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Featured New York Life insurance agent: Frank Chiovaro

Frank Chiovaro
  • Eagle Financial Adviser* with a focus on advanced planning
  • His band, Brickfoot, toured for the USO

Since joining New York Life Insurance Company’s Baltimore Office in 2005, Frank Chiovaro is truly enjoying the work he does. "I love getting in front of people and helping them," he says. “One of the best aspects of my job is sharing my knowledge with my clients.” But having a career in the Life insurance industry is something that Chiovaro never thought he’d have — not in a million years.

In fact, the day before he officially began training as a New York Life Agent, he was on an airplane, flying back from a USO tour of Central Europe — including Germany and Kosovo — with his rock band. “I grew up in New York. Brooklyn, originally, then my family moved to the Hudson Valley region,” says Chiovaro. “My father passed away when I was nine, but because he didn’t have proper life insurance coverage in place, my mother was unable to keep up with our house. We moved to Central Pennsylvania when I was a freshman in high school, closer to her family.”

Lonely and feeling isolated, Chiovaro turned to music, first starting on the drums "much to my mother’s chagrin," he says laughing. "She was thrilled when I showed interest in learning guitar and encouraged it in every way she could." After graduating high school, he moved back to New York to pursue his dreams of making it in the music industry. But after a few years of playing the college music scene, he needed a change. On a friend’s suggestion, he moved to Maryland. It was there he met his band mates and together, they formed the group he is still in today: Brickfoot. And his dreams began to be realized.

"Once our band started making a name for ourselves, we got more and more local media coverage," says Chiovaro. "We were approached by the Department of Defense to tour for the USO and signed right after 9/11. We have traveled all over the world — Puerto Rico, Italy, Spain, Japan, Guam — playing for troops, but nothing impacted me more than the time we spent in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan,” he recalls. “It was one of the most eye-opening experiences I have ever had, and I have never been the same person since. Our troops are there working in adverse conditions. Every morning they have to get up and perform their jobs precisely — no matter what the night has brought. It made me so appreciative of everything I have as an American, and gave me a renewed sense of humanity.”

Although Chiovaro was enjoying touring with his band, he knew that the time would come to settle down and find a career. Used to being on stage, “I knew I wanted to work with people — that was natural for me — but I wanted to make an impact,” he says. “I also knew that I wanted to be affiliated with the best of the best: a respected company. But I didn’t think that I would ever join New York Life as an Agent.”

With some previous experience working as an Agent’s assistant, Chiovaro enjoyed the work, but resisted being recruited. Finally, his best friend’s father, long-time Baltimore General Office Manager Charlie Herneker, convinced him to give it a try. And the rest, as they say, is history.

His contract signed before he left for what would be his last USO tour, Chiovaro, “Literally flew in to the States from Germany, went to bed, woke up the next morning, put on a suit and began training at New York Life,” he laughs. “I had terrible jet-lag, but I knew this was what I wanted” And he hasn’t regretted it a day since.

“My band still performs locally, but I am really focused now on my work. I want to ensure that I learn as much as I can about the business so I can pass it along to my clients,” says Chiovaro. “Lately I’ve been working with some quality products such as Long-Term Care Insurance, Whole Life and Short Duration Term. I want to be sure that my clients and their families are protected, no matter what the economic environment. I want to make sure that they aren’t underinsured like my family was.”

Remarks Ed Nemec, Managing Partner of the Baltimore General Office, “Frank truly embodies the spirit of New York Life. As a ‘newly Established’ Agent, he remains committed first and foremost to being a life insurance professional. Although we have many other products, all of which he works with, he knows that his number one job is to make sure that every family and business in our community has adequate Life insurance protection.

That said, Frank has successfully branched out into other areas, such as retirement, college, and estate planning. He also gives back to the office by mentoring newer agents, on both a formal and informal basis, and is always first in line when we ask for volunteers as guest speakers or to teach a class. We are proud of him, and thrilled by his success,” adds Nemec.

All success aside, Chiovaro is enjoying breaking stereotypes a bit as well. “I am proud to represent New York Life, and also proud to be defying the ‘typical’ image of those in the life insurance business,” he grins. “During an appointment the other day, one of my clients said to me, ‘I really appreciate that you’re not pushing me into a decision right now.’ It’s just not what I’m about.”

And now, in his sixth consecutive year of Executive Council, Chiovaro has even more great things ahead of him in 2012, including teaming up with five other Eagle Advisers to provide better service and getting married!

* Eagle financial advisers offer investment advisory services through Eagle Strategies LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser and a New York Life affiliate.

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