nature of Susan ‘ s death is the ultimate reminder of the importance of what we do. The best tribute is to help more families protect their loved ones.

  146. Dr. Waters thank you for your leadership and passion for NAIFA. You will be greatly missed. And thank you Dr. Waters’ family for sharing this great lady with us. Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with you at this time.

  147. So sorry to hear the news. My condolences to her family and friends.

  148. Susan was a consummate professional, calm in the midst of challenges and focused on the tasks at hand. She was a good friend and our business will miss her leadership.

  149. So sudden and so sad! I recall several breakfasts we shared – one on one – during a meeting in Washington, DC several years ago. They became longer each day, and increasingly enjoyable due to her breadth of knowledge on a variety of topics. I looked forward to seeing her at the annual conventions as well as in Falls Church. NAFA has lost a wonderful leader and I would like to send my condolences to her family and the NAIFA family as well, while wishing the NAIFA leadership strength as they begin they begin their deliberations to find her successor. I do believe she will be well remembered during any conversations of NAIFA leadership for a long time.

  150. I am saddened to hear the news about Dr. Waters. She cared so deeply for our industry, our association, and most importantly, our clients. She was a true champion in the fight for our cause. I am thankful that we were able to have her on our side! She will be missed greatly by us all. My heart goes out to her family and I pray the Lord, Jesus Christ, will comfort her family in this trying and difficult time.

  151. What a Great Lady! She will be missed by our NAIFA Family.

  152. Susan was truly and amazing women. She was such a great leader and she really inspired me to take my career to the next level. She was very supportive of our local chapter (NAIFA Northern Va) as she rarely missed a meeting or event. I was honored to have her install me as President this year. The first thing she said before the meeting started was “I wore these shoes just for you.” She had such a great since of humor. I will miss our long talks and laughs. This is such a huge loss however I thank God for the opportunity and pleasure of knowing such a phenomenal women! Rest in Peace my friend until we meet again!

  153. She was an inspiration to all of us and such a soldier for NAIFA and our industry.

  154. The entire Water Tower Financial Partners family mourns Dr. Waters passing. The NAIFA community will always remember the steadfast leadership she provided our organization. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

  155. Our condolences to Susan’s family. She was a strong advocate for all of us at NAIFA and she will be missed.

  156. I am so sad to read of Susan’s passing. She was important to NAIFA and she was important to me. She showed great leadership and humanity. This is a great loss to the industry.

  157. The shock I felt this morning when hearing about the passing of Susan was so totally immense that even I cannot describe it. Susan was a wonderful Lady and a great leader. My condolences to Susan’s family and to our Naifa family. May she rest in peace.

  158. It is with great sadness that I send my most heartfelt thoughts and prayers to all those who knew and loved Susan. She will be greatly missed.

  159. My thoughts and prayers to the Waters’ family and friends. Thank you Dr. Waters for your service and leadership in our industry and NAIFA. You will be missed by many! May God bless your family!

  160. Dr. Waters will be missed greatly. In working with her closely the past 4 years I am sadden by this news. Dr. Waters passion for our industry was above all so important to NAIFA. The world, and NAIFA was a greater place because Dr. Waters was part of it. I personally will miss her. Prayers and Thoughts to the family and all that were fortunate to be blessed to know Susan.

  161. The entire NAIFA family is so sad to hear of the loss of our friend and colleague – our NAIFA CEO. Susan touched our lives and our industry in such a positive way. She will be greatly missed. Susan would want us to continue the good work that NAIFA and its members do every day. So that is what we will do. But on a personal note, I will miss my friend. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and with everyone who knew and loved her.

  162. Sending prayers to your family from Onslow County Farm Bureau – Jacksonville, North Carolina. Your hard work and dedication to our industry were truly appreciated. You will be greatly missed by many.

  163. I was very sad to learn of the passing of Dr. Waters. I always enjoyed my interaction with Susan during my trips to Washington and to the NAIFA A

  164. BISHOP ERNEST MORROW

    Please accept condolences from myself and my associates. We pray for the family.

  165. I didn’t know Susan personally, however, hearing from colleagues and on former teleconferences, I knew she was deeply respected. What a great loss for the NAIFA community.

  166. Shock is definitely a word that comes to mind! What a huge loss for NAIFA and for Susan’s Family!! Thank you Susan for all you did in your Lifetime!! God Bless!!

  167. We in New York will truly miss our friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with Susan’s Family.

  168. The Life Happens organization sends their condolences to Susan’s family. Susan will be missed but her dedication to NAIFA, her other associations and her charity work will forever be shining examples of excellence for us all.

  169. It is with deep sadness that we send our condolences to the NAIFA organization and Susan’s family.

  170. I so enjoyed getting to know Susan over the past several years. She was a great proponent of the industry but also a caring and giving individual. She will be missed. My heart and prayers go out to her family during this difficult time.

  171. The entire NAILBA family mourns Dr. Waters passing. We’ve lost a valued colleague and friend.

  172. Words cannot adequately express my shock and sadness this early morning as I read of Dr. Water’s passing on the NAIFA website. She was a tireless advocate for the cause of NAIFA and its members. Her strength and energy were energizing.On a personal note, I enjoyed getting to know Susan as a very well read, well versed individual. Speaking for her friends and colleagues throughout NAIFA/Mississippi, our hearts go out to her family at this time. She will be missed.

    • The passing of Dr. Susan Waters, who was a friend to all of us active with NAIFA and a staunch supporter of our organization at all levels, local, state, and national. She bellieved in our advocacy and backed IFAPAC with a match challenge each and every year she served us. That attitude was just one quality of her leadership. Dr. Waters sudden and untimely passing should be a stark reminder to all NAIFA members of the importance and value of what we do and why we do it.