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, Principal
Jay Scheiner opened Agent Support Group’s Long Island office in December, 1992. Previously he was a brokerage manager for Phoenix Life, where he became the leading representative nationally. This was during the infancy of survivor life, where Jay gained valuable large case experience designing creative life plans for businesses and estates. His areas of expertise includes assisting agents in policy review and analysis, product theory, medical and financial underwriting and advanced case design. He has served on several insurance company field advisory councils, helping to strengthen and develop products and communicate with their distribution partners. Jay received his BA from Tulane and his JD from Hofstra Law. As a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and member of the New York State Bar, he believes that educating insurance professionals is a calling he takes seriously and he has lectured before agent groups on a broad range of topics including the use of life insurance as an asset class and the living benefits of life insurance. Outside of insurance Jay has lived an adventurous existence, earning a black-belt in Karate, sailing solo 800 miles in a 19-foot boat and climbing to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Gary Bleetstein, Principal
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, Principal
Mark Milbrod joined Agent Support Group in 2014, opening ASG’s New Jersey office in Edison, New Jersey. 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 – Brokerage Manager 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.
David Tornabene – Brokerage Manager and Annuity Sales Coordinator
David has a colorful past. Born in DC to a White House correspondent and a math teacher, David went through an engineering program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and then worked for the Department of Energy on a special anti-terrorist task force. When the funding for the program was diverted elsewhere, David ended up in NYC to pursue a career in acting and writing. Eschewing the usual route from restaurant to restaurant followed by many in that career, he went to a financial career expo and joined Prudential as an insurance agent. David joined ASG in 2002. He is adept in marketing and support and has become a valuable part of the case presentation and illustration team, with special emphasis on annuity products. David has never lost his love for the stage and participates and produces theater productions whenever possible.
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 Office
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.
Michael Inserra – New Jersey Internal Sales Manager LTC/DI Case Design for all ASG offices
Michael joined ASG in 2013. Drawing on over 25 years of insurance and financial services experience, he is responsible for developing relationships with independent financial professionals and conducting sales support activities with new and established advisors. His goal is to understand the business of each advisor and find opportunities to assist in growing that business. Previously, Michael was with Associated Life Brokerage and Transamerica. Michael holds an LUTCF designation and is skilled in the areas of insurance and financial planning. He brings valuable field and home office experience to ASG. In his leisure time, Michael is an aspiring guitarist, enjoys all sports has coached both basketball and football. His volunteer work includes the Red Cross and Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.
Jennifer Cannella – New Business Manager – Westchester and 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. When ASG opened the New Jersey office her responsibilities expanded to include overseeing new business in our Edison office as well. 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.