red lighthouse off the coast of Michigan

Our Team

Vincent Spaniolo, CLU®, ChFC®

Managing Partner

Vince is the Managing Partner of the Michigan General Office, which is a multi-location, 100+ employee insurance and investment agency in the Greater Michigan area. He is a seasoned professional with over 20 years of financial services experience and 2 advanced industry designations.

After running a successful financial services practice for 4 years, he found his “true calling” by entering into leadership in 2001. Since then he has personally recruited, trained, and/or worked with 100 Insurance Agents and Financial Advisors to assist them with the growth and development of their practice, many of whom now run some of the most respected and successful financial services practices in the region. Vince is a graduate from Western Michigan University where he studied Finance. He and his wife, Amy, have three children and live in Hudsonville, MI.

headshot of Daniel Pardy

Daniel Pardy


Dan joined New York Life in September 2018. He began his insurance career directly out of college. Dan has over 36 years of industry experience. He earned a bachelor's degree in Business and Marketing from Oakland University as well as an associate degree in Business Administration and Operations from Kirtland College. In addition to working in the insurance industry Dan spent five years on the Madison Heights Police Reserves where he was awarded a medal for valor. When not working Dan loves to be on the water. He has a vacation home at Higgins Lake, MI. In addition, he enjoys visiting different beaches around the United States. His favorite beach is at Hilton Head, South Carolina. Dan, his wife Sheryl, and their daughter Tatiana live in Lyon Twp., Michigan where he is a diehard fan of all four of Detroit's professional sports teams. He drinks a lot of Lions Kool-Aid!

"Wake up each morning with determination to go to bed with satisfaction" George Lorimer

John Smith Headshot March 12 2024

John L. Smith Jr.


John L Smith developed a knack for sales at a very young age.  At the tender age of 10 John started selling scented candles door to door. He won second prize a (Timex watch). He’d found his first love. Although awkward he knew being a salesman was in his blood.

John Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication from Jones International University and studied Organizational Psychology Master’s Program from Western Advance Colleges.  He served 12 years active duty in the United States Army where he earned the rank of a senior Non-Commission Officer, 22 years of services total.  He has trained and mentored hundreds of soldiers under his command as platoon Sgt. He is also a decorated war veteran.  After the military he worked as a sales agent for Art van stores and was quickly elevated to sales manager and director of training.

John Smith joined New York Life Insurance company in October 2017, after 12 years of industry experience with a Fortune 500 company called Citigroup the parent company of Primerica Financial services. During his tenure with Primerica, John and his Partners operated three satellite offices in three different states. John was regionally recognized as one of the top regional recruiting managers of 2007 and 2008.

In early 2023 John became the Market Director of Grand Rapids in Michigan for Thrivent Financial. In 2024 Mr. Smith returned to New York Life as part of the executive team and Partner.   

John lives with his wife and business partner of 31 years, Jeri A Smith. Together they have raised 4 Children: Jawhan (28), Devaughn (31), Desire (29), and Dominique (28).


John’s Mission Statement:

“Serve with humility and faith. While mentoring a new generation of professional sale leaders.”

Craig A. Potter, CLU®, ChFC®, CLF®

Senior Development Manager

Craig started his career in Financial Services with New York Life in 2007. After earning multiple Life Insurance sales awards as a part of the Michigan General Office New Organization, he became a three time Council qualifier as an established agent. Craig is a lifelong resident of Cedar Springs, MI with his wife Heather and their two children, Daniel and Lenora.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Aquinas College where he was a member of the Cross Country and Track & Field Teams earning “All-Region” honors in Cross Country in 2002. Craig is currently a Senior Development Manager in the Michigan General Office and has earned his Chartered Life Underwriter ® and Chartered Financial Consultant® designation from the American College. He is a Registered Investment Advisor with Eagle Strategies and is licensed as a Limited Principal.

Chip Whalen, FLMI, ACS

Corporate Vice President - General Office Administration

Chip started with New York Life Insurance Company in June 1994. He currently supervises 8 staff members in 3 locations and provides administrative support to 100 agents and 9 managers. Prior to coming to the Michigan General Office, Chip worked in the New York Life Offices in Detroit, MI, Philadelphia, PA, Lawrenceville, NJ and at the New York Life Home Office in New York. Chip graduated from Ferris State University with a degree in Business Administration. Chip and his wife, Amy, have been married for 20 years and reside in Ada with their son Jonah.

Eric W. Deems, AAMS

Agency Standards Director

Eric is a Senior Associate, Director of Agency Standards and provides field operations and supervision support to the Michigan based field offices of New York Life. Eric was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan and has worked in finance for the past 7 years including roles in both supervision and wealth management. Eric is a graduate of Aquinas College with a focus in business administration. He is a veteran of the United States Army, including one tour of duty in Baghdad, Iraq. Eric enjoys spending time with his wife, Lisa, traveling the world, and working on his motorcycle.