March 11, 2021

Magnet Spotlight: Meet Cohort 5

The M Community continues to grow. The Magnet Program recently welcomed eight financial professionals who join us at Member Firms around the country.

During their two-year professional development journey, Magnet Financial Professionals work directly with M Financial Group partners to contribute to the success of both M and Member Firms. They’re supported through training, mentorship, exclusive access to proprietary insurance products, and a broad network of partnerships with top insurance companies.

Cohort 5 is notable for its diversity, not just in terms of backgrounds, but also hobbies and interests. The cohort includes a marketing and public relations major, a former professional basketball player, and a former professional soccer player.

Here’s a look at our eight newest financial professionals, who are on the path to achieving success on their own terms.

Dave Gagnon

Hometown / Current location – Reading, MA / Boston, MA

University/College(s) attended – High Point University, NC

Member Firm – BoliColi

Dave Gagnon formerly worked in employee benefit planning. Life insurance piqued his interest, as he learned of the many products and solutions that could significantly help his clients. Dave recalls choosing Magnet because of the training and mentorship the program provides. He also saw the ability to connect with peers around the country who are also new producers as an invaluable benefit.

When asked about his ultimate career goal, Dave responded, “I want to expand the business my father and his partner have created and become a Principal of BoliColi.” 

Tamba Johnson

Hometown / Current location – Freetown, Sierra Leone / Minneapolis, MN

University/College(s) attended – University of Maine, Orono and University of Wisconsin, Madison

Member Firm – NBW Insurance Group

Former professional soccer player Tamba Johnson chose a career in financial services to help his West African community of Sierra Leone. In addition to working with his high net worth clients, Tamba hopes to advise his family and friends in matters of life insurance and retirement planning.

Tamba’s ultimate career goal is “to be known as a trusted financial professional in the Twin Cities market. I also hope to speak on a national scale about the importance of financial literacy in minority communities. Additionally, I aspire to become a partner at NBW Insurance Group.”

Tamara Oswald

Hometown / Current location – Toronto, Ontario, Canada / Miami, FL

University/College(s) attended – York University

Member Firm – United Financial Consultants

Tamara Oswald became interested in financial services during her time working at a major bank. It was there that she realized the importance of having the knowledge to be able to make the right financial decisions. On Tamara’s search for her next career opportunity, she came across M Financial Group and discovered the Magnet Program. She initially felt she’d be a great fit for the program because of her desire to learn and share information with others.

Tamara’s ultimate career goal? “To become a leader in the insurance industry. I have a passion for learning and sharing knowledge. I’d love to share my passion with like-minded women across the globe and become a speaker on finance.”

Trent Meacham

Hometown / Current location – Champaign, IL / Champaign, IL

University/College(s) attended – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Member Firm – Cozad Asset Management, Inc.

Trent Meacham spent an entire decade abroad playing professional basketball in Europe. Today, Trent’s full-time job is helping his clients leverage their resources to achieve their financial goals. Trent enjoys meeting new people and positively impacting families and communities through financial literacy. Trent pursued the Magnet Program because of M Financial Group’s reputation as an industry leader.

Ultimately, Trent’s intentions are clear. “I want to bring a deeper purpose to everything I do. I want to expand my vision, embrace challenges, grow every day, and build up others along the way.”

Ervis Mellani

Hometown / Current location – Albania / Cleveland, OH

University/College(s) attended – Cleveland State University and The American College

Member Firm – Ownership Advisors, Inc.

Ervis Mellani is a Cleveland resident by way of Southeastern Europe’s Balkan Peninsula. Growing up, Ervis acted as an advisor for his parents, translating all of their most important documents. He received his degree in economics and finance with the hopes of working in financial services and continuing his passion for helping people navigate complex financial decisions. When Ervis learned of the industry-leading proprietary products he’d have access to through M Financial Group, he immediately knew Magnet would be a worthwhile opportunity.

“My ultimate career goal is to build a financial planning practice that will allow me to help my clients lead more worry-free lives as it relates to their finances,” Ervis said. “I look forward to the time when I will be able to bring the next generation of advisors on board.”  

Kevin Bewley

Hometown / Current location – St. Joseph, IL / St. Joseph, IL

University/College(s) attended – Parkland College and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Member Firm – The Downey Group, Inc.

Former track-and-field student athlete Kevin Bewley once planned to get his master’s degree in a health-related profession. However, his trajectory shifted when he was actively seeking employment to support his wife, who was in school to become a respiratory therapist, and his infant child. After learning about M Member Firm the Downey Group and realizing he had an opportunity to learn about financial services through Magnet, Kevin decided to take the next step. He obtained his Chartered Life Underwriter designation and felt even more prepared for the program.

When it comes to Kevin’s ultimate career goal, it’s simple. “My ultimate career goal is to grow the business while also helping as many people as possible. I want to help them protect their financial well-being, as well as the well-being of their families and businesses.”

Olivia McDowell

Hometown / Current location – Sioux Falls, SD / Sioux Falls, SD

University/College(s) attended – Pepperdine University

Member Firm – McDowell Financial Group

Olivia’s budding career in financial services is deep rooted, as she decided to follow in her father’s footsteps and pursue a career in insurance. A marketing and public relations graduate of Pepperdine, she believes her background will help her to build meaningful relationships and confidently customize solutions to better the lives of her clients. For Olivia, Magnet provides the support and guidance that she believes will give her an edge over others in the industry. She hopes to establish long-lasting relationships within the M Community and her peers in the program.

Communication is at the heart of Olivia’s ultimate career goal. “I want to reach a point in my career where I feel I have become fluent in the language of life insurance. I want to make people feel comfortable coming to me with their financial needs, as well as acquire a great pipeline of business, allowing me to live a balanced lifestyle.”

Noah Remmert

Hometown / Current location – Austin, TX / Austin, TX

University/College(s) attended – Louisiana State University

Member Firm – Erben Associates

Noah Remmert’s longstanding interest in finance prompted his decision to study it at Louisiana State University. He’s always had a natural curiosity about the way the private sector interacts with government and the public to drive economic growth. His studies led him to a career in financial services as he discovered his passion for obtaining and sharing knowledge. He hopes to continue to accelerate his growth and proficiencies as a Magnet Financial Professional at Erben Associates.

In time, Noah wants three things. “I want to become a trusted advisor, business owner, and industry leader.” 

The Magnet Program is a two-year professional development program for top performers across industries. After two years, top performers will have developed valued relationships, long-term career support, and financial empowerment.

Learn more about Magnet opportunities here.


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