American Income Life SGA of the Year: Simon Arias

American Income Life SGA Simon Arias

President Scott Smith calls American Income Life’s SGA of the Year, Simon Arias, “Cannonball,” not because of his trademark shiny dome, but because “you need to get out of the way of a cannonball, or you will get seriously hurt. A cannonball cannot be denied, and Simon will not be denied either.”

Simon grew up on the rough side of Youngstown, Ohio, and credits the influence of his mom and grandmother for helping him stay (mostly) on the right path. He came to American Income Life straight out of Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvania, where he played football. Simon was enticed to join AIL by his first Company mentor in Ohio, Marcus Smith (Surace-Smith Agencies). “Marcus was so successful, professional, and caring at such a young age I wanted to be just like him,” recalls Simon.

Simon also loved the financial and advancement opportunities offered at American Income Life, which allowed him to build a $1 million home for himself at age 27 and buy his mother a car and a fully furnished home in Florida. “Financial independence and absolutely loving what I do,” says Simon, “make me feel like I don’t work a day in my life. I genuinely love what I do and the people I have the privilege to lead and work with.”

And they feel the same way about him. American Income Life CEO Roger Smith says, “I’ve never experienced anything quite as heartwarming and emotional as the reaction of Simon’s people when I announced that he was SGA of the Year. They were cheering, some were crying. They were so proud and happy to be a part of his success. That’s what it’s all about. That’s how you spot a great leader.”

You won’t find a more humble, down-to-earth, good natured – yet intense – individual than Simon Arias. “Want to motivate Simon? Tell him he can’t do something,” says Scott Smith. Roger Smith agrees, adding, “Within 5 minutes of meeting him, you know exactly what he stands for: God, family, loyalty, integrity, helping people. It’s who he is.”

Simon is on a mission “to show others how to take advantage of this opportunity. Show others it’s possible to overcome adversity. Show others you can be cool, don’t have to be perfect, to still follow God. To stay humble and never forget those who helped me get to where I am or where I came from. This isn’t just about me; my agency deserves the credit, my leaders.”

Simon holds American Income Life  Company records for being the fastest to reach $100,000 a week in sales and for being the youngest State General Agent in Company history at age 24. He has been an Executive Council member three years in a row, and his team won AIL’s March Madness production competition for two consecutive years.

American Income Life SGA of the YearHere is what Simon says:

  • “Thoughts become words become actions. Proverbs 29:18 says, ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish.’ Think small, you get small. Expand your thinking – dream so big, people think you’re crazy.”
  • “It’s not about your title or your (level of) contract. It’s about influence. We all have the power to influence people.”
  • “I am blessed to have the opportunity to give the Opportunity, and it’s all because I took the leap of faith.”
  • “When I was getting started, I knew I didn’t want to take the lumps, so I kind of forced myself to be mentored. I started hanging out with mentors like Jim Surace, Marcus Smith, Scott Smith, Eric Giglione. I really didn’t give them a choice; I basically bothered them into helping me. I listened and ran with their advice. I learned from their experience, what they had already done.”
  • “My core team has been together for long enough now and everything meshed – came together – for us in 2011. But if I had to attribute last year’s success to just one thing, it would be recruiting. Personal recruiting is key: 70% of my MGAs are personal recruits that have been with me since the beginning.”


What other American Income Life State General Agents & the President say about Simon’s success:

“Congratulations, Simon, on an incredible year! You’ve set the bar high. It’s hard to believe what you’ve accomplished in such a short period of time. I know you have not scratched the surface of what you will achieve in the years to come. Congratulations again, and thanks for showing us all what can happen if you work hard and dream big!”

Fred Hadayia, American Income Life, Philadelphia (PA)

“Simon, you are obsessed with success and have the drive to execute your vision. I am so proud of the success you have achieved with your leadership team for yourselves and your agency. I’m excited to work beside you and you’ve always been there for me, so thank you. I love you, brother, and together with the entire Pappas agency, I salute and congratulate the great achievements in 2011, and there is more to come. Congratulations!”

Theo Pappas, National Income Life, New York


“There are not many in the world like Simon, that can walk in and lead with a plethora of enthusiasm, passion, intelligence, goodness, maximum effort, wisdom & spirituality, tenaciousness, intensity – uh, bears saying twice on this one – INTENSITY… all at the same time. An American Income Life super hero he is. Congrats, Simon. I am very proud of the man, leader and example you have become.”

Jim Surace, American Income Life, Ohio

“There couldn’t be a more worthy and deserving  SGA to be recognized among his peers as our Company’s MVP. Humble, honest, driven, competitive, winner, heart of a lion, eye of the tiger, God-fearing and God-serving are just a few words that come in mind when thinking of Simon. You are the complete package in every facet. To the SGA of the Year and to my best friend: I love you and I am so proud of you. Thank you for being the perfect example of what true leadership is.”

Marcus Smith, American Income Life, Ohio

“While Simon possesses a ton of talent, he has worked very hard for what he has achieved. As an SGA, he has totally rewritten the record book. His attributes include being humble, a high sense of loyalty, a commitment to personal improvement and a fiercely competitive drive. Most of all, those on his team understand that he truly cares for their success.”

Scott Smith, President and Chief Marketing Officer of American Income Life

About Mark Ting

Mark Ting is a Staff Writer at Torchmark Corporation, writing about American Income Life and National Income Life Insurance Companies. Google+

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