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Featured New York Life Manager: Van A. Ewing II, MBA

Managing Partner, Chicago North Shore General Office

The opportunity to be his own boss, while operating within the safety net of a Fortune 100 company, and working with a diverse team of people brought Van Ewing, who is now the Managing Partner of the Chicago North Shore General Office, to New York Life in 2004.

Having worked for Texaco as a director of mergers and acquisitions in New York City, Van appreciated the opportunity to re-evaluate his career. He had grown disaffected with the hectic international travel that mergers and acquisitions required. He also wanted an opportunity to be his own boss.

Life insurance seemed a perfect fit since it would enable him to work independently and utilize his financial background. It would also complement his commitment to good citizenship and community involvement.

“I wanted to be a business owner, but I also wanted to help people in the community-specifically the African American community-with financial strategies and investing,” he says.

Van chose New York Life over competitors because he felt it had the edge on diversity. He notes that New York Life’s Cultural Markets initiatives demonstrate the Company’s pledge to diversity. “There is a real financial commitment to help these markets grow,” he says.

Trust and guidance pave the way for success

Van worked as an Agent for only 22 months before becoming a Partner in 2006. He was promoted to Senior Partner in 2008 and the next year was named Managing Partner. Van says this meteoric career trajectory was made possible through the support of his supervisor, Managing Partner Michael Scovel, who suggested that he open and run a new office in downtown Chicago. At the time, New York Life’s only sales office in the Windy City was in the suburbs.

Scovel’s confidence in his abilities, Van says, put his career on the fast track. “My Managing Partner helped me and trusted me enough to get this office started,” he says.

Van invests the same trust and guidance in his own recruits to help them advance quickly. “There is a lot of satisfaction in helping a person move up,” he says.

Doing the right thing for yourself and your community.

Van says the Company’s willingness to take a chance on an urban sales office enabled him to recruit from a very diverse community. “When you work downtown in a large metropolitan area, there will be a lot of diversity,” he says. “I believe that, to run an effective office, it must represent the fabric of your community.”

Van says it is easier to attract talent when you represent a household name like New York Life. “The cool thing is that I am working for a company with a brass name, but I am in a career in which I truly do get to help individuals from all walks of life,” he says. “I’m able to attract and select people, whether they have degrees or not, and bring them into a program where they can be trained and put on the right track.”

Why New York Life?

For over 168 years, New York Life has provided financial security to families and businesses, and supports the success of its employees. New York Life offers an innovative workplace.

In fact, New York Life was recognized by Working Mother Magazine as a 2012 Best Company for Multicultural Women and named by the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) to the 2012 NAFE Top 50 Companies for Executive Women list. The company also earned Profiles in Diversity Journal’s 2013 Diversity Leader Award and has been named a “Top Company for LGBT Equality” by Work Life Matters magazine for 2012.

To learn more about what New York Life can do for your career, visit