Our Team is comprised of professionals dedicated to providing Advisors with the support essential to doing business.
Sam J. Kaufman, CEO
Sam Kaufman began his career in the life insurance industry in 1968 after graduating from The University of Miami and in 1973 founded Agent Support Group (then Agent Support Services), a life insurance brokerage agency. Sam built ASG into one of the first true multi-company agencies in New York. His focus on providing value-added service as well as insisting that ASG become a leader in technology allowed the company to grow to become a powerhouse and one of the largest independent life operations in the Northeast. Now, the pioneer who gave brokers their first computerized sales illustrations (Sam was one of the first in NY to even own a computer) has now pioneered the ASG Mobile App, allowing life agents the ability to do business anywhere and access the latest information in the palm of their hand. Sam has played an important role in product development and marketing and has lectured before the New York Chapter of NAIFA and the Society of Financial Service Professionals. He is a member of the NAILBA and has won numerous industry and carrier awards including lifetime achievement recognition. Sam is an established cabaret singer, having performed over the years at such venues as the Copacabana, Birdland and others, featured along with his band in two full-length CD’s and has performed for charitable benefits on numerous live TV and radio telethon broadcasts.
Jay L. Scheiner, Partner
Jay Scheiner opened the Long Island office of Agent Support Group in 1992. Previously he was a brokerage manager for Phoenix Mutual, where he led the company in sales at the dawn of survivor life. During this time Jay gained valuable large case experience designing creative life plans for businesses and estates. His areas of expertise now include assisting agents in policy review and analysis, product theory, medical and financial underwriting and advanced case design. Jay received his BA from Tulane and JD from Hofstra Law; he is a CLU and member of the New York State Bar. He frequently devotes time to teaching insurance professionals strategies to better advise their clients. Jay has served on insurance company field advisory councils; he has lectured on a broad range of topics including the use of life insurance as an asset class and the living benefits of life insurance. Jay’s writing on financial services and human interest has been featured in Broker World, Insurance News Net and Yachting Magazine. His memoir, The Promise of Kilimanjaro (with Forward by industry legend Joseph Jordan), was released in 2018 to stellar reviews. Jay has lived an adventurous existence, earning a black-belt in Karate, sailing solo 800 miles in a 19-foot boat and climbing mountains.
Gary Bleetstein, Partner
Gary Bleetstein began his career in the life insurance business in 1975 after graduating from American University. Gary, a third generation life insurance professional, followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who were legends at The Equitable (now AXA). Beginning his career at The Equitable, Gary went on to learn what he knows from the best, the Brokerage Business at National Benefit Life, American Crown Life and, for the past 20-years, working with producers and advisors in New York City. Gary specializes in providing extraordinary service with sophisticated case design, financial and medical underwriting, the jumbo marketplace and insuring foreign nationals. A prolific writer, Gary has published articles in Broker World on assisting advisors with jumbo cases and utilizing hand held technology to enhance life sales. He has served in many capacities on several carrier advisor and management committees, served on the board of directors of NAILBA, is active in AALU and was the 2007 Honoree for the NYC Life Insurance Division of the United Jewish Appeal. Gary holds Series 6, 63 & 24 FINRA licenses. He is an expert skier, a beach aficionado and enjoys his family, friends and rock & roll.
Mark Milbrod, CLU Sales Vice President
Mark Milbrod joined Agent Support Group in 2014. With over 29 years of experience in the insurance industry, Mark began his career with Prudential as a District Agent. Later, he moved on to home office positions with MONY and MetLife. While at MetLife, Mark provided various layers of marketing support to the field offices and was responsible for development and training. When he became the Director of Marketing at MetLife Brokerage in Princeton, NJ, Mark knew the brokerage end of the business was where he would excel. With passion matching his experience, Mark helped producers open new doors and realize new revenue sources. He sees himself as an insurance producer first and knows what it is like to walk in the shoes of his brokers, understanding what it takes to close a sale. Mark has been a featured speaker at numerous industry events and is the author of the popular blog, Mark’s Barks. Mark earned his Chartered Life Underwriter designation from The American College. An avid sports fan, Mark’s passions include the New York Yankees, the New York Giants and the New Jersey Devils. He volunteers his time coaching youth sports and as a parent leader in the Boy Scouts of America organization.
