Featured New York Life Manager: Samuel Bridgeman.
Corporate Vice President for Agency Field Recruiting, Development, and Prospecting.
As a young basketball player, Samuel Bridgeman learned lessons of competition and teamwork that he has carried with him through a successful 30-year career at New York Life. Growing up in East Chicago, Ind., he was a junior and senior class president at East Chicago Washington High School, a member of the National Honor Society, and president of the school band. He was also a basketball star, winning a basketball scholarship to the University of Denver. A talent for basketball ran in his family. His brother Ulysses Lee “Junior” Bridgeman, spent 12 years as a player in the National Basketball Association.
The most important lesson of the game, Bridgeman says is, “You have to pay the price. You have to go through the practice and training. And you have to understand that if you pay the price and you still don’t win, you have to pick yourself up and do it again.”
Focus and dedication lead to success.
That kind of focus and dedication has translated to professional success. After college, when Bridgeman was working as a manager at Sears, a former boss recruited him to New York Life. He spent several years as an agent, achieving Council three times. After serving as a sales manager manager for more than three years, Bridgeman moved into training and management, first in the Northern Colorado office and then to the Houston office. Bridgeman attributes his success to focus, dedication, and patience. “Athletes understand deferred gratification,” he notes. “And as an agent, success is not immediate; you have to make a lot of calls and do a lot of work to be successful.”
As a member of the management team in the Houston office, Bridgeman played a major role in developing a number of initiatives for the company. In 2009, he was appointed to Assistant Vice President for Field Training and Development, working with African American agents around the country. In April 2011, he was promoted to Corporate Vice President, Zone Training Officer. Currently, Bridgeman is responsible for the development of trainers in the West Central Zone. Living in Texas with his wife Yvonne, he is a member of Christ Presbyterian in Flower Mound, Texas. He has been on several mission trips to Mexico, coaching a basketball team of children at risk, helping them succeed through teamwork and skill.
Making a difference.
When asked about the difference between being an agent and a manager, Bridgeman says, “I tell people one’s not better than the other. It’s whatever suits you. You can make a difference one-on-one as an agent helping individual families and building blocks of business. Or, you can make a difference by helping other people build a career. Both have their rewards,” he says. “While in Houston, I had a lady I trained who came to me and said, “You’re the reason I am here.”
Why New York Life?
For 170 years, New York Life has provided financial security to families and businesses, and supports the success of its employees.
To learn more about what New York Life can do for your career, visit www.newyorklife.com/africanamericancareers.