Meet a Mom: Heidi VanWagenen - Greater Lansing Area Moms

This week we are happy to introduce Heidi VanWagenen.  This Meet a Mom is the Branch Sales Manager and Financial Representative who oversees both the Ann Arbor and Lansing locations of Bankers Life.  Learn about this mom of 2, how she empowers her kiddos with their own decision making and some helpful information about Bankers Life.

Welcome to Greater Lansing Area Moms, Heidi!

Please introduce yourself, where are you from, where do you reside now?
My name is Heidi VanWagenen.  I am from Fort Wayne, IN originally but have lived in the Lansing area most of my life.  My husband, Greg, and I currently live in Okemos with our two kids, Leah (7) and Owen (4).

What do you think is one of the best parts about being a mom? 
Everything about it is wonderful.  My tiny humans are the best part of my life!  

Best piece of advice for someone with younger children that you wish you would have known when your kids were younger?
I received two pieces of advice when I first had my daughter:  Forget about a schedule and just enjoy your baby and the only thing your baby needs is a happy and healthy mommy.

We understand that you work at Bankers Life and oversee both the Ann Arbor and Lansing (Okemos) Bankers Life locations and prior to this position, what did you do for Bankers Life?
I was a unit field trainer and Financial Advisor.

And you have done retirement planning for almost 10 years  – tell us just a little about what retirement planning this entails.
Here at Bankers we take a wholistic approach to retirement.  We work to ensure all the major areas of your retirement are covered including healthcare, long term/extended care coverage, final expense planning, and retirement income and investments.  Filling in the gaps in all areas eliminates the likelihood of unexpected surprises. 

If someone reading has not yet planned for retirement, what would you suggest they do first? 
Reach out to a Bankers Life office to receive their initial consultation with one of our licensed professionals.

Would you share about your position on the Women’s Leadership National Committee (WLNC) and what are the goals/mission of the WLNC?
I run the Mentorship program for the WLNC.  We work to create a community where like-minded, ambitious women have a network to share ideas and best practices.

Did you stay busy during COVID?   And how did it change during COVID?
We went into lockdown just like everyone else.  I will say that Bankers Life handled the impossible situation beautifully.  Our company not only had us equipped with all of the tools to run a virtual business within days of the shutdown they also set up a fund to help our home office and field members with financial support and went as far as to waive premiums and deductibles for clients who faced Covid hardships.   

How do you juggle work with being a mom?  
How do any of us do it?  You just do it.  When I am with my family I work to be as present in the moment as possible to give them my utmost attention.

Here are a couple questions for GLAMom’s to get to know you better 🙂  

Can’t live without skincare or makeup products?
I am not huge into make up but I am pretty picky about hair care.  I love Aveda and Chi.

Last book you read?
I just finished Matthew McConaughey’s book “Green Lights” and I am currently reading “The Best of Me” – David Sedaris (he is hilarious)!

If you watch television, your current binge shows?
Alone and AGT with the kids

Strangest thing in the console of your car right now?

What did you want to be when you grew up?

What do you do to enjoy you (me) time?
Hike with my dog Eve (daily)

Favorite travel destination during summer break?
We have some family property in Gladwin, MI on a couple lakes.  It is an amazing place for family to come together.  

Favorite summertime treat?
Michigan Craft Beer!  Oberon season!  Or Blue moon ice cream.

Coffee or tea? 
Coffee all day.

Best piece of advice for a woman starting out in the financial industry in 2021?
Fail and fail again.  The mother of all success comes through failing forward and experience.

Mind sharing a mom trick another mom will be happy to learn? 
When my kids are struggling, I try to empower them and give them an opportunity to make a choice and usually they make the right choice.  I feel it is important for them to be independent. 

How readers connect with you if they would like more information?
[email protected]
Bankers Life website
Bankers Life Facebook (an excellent resource)
Photo credit: Marcie Kay Photography

Do you know someone who would make a great Meet a Mom feature?  Send us a message and we will take it from there [email protected]

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