Tom Little – Sales Support Specialist NYC and Westchester
Tom entered the industry in 1979 during the “buy term, invest the difference” era and joined ASG in 1983. This coincided with the introduction of Universal Life to the NY market. It was natural for Tom to embrace the changing marketplace and become the presentation and case design specialist for all types of individual life insurance. Tom is keenly aware of the urgency of providing advisor’s solutions and is very responsive to requests for product illustrations. He understands the day to day workings of a multi-company brokerage agency, training and back office support and has been instrumental in the growth and expansion of Agent Support Group. Outside of insurance, Tom is a golf enthusiast and USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professional who enjoys spending time with his family.
Julie Zaremba – Sales Support Specialist Long Island
Julie Zaremba joined Agent Support Group in 2016 as Brokerage Specialist. Julie has over 30 years in the insurance industry. She is a former partner of a multi-company General Agency, and has a strong history in life brokerage, having started her career at U.S. Trust Company, Drexel Burnham Lambert and New York Life. Julie holds a New York State Life, Accident & Health Insurance License. Her experience and knowledge of both sides of the sale make her a valued asset to our organization and ASG Advisors. Some of Julie’s responsibilities include life and annuity case design, product illustrations as well as medical and financial underwriting and processing of new business. Julie currently resides in Sea Cliff, NY with her wife, Irene.
Michelle DellaPia – Sales & E-App Specialist for all ASG offices
Michelle joined ASG in Nov. 2017 as a Brokerage Specialist and Electronic Processing working with our advisors to guide them with how drop ticket and e-app can better expedite their sales, accelerate underwriting, and enhance the overall client experience. Michelle also provides sales support to our advisors.
Michelle graduated from the University of Delaware where she studied Fitness Management. Previously she worked for 10 years at an insurance brokerage firm as an Internal Wholesaler and later being promoted to Senior Sales Associate. In her roles she provided high level sales and operational support to internal sales representatives and their advisors. Michelle holds a NJ Life, Accident & Health License.
Michelle enjoys the beach, outdoor activities and spending time with her dog.
Jennifer Cannella, New Business Manager-Westchester & New Jersey
Jennifer joined ASG in 2002. Previously, she worked for two years as a Case Manager for a group of advisors/brokers focusing on financial planning and life insurance. Jen holds a New York State Life, Accident & Health License. At ASG, Jennifer began as a Case Manager and was later promoted to Senior Case Manager in 2006. Her responsibilities expanded to also include overseeing new business for our New Jersey business. Jennifer is skilled in the organization of and fast responses to trials, quick-quotes and can handle the most complex multi-company-submission application. Jennifer enjoys spending time with her husband and son and bike riding and hiking in the beautiful Hudson Valley.
Dr. Theodore Goldberg
ASG’s own cardiologist is on board to review medical histories and assist in getting the best possible underwriting results. Just ask Dr. Ted.
Maggie Arambarry – Director of Underwriting
Maggie joined Agent Support Group in 2007. She attended Hunter College, where she majored in Psychology. Maggie has over 20 years of specialized life underwriting and new business experience. Her area of expertise include assisting insurance advisors with medical underwriting as well as guiding them through the medical and financial underwriting process. Having participated in some of the largest individual insurance plans written over the past five years, Maggie can help direct underwriting from the most simple to jumbo life cases. Outside of insurance she enjoys card making and gardening and is an avid reader. Maggie lives in Staten Island, NY with her husband and daughter.
Eileen LaVigne – New Business Manager – Long Island
Eileen joined Agent Support Group in 2000 and her journey has taken her through all aspects of case management, from contracting to medical underwriting. She is a New York State licensed life, accident and health agent. From start to finish, Long Island producers benefit from Eileen’s personalized attention, continuous communication through the entire underwriting process, and unmatched responsiveness to each inquiry. Her medical underwriting expertise and personal connections with ASG’s carriers enable her to push every case for the best possible coverage and pricing. Outside of the insurance world, Eileen enjoys every kind of beach related activity including kayaking and volleyball.