ASCEND - Agency Growth & Leadership Summit
January 9-12, 2020, Grapevine, TX

About Us

About Ascend

Created for the owners & principals of employee benefits firms, ASCEND is like no other industry event you’ve ever attended. Designed to foster “meaningful conversations” among the a. Experience a truly interactive, collaborative experience with some of the industry’s most forward-thinking benefits firms seeking proven agency growth strategies and other insights from our ASCEND Sponsor Partners and Keynote Speakers.

NextGen Benefits Mastermind Partnership

ASCEND features some of the smartest, most creative thinkers in our industry, many of whom are members of the NextGen Benefits Mastermind Partnership. Mastermind Partnership is a collaborative peer-exchange program exclusively for benefits agency owners and principals.

The Mastermind Partnership provides agency leaders with the tools, strategies, guidance, and accountability to become NextGen Benefits Firm. The Mastermind is committed to driving agency growth, with Partners currently averaging 26% annual organic growth.

Mastermind Partners are widely recognized for their innovation and success and have received some of the industry’s highest honors and recognition:

  • “Benefits Advisor of the Year” (Employee Benefits Advisor) 2014, 2015 & 2017
  • “Broker of the Year” Finalists (BenefitsPRO) 2017 & 2018
  • Four Partners named 2018 “Rising Stars in Advising” (Employee Benefits Advisor)
  • Five Partners named 2018 “Top Women in Benefits Advising” (Employee Benefits Advisor)
  • In 2018, more than 25 Partners will speak at industry conference• More than 30 Partners have been featured in industry publications

Bottom Line Solutions

Sponsor of ASCEND and the Mastermind Partnership, Bottom Line Solutions consults leading independent and national employee benefits firms. Led by industry thought leaders Nelson L. Griswold and Scott Cantrell, Bottom Line Solutions provides health care agencies with innovative tools and skills to evolve their business from an ”insurance agent” to a consultant sitting at the decision making table.

Conference Co-Founders

Nelson L. Griswold, Co-Founder

A leading architect of the Benefits Revolution, Nelson is an authority on agency growth and the NextGen Benefits strategies that are revolutionizing the benefits industry and helping agencies lower employers’ healthcare spend by 20-40 percent in the first year. An in-demand keynote speaker, Nelson has spoken to over 4,200 brokers and advisers across the country.

Nelson is Managing Director of the NextGen Benefits Mastermind Partnership, the industry’s leading peer-to-peer network for benefits agency owners, which grows member agencies 20-40 percent annually and produces top advisers, including three of the last five EBA Benefit Advisers of the Year. 29 Mastermind Partners co-authored the Amazon #1 Bestseller, BREAKING THROUGH THE STATUS QUO: How Innovative Companies Are Changing the Benefits Game to Help Their Employees and Boost Their Bottom Line.

A respected thought leader, Nelson is the author of the industry bestseller, DO OR DIE: Reinventing Your Benefits Agency for Post-Reform Success, and is a monthly columnist for Employee Benefit Adviser magazine and writes for other leading industry publications.

He is a board member and serves on the executive committee of both the Workplace Benefits Association and the Voluntary Benefits Association.

Scott Cantrell, Co-Founder

A leading direct marketing strategist and practice management consultant, Scott provides clients with high-ROI marketing strategies that can be held accountable for results.

As Director of the NextGen Benefits Mastermind Partnership, Scott helps guide the programming and development of this executive peer-exchange program for benefits agency leaders.

Scott has a rich background as a professional communicator, trainer, & strategic marketer. Before focusing exclusively on the insurance industry, he worked for years as an independent consultant across industries, taking the best practices from one industry and successfully applying them in others.

Scott’s work has been featured in Employee Benefit Adviser, Producers eSource, Canadian Insurance Top Broker and other leading industry publications.

He speaks frequently at industry events and is an associate board member of the Workplace Benefits Association.