Employee Recognition Recipients

2018 Recipients

December - Pang Xiong

Pang first joined DBS in the summer of 2006 on the FASTerm Team.  She spent 9 years with us as a Case Manager & Team Lead.  She left for just over 2 years where she spent some time at home & gained carrier experience.  We were very happy to welcome her back to DBS in Dec. of 2017 as a Trad Team Case Manager.

Pang continues to wow our customers with superior service.  One Advisor’s nomination noted, “Pang is an excellent case manager. I am lucky to have her as a partner who has helped me throughout all underwriting cases with knowledge and competency. I am lucky to have her as my case manager.”

Pang is also consistently recognized by her co-workers for her patience and ability to stay calm under even the most stressful of situations.  One wrote, “Pang stepped in to process requirements for a time sensitive VUL policy. She treated this case with a sense of urgency right out of the gate as it had to be placed by 12/31 to secure LFG’s Enhanced VUL Underwriting Program.  She even talked directly to the client to walk her thru the requirements & premium payment options. At every step Pang was cool, calm, and professional during a very stressful process. The client sent back the Delivery Requirements the same day we sent them to the Advisor.  Her final act was to send an email to all interested parties at Lincoln to put the policy in force on 12/28.   The Advisor even said “I never thought we would get this done in time. I guess I better start believing in miracles! This is one!”

Pang is originally from Michigan and lives with her husband Kong Lee and son Ayden in St. Paul. She enjoys spending time with her family, whether taking in a movie or helping with the myriad of celebration feasts and get-togethers. Pang was chosen from a total of 14 employee and advisor nominations.

November - Syeda Ally

This is Syeda’s 2nd Employee of the Month win for 2018, and 3rd since she joined DBS in May of 2017. She started on our Support & Services Team and was quickly promoted to a FASTerm Case Management role where she immediately made a positive impact.

Syeda was nominated by her manager, noting:

“Syeda has been a rock for the FASTerm Team over the last several months, but especially while we had a team member out on leave. She stepped up and took on a leadership role, without title, to ensure everyone on her team was successful and our customers had the best possible experience. Not only did she help with work flows and escalations, but she acted as a mentor and positive role model to her team and everyone within DBS – all with a smile on her face! I don’t know what we would have done without her.”

Speaking of that smile, she was also nominated by another coworker:

“Syeda is amazing and always helps with a smile. She is always helping others even when she may have a million different things to get done.”

Syeda is originally from Bangladesh, where her parents still live. She likes to travel to visit her sister in Chicago every chance she can. Syeda moved to Minnesota 5 years ago to attend school and joined DBS after graduation. We are so blessed to have her as a part of our family!

October - Alison Bagwill

Alison joined DBS just over 10 years ago as a Trad Case Manager after spending time at a carrier and in an advisor’s office.  She came to DBS with global industry experience which has served DBS and our customers well over the years.

Alison is often the go to help with the onboarding of our new team members across all departments due to her Sr. Case Management experience and knowledge of how Case Management partners best with other departments. 

She is also known for her caring heart.  Recently a co-worker spoke of a call they heard Alison on where she was working with an Advisor who was having a family issue.  She let our Advisor know to go be with his family and “I’ve got this for you”.  They further pointed out, “She is always good with our Advisors, but this amount of care blew me away.  I am sure he was appreciative he did not have to worry about anything other than his family and we had his back for his pending business.”

Not only do her co-workers recognize for her contributions but one of our Advisors commented, “IF FORGOT TO TELL YOU THAT YOU ARE THE MOST AMAZING PERSON WE GET TO WORK WITH AND WE ARE MOST GRATEFUL OF ALL THAT YOU DO FOR US AND OUR CLIENTS! :‐)

Seriously Alison, we are extremely grateful for all that you do for us, having over 5yrs as an internal wholesaler, I personally have an idea what you do and go through daily and greatly appreciate you helping us always!”

Alison lives in Mounds View with her husband Rick, 12 year old daughter Ava & Aussie-Poo puppy, Sedona.  She is very active with walking Sedona every morning, doing yoga, being Ava’s Girl Scouts Leader and fan watching Volleyball and other activities.  She is a regular volunteers for animal non-profit organizations such as the Walk for Animals and Ava’s school.

Alison was chosen out of 15 employee & customer nominations.  Please join us in congratulating her for a much deserved Employee of the Month for October.

September - Sara Lloyd

Sara joined the DBS team in March of 2018 and has been an incredibly strong member of the Inforce Support & Services department from day ONE. She anticipates the needs of others and provides outstanding service to all our customers. She is positive, calming, and has a willingness to learn.

Here are a few things her customers had to say about her about an inforce case:

“Thank you so much for your efforts to resolve this case. You have been a huge help. I don’t think we could have done it without you! Kari and I are so appreciative. Your follow‐through, professionalism and commitment to customer service is stellar!”

This stellar service has been showcased in our Ameriprise PULSE newsletter which is read by our biggest national account. Well done!

Sara is Minnesota raised and her family currently lives in St. Louis Park. She is an avid reader and has shared her love for reading with her daughter Scarlett. She enjoys going to see the latest movies with her husband Frank. They have a “chuggle” named Parker who has a strange fixation with towels… you will have to connect with her to hear those fun stories.

