3616 N. Potsdam Ave. #2660

Sioux Falls, SD  57104



Edward H. Downs Award

2019 Winner

                                                                Edward H. Downs Memorial Award (Est. 1953)

Once each year the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, South Dakota, NAIFA- SD, recognizes an advisor who is outstanding in his/her profession, has served well in the affairs of both his/her local and state associations, has been active in public service, and has been engaged in the life insurance profession for a considerable period of time.

Formerly called the Underwriter of the Year Award, at the 1966 state convention, it was decided to change the name to the Edward H. Downs Memorial Award. A past winner of the SDALU Underwriter of the Year Award, Downs had often expressed a deep sense of fulfillment as a result of his activities in the life insurance industry and his work in the local, state, and national associations.

In our profession, so many can benefit from so few if the few are properly motivated. The recipient of Edward H. Downs Memorial Award exemplifies the motivation we are seeking to nourish.

Who was Edward H. Downs?

Ed Downs, as he was known, started a career in life insurance in 1943, writing 369 life policies in his first year in the business. A top-notch personal producer, Ed was sales leader in his company, Midland National Life Insurance Company, five different times. Ed served 18 years in agency management and was a Life and Qualifying Member of the Million Dollar Round Table.

Ed was a member of his local association throughout his 20-year career. In addition to serving as SDALU President in 1947 and 1948, Ed was NALU Trustee for two terms (1951 and 1963). In 1957, he was named South Dakota Life Underwriter of the Year. Ed was a member of the General Agents and Managers Conference. He served as President of the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce for two years and was fund drive Chairman for many organizations, including the Community Chest, Red Cross and Cancer Society.

Ed served four terms in the South Dakota Senate. A Democrat in a Republican State, he was State Legislative Chairman for Life Underwriters for 10 years and was thought to be a possible gubernatorial candidate for 1966.

Ed Downs died on October 31, 1964 at the age of 57 and was survived by his wife Bessie.


John Kittelson - 2018

Timothy Dardis - 2017
Douglas Leighton - 2016
Michaele McGreevy-Lawler – 2015
Merle Wollman – 2014
Rita Wishard – 2013
Terry Anderson – 2012
Courtney Livingston – 2011
Larry Jacobson - 2010
Spencer Hawley – 2009
Peg Kvernum – 2008
Loren Boyens – 2007
Jim Waggoner – 2006
Robert French – 2005
Fred Meyer – 2003
Paul Steffen – 2002
Rex Rolfing – 2001
David Jorgenson – 2000
Lee Stoddard – 1999
Vince Brueggeman – 1998
William McGreevy – 1994
Alan Bernhagen - 1993
Dennis Jarabek – 1992
Denny Rowley – 1991
Jerome Gau – 1990
Ronald Staebell – 1988
Harvey Krautschun – 1987
Tom Dice – 1982
E Donald Iwerks – 1979
Paul K Flanagan - 1978
James Keck - 1977