SOUTH FLORIDA – As we celebrate Caribbean American Heritage Month, Miami Carnival spotlights their Board Member Gilda Swasey.
Q: What is your backstory?
A: I was born in the beautiful county of Belize, Central America. I am the daughter of a farmer and the 5th child of 9. I graduated from Belize Teachers College. I taught school in Belize for the Seventh Day Adventist and the government of Belize. I started a school call Biscayne in Belize, with the assistance of my father Geoffrey and brother Norman.
We began with 37 students and now have over 100 students. I was a pioneer school teacher for the Belmopan Junior School when the capital was moved inland to Belmopan because of flooding from hurricanes.
I migrated to the United States, NY then CA at age 21. I earned my fellow designation, LUTCF from the American College. Did Radio and Television broadcasting at the Colombia School of Broadcasting in Hollywood, CA.
Hosted Caribbean Connection Radio show in CA and Your Hour of Power for WAVS 1170 in Florida.
I started my Insurance Career as a manager at the Thomas Kline Insurance Agency in Beverly Hill, CA.
I then opened my own agency, Hill Insurance and Annuity Services in Glendale, CA, where we housed 50 brokers.
When I relocated to South Florida in 1992, I continued in this business working for companies like Western and Southern Life and AIG as manager and then recruiter Trainer.
After a few months in retirement in 2017, I decided that I could continue doing what I loved by mentoring and training up and coming insurance agents. I launched Access Life Financial in that same year.
Because of the relationships, I have been fortunate enough to build over the years, recruiting agents to my agency was a smooth and easy process. Once agents were made aware of Access Life Financial, they joined the agency.
I currently have 45 brokers at Access Life Financial.
Q: The most challenging part of being an entrepreneur?
A: Not having enough hours in the day to work with new agents who need you.
Q: Most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur?
A: Seeing agents grow and become successful, earning a living at the same time helping families protect their loved ones in the event of death or critical, chronic or terminal illness, planning their retirement, college funding, mortgage protection or simply replacing income. Watching them cross the stage at conventions to receive awards they work so hard to achieve and knowing you had a hand in it.
Q: Favorite Social media channel?
Q: Favorite book?
A: “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” by Aaron Ralston, whom I had the chance to meet personally.
Q: Favorite quote?
A: Make your life a masterpiece, imagine no limitations on what you can be or do. Brian Tracy. I try to instill this in my daughter and my granddaughters and anyone who looks up to me for advice.
Miami Carnival will be held on Sunday, October 13th.