We are blessed to have her be a part of our team! Sara actively nominates others for Employee of the Month and was nominated over 4 other employees in September. 

Congratulations, Sara on this achievement!

August - Eric Johnson

Eric joined DBS in June of 2017 as the Field Relationship Manager in the Northeast. You may remember him as the first FRM to introduce himself to all of you via video earlier this year. He came to us as a referral from one of our carriers. That, by the way, is quite a compliment – when a carrier offers one of their best and brightest to DBS. He was an internal wholesaler for one of the Prudential Wholesalers who serves Edward Jones, a broker-dealer. In that role, he did work similar to what our CDAs do by supporting products from six carriers (Prudential plus 5 others). That positioned him to be ready to represent a multi-carrier platform like ours.

Since his arrival, Eric has exhibited a level of enthusiasm and confidence that has caused him to experience significant growth in the position in a relatively short period of time. He’s held the number one position in the FRM growth trophy all year.

A co-worker said this about Eric. “He is always positive and has a great attitude. He’s always eager to help and learn. In fact, he came in a day early for the 50th-anniversary festivities to help with preparations wherever he could and sat with a couple case managers to see what all we do. Eric is great to have on the DBS team. And, He’s teaching his young daughter to waterski already, which is very cool!” (She’s three!)

Eric lives in Hartford, Connecticut with his wife Erin and daughter Quinn, and it is on good authority that Quinn is excited that she is going to be a big sister in early 2019!

July - Terri Getman

Terri Getman is a nationally recognized lecturer, author, and advisor to financial representatives who provide advice to families and privately-held business owners across the United States. Terri received her undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary, and her juris doctorate from Drake University Law School. Terri is also a member of the Iowa legal bar. Prior to joining DBS as our Business Development Director, Terri spent ten years as Vice President of Advanced Sale at Prudential.

Terri’s impact is felt deeply by all those in the industry. According to one glowing Employee of the Month nomination… “The commitment that Terri makes to the advanced sales space is significant and not always apparent, as most of her support is provided remotely (before and after hours I must add). Not many BGAs have such a resource, and I have to believe its a significant tipping point for an advisor when they are assessing the possibility of a relationship with DBS.”

When she isn’t busy acting as an industry champion, mentoring young professionals, cracking tough cases, or working closely with our Case Design, Underwriting, and Sales teams, Terri enjoys the yields of impressive garden that she shares with her husband. They split their time between Minnesota and Arizona, and Terri has a deeply seated passion for travelling. She and her husband share their home with their two cats, Love and Cuddles.

Congratulations, Terri!

June - Syeda Ally

Syeda joined DBS in May of 2017 and has been an incredibly strong member of the New Business department from day one. She anticipates the needs of others and provides outstanding service to all of our customers. She is a joyful and helpful person, which has led to her recent promotion to a FASTerm Case Manager position.

Syeda comes in each day ready to wow our customers, and according to one of the coworkers who nominated her: “Syeda always has a positive attitude and is willing to help anyone with any situation. We have had a lot of upheaval this month on the team and she has tackled every day with a smile. She tries very hard to handle every customer situation with great care and does whatever she can to answer their questions, but isn’t afraid to bounce questions off the rest of the team for help when necessary. She is a rockstar!”

According to another coworker: “Syeda has been such a strength for the DBS team. Last week was difficult for our team, but she was such a hard worker and I truly appreciate working with her. She was training others, taking calls, and working on other case managers’ cases as well as her own work.”

Syeda lives in Minneapolis. She is originally from Bangladesh, where her parents still live, and she enjoys traveling to visit her sister in Chicago. Syeda moved to Minnesota fours years ago to attend school and after she graduated, she joined the DBS family. We are blessed to have her here at DBS!

Syeda was chosen from a total of 11 employee nominations. This is her 2nd EOTM WIN! Congratulations, Syeda!

May - Jesse Sigrist

This is Jesse’s THIRD Employee of the Month win! He joined DBS in 2005 and has been a Case Manager on the Trad Team since August of 2014. Jesse continues to challenge the norm in providing feedback and solutions on ways to better utilize our systems for greater efficiencies, many of which we have implemented and use on a daily basis.

Jesse consistently gets high marks from our customers. One Advisor commented, “Jesse helped us on a case for one of our clients where there was a lot of moving parts. He kept us informed and provided direction when needed.” Another noted, “We appreciate Jesse’s prompt and thorough service! Very Satisfied!”

Not only does he get recognition from our customers but he also gets praise from those he works with here at DBS. One co-worker’s nomination said, “Jesse exhibited exceptional case management skills. He understood this was important to me and to DBS, and he made it happen! We couldn’t have done it without him. In my opinion he’s our team MVP!”

Jesse lives in New Hope with his wife Gina and their two beautiful daughters Ella and Arianna. As a matter of fact, they live right next door to the house Gina grew up in! Ella just turned 6 and recently finished her first year of kindergarten home schooling. Life at the Sigrist household is happy and often interesting, illustrated by a recent story Jesse shared:

 The other night the girls were pretending to be hermit crabs with some boxes on their backs in the living room. I happened ot hear this from Ella talking to Ariana: “How’s it going? See any predators around?”

