Rusty's Story

Born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, FWA Founder, Rusty Westfall, dropped out of college and began a career in both the retail and food service management industries at the age of 20. After numerous job changes and company relocations, in 1997 Rusty settled in St Louis, Missouri working as a Store Manager for Repp Ltd., one of Edison Brothers Stores, Inc. many specialty retail chain stores. Within 2 years he was promoted to the St. Louis Area Manager before the company dissolved in 1999.  

For the next 3 years, Rusty continued working in General Management type of roles before deciding to permanently leave those industries.  After 8 years of working over 60+ hours a week (which included nights, weekends, and holidays) for the same income, never having a consistent work schedule, never having any control over his time, never getting ahead in life and always lacking passion - he knew it was time for a change.

At the age of 28 Rusty was working as a Fitness Counselor for 24 Hour Fitness while in the process of trying to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. It was during that time, Rusty was introduced to a career in Final Expense sales.

One evening a young woman came in for her scheduled appointment to check out the gym. When they first sat down together, Rusty began building some rapport by asking what she did for a living.  Upon hearing her response, he immediately became intrigued. So Rusty continued asking more questions and the more he learned about what she did, the more he loved the idea of helping seniors into small simple life insurance policies to ensure no immediate burden would be left on their family. It turned out, this particular lady was actually working for her mother’s agency and the rest is history.

In his 15 year career, here is a brief summary of Rusty Westfall's Top Achievements:

  • 90 Day Rookie Fast Start Award

  • Blue Jacket Award

  • Rolex Club

  • Top 10 Producer for 9 consecutive years

  • Personally helped protect over 6,000 families

  • Attended every annual company convention trip to destinations like: Dominican Republic, Quebec, Scotland, Panama City, Carribbean cruises, and several others

Even though Rusty initially bought into the concept of helping the senior market protect their families, it was the ability to earn an unlimited amount of income that excited him the most in the beginning. However, Rusty's motivation completely changed about a year into his new career after handling his first death claim. 

Rather than contacting the insurance company, a beneficiary from one of the first policies Rusty ever sold called him instead, to inform that her mother had just passed away. It wasn't until the end of that phone call that completely changed Rusty's perspective on what he actually does for a living. The beneficiary started to become emotional and thanked Rusty profusely stating that if it hadn't been for him helping her mother into a policy, she didn't know how she would have been able to bury her mother. That experience alone taught Rusty that what he valued the most took top priority over what he wanted the most. Providing peace of mind and protecting families became his #1 primary goal.

From that moment on, it has been Rusty's mission to Leave People In a Better Position Than How They Were Found and to serve those to the best of his ability. Quoting Zig Ziglar, "You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want." After 7 years of learning and mastering this business, FWA was then established in order to reach out and help protect more families than one person can alone. 

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Steve's Story

Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, FWA Co-Founder, Steve Ward moved to Southern Illinois in 1990 to attend the University of Southern IL. There, he met his future wife and currently raising two beautiful teenage children in the Southern IL area

After college, Steve went to work for a soft-drink distribution company where he spent nearly 20 years before eventually entering into the insurance industry in 2008.

Steve's first two years in the business he thought he had to be all things to ALL people. After obtaining his insurance license, he secured his series 6 & 63 license. Steve really enjoyed the financial services industry but the income was a roller coaster those first two years. Steve soon learned that he needed to scale back and focus primarily in one direction which ended up being the life insurance market. He did well, was doing something he really enjoyed and was able to support his family, but, he knew there had to be an easier way. He realized he was investing the majority of his time prospecting, in addition to following up with service calls and underwriting requirements.

 

It was 2014 was when Steve met Rusty Westfall and was introduced to the Final Expense life insurance market.  Right away Steve saw this was exactly the niche market he had been looking for: one call close, minimal prospecting, simplified underwriting, and immediate compensation versus months after the sale. Steve was skeptical at first in that it could be as simple as Rusty had described, but agreed to come and take a closer look at this business through a seminar Rusty was hosting 4 hours away from home the following week. After attending Rusty's seminar, Steve was even more excited than before but still had his doubts.  So he requested if Rusty could take him out in the field for a day to observe firsthand how this business really works, which he ended up witnessing exactly what he was told on April 1st 2014. Everything Rusty said and everything Rusty did was just as Rusty had described to Steve.

Steve finished up that year just shy of $300,000 in annualized premium personal production. From that point on, Steve knew this was the niche market for him.

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After several years of working together, Rusty and Steve formed an equal partnership in 2018. Rusty's primary role is now agency recruiting, marketing, & agent support while Steve's primary role is agent training & development.

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1430 Washington Ave. Suite #224

St. Louis, MO 63103