(Ella has always been known for her casual and often humorous use of more advanced vocabulary for her age!) Ariana will be turning 3 in July, enjoys Legos, and copies everything big sister does. They are like two peas in a pod!

Jesse is very active in his local church and enjoys time with his family. He is also a gifted photographer, guitarist and gardener. In fact, his own produce helped make his winning salsa for this year’s DBS Cinco De Mayo salsa contest. 

April - Kelly Barrett

Kelly Barrett joined DBS in June of 2014 as a Data Entry Specialist on our then Application Team. She was promoted to the FASTerm Case Management team in August of 2016 and immediately started making a positive impact.

Kelly has always shown an incredible sense of urgency that is recognized by our customers. One Advisor commented, “Having worked with Kelly for the past years, I wanted to take a moment to express my appreciation with the quality of her effort, follow- up and general patience! Kelly has taken great care to ensure our respective clients are attended to and our business proceedings run smoothly.”

Another wrote, “Kelly Barrett is awesome!!! Great sense of urgency along with TREMENDOUS and courteous follow up.” 

She is also highly thought of amongst her peers. One co-worker who nominated her said, “Kelly is a great case manager and a great co-worker! I always know when she is managing a case of mine that I don’t have to worry about the things that may send the case the wrong way. She is able to think outside the box and find the right solution.” These are just 3 comments of the 8 nominations she received this month!

Kelly lives in St. Louis Park with her dog Sunny. She is an avid Minnesota sports fan and also enjoys volunteering her time to several local charities. In fact, she’s been volunteering at Fort Snelling since 2015 and will there to volunteer all three days of the Memorial Day holiday weekend. She also goes to leave flowers for graves as well. Her support of the military is very important to her.

March - Jessica Malmquist

Jessica Malmquist has been a valued DBS employee since 2010, when she started as part of the FASTerm team. In 2011 Jessica joined the commissions team, and with Dawn recently out on maternity leave, she’s been handling the commission side of things all by herself, almost as a team of one.

Jessica continuously has a positive attitude and gives everyone she comes in contact with the absolute best customer service. One of her nominations noted that she always puts herself in the agent’s shoes, and it shows on a daily basis how much she cares about our customers.

Another nomination from an advisor says it all: “We have had a relationship with DBS for a long time. I have worked with Jessica numerous times and every time I call or email, there is always a quick response and I appreciate that. Jessica is always nice and pleasant to work with. Thank you for all you do and for having wonderful Customer Service!”

Commissions is an important issue for our customers, and with some recent ongoing issues with some of our carriers, Jessica has maintained her calm composure and has given customers the answers they need. She always has a smile on her face and her co-workers regularly recognize her for being dependable, happy & engaged with everyone she works with. She is truly a great “go-to” resource at DBS.


February - Laura Thompson

Laura joined the DBS team in the fall of 2011 on a part-time basis and it wasn’t long before she was asked to join the team as our Marketing Media Specialist. Laura is involved with almost all DBS marketing and communication efforts, including the weekly newsletter with Terri’s articles, broker kits and advisor education pieces, website development, internal communication including the DBS Employee website, social media efforts and more.

Any of you who have interacted with Laura know that she always goes above and beyond and is a true team player. She has worked with every department, and enjoys being given the opportunity to learn the new skills that are often necessary for a particular project. She also enjoys getting to use her creative side and is a firm believer in doing the best job possible not for the sake of recognition but because that’s just how she approaches life.

Laura consistently receives accolades from co-workers and advisors and is no stranger to Employee of the month, Laura was also Employee of the month in November 2014, October 2015, February 2017, and earned the title of employee of the year in 2015. In her spare time Laura plays piano and violin, playing both in a band and violin for weddings, and also enjoys gardening, cooking, being with her family, and spending time with good friends.

January - Susan Traff

Susan joined DBS in January of 2014 and has been an incredible member of the DBS family ever since. She has flourished and grown in her duties since joining the Application Team and LEADS the team in positivity. Susan takes on a high volume each day with grace and excellence. She shows a commitment to DBS and our customers with the high level of attention she gives to each of her tasks.

Another employee mentioned, “Susan is consistently positive even with change going on around her. She is eager to help and never bats an eye to do so. She has been a breath of fresh air to all around her.

Susan lives in Long Lake with her husband Bill and their son Phillip. She is active in several research boards for autism and loves to spend time and take care of her family. Susan was chosen from 7 employee nominations and 3 agent nominations. Congratulations Susan on this wonderful accomplishment!

One of her co-workers who nominated her said, “Susan comes into work every day with such a warm and bright attitude. Not only does she do her job exceptionally well, but she is always willing to extend a hand to help wherever she could. Her ultimate strengths are her precision to details and patience when working under stressful circumstances. I have not once seen Susan frustrated, but instead always keeping an optimistic vibe. She is definitely DBS’ hidden gem and well deserving of employee of the month.”

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