Impact’s leadership has remained basically unchanged for the 30 years of Impact’s existence. The company officers possess complimentary individual talents and educational backgrounds that are instrumental to Impact’s success. All of this works to Impact’s advantage in an industry where recognizing client needs, good marketing strategies, and domain knowledge are as important as the technological and programming know-how.
Howard L. Keziah
Howard founded Impact in 1981. A natural entrepreneur with a passion for technology, it was his 16th business and his second technology company. With over a quarter of a century’s worth of experience, knowledge and growth, Howard has earned respect and recognition for himself and Impact from publications, peers and clients. Taking his passion and enthusiasm for expanding the boundaries of what technology can do and where it can be taken, he has built a company and products that are trusted and relied upon by the top financial and insurance institutions in the world.
J. Maxey Sanderson, CLU, ChFC, FLMI
Impact’s ability to successfully develop products that are comprehensive and beneficial to the insurance and financial industries is greatly attributed to Maxey’s extensive knowledge and expertise in these fields. Well known and respected, Maxey is an insurance specialist with over 39 years of experience in insurance and financial planning. His experience and firm understanding of financial planning has aided in his mastery of translating the most complex financial concepts in a manner anyone can understand. Maxey’s ability to design and converse in the consumer’s, advisor’s, and management’s perspective is an invaluable resource. This can be seen by his success in coordinating the design of Impact’s Wealth Planning Suite, Retirement Suite, Business Suite and Financial Suite of products.
Maxey is also a frequent speaker at industry meetings such as conducting a workshop at an AALU Annual Meeting. Maxey’s experience encompasses many facets of the financial world. His expertise in field sales includes positions as a registered representative, an agent, a branch manager, and a managing general agent. His home office management experiences include assistant vice president, manager of advanced sales, and manager of pension sales. Maxey’s career boasts such notable companies as Integon Life, Pilot Life, Comprehensive Financial Services, Southmark Financial Services, and Investor’s Diversified Services. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a double major in Mathematics and Economics from 1963 to 1967. He became a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) in 1975, Fellow Life Management Institute (FLMI) in 1977, and a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) in 1989.
Heather Vaartjes, MCP, MCPS
Chief Operations Officer
Heather has dedicated fourteen years to gaining knowledge in every facet of Impact’s organization. Combined with her passion for improvement and commitment to perfection, she has earned her position as a leader and a mentor. Her extensive backgrounds in sales, marketing and project management, as well as her exceptional skills as a communicator make her an invaluable liaison between engineers, business and clients. Heather began her career in Direct Sales, working her way to the position of Impact’s Chief Operating Officer. During her fourteen years of service, she has also worked as Manager of Direct Sales and Technical Support, Corporate Sales Consultant, President of Maxcess Policy Illustration Division, Marketing Director and Enterprise Project Manager.
Matching her dedication to the success of Impact is her dedication to self improvement and education. In 2000, Heather attained certification as a Microsoft Certified Professional and in 2003 became Microsoft CRM certified. Heather received her Certificate for Managing Technical Professionals & Organizations from MIT, Sloan School of Business in 2004 and a Six Sigma Green Belt in early 2005. Heather is currently underway automating processes within Impact to support and promote synergistic corporate growth.
David Freitag, CLU, ChFC, CRPC
Vice President of Marketing
David comes to Impact via John Hancock where he was Director, Retirement Income Planning and eCommerce and Vice President of Training. Prior to that David was Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Financial Profiles (an Impact competitor) where he increased company sales from $6.5 million to $14.2 million. When Dave was Vice President of Agencies at Allmerica Financial, he acquired Impact’s Estate Tax Analysis for their field force. He also worked with New York Life in advanced product training and support.
David has a Master of Education and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland. He is also a Chartered Life Underwriter, a Chartered Financial Consultant, Chartered Retirement Planning Consultant, and has his FINRA securities licenses. Dave has been a guest lecturer, platform presenter, and guest panelist at many national conferences and institutes, including those of the Society of Financial Services Professionals.
John Lensi, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CMFC, LLIF
Vice President of Sales
John comes to Impact from CRUMP Group as Sales Vice President and Director of Operations where he managed a national network of regional wholesalers distributing life, annuity, LTC, and DI products. John was Vice President/Director, Wholesaling Unit, Sales Support, Advanced Markets & Business Development at TIAA-CREF. John’s team at TIAA-CREF used Impact’s Wealth Planning Suite to support their advanced sales efforts. John has also been Assistant Vice President, Product Merchandising with AXA Financial/The MONY Group. He was Director of Career Field Force Training at Prudential Insurance. He has also directed various sales activities at Lincoln National Corporation, Banner Life, and MetLife.
John has a BS in Business Administration and Marketing from Central Connecticut State University. He has his Chartered Life Underwriter, Chartered Financial Consultant, Registered Health Underwriter, Registered Employee Benefits Consultant, Chartered Mutual Funds Counselor, LIMRA & Wharton Business School executive leadership professional designation (LLIF), and has his FINRA securities licenses. John has served on the Advanced Markets Committee at LIMRA, authored many articles in trade journals, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
Gretchen K. Smith, CLU, ChFC
Director, Financial Engineering
Gretchen is Impact’s first employee. Hired during the startup of the company in 1982, she has been the backbone of numerous programming and management assignments since Impact’s infancy. Gretchen has spent over twenty-five years with Impact, mastering her skills as a developer and product designer. In conjunction with her expertise in programming, Gretchen commands a broad and in-depth understanding of financial planning; holding both ChFC and CLU certificates. Her ability to apply her knowledge of both spheres, while developing products for Impact has made her an invaluable asset to her colleagues and company. It is Gretchen’s unique partnership of knowledge that has greatly influenced the success of Impact’s intuitive and user-friendly products. Her accomplishments include Chief Software Architect for the entire Wealth Planning Suite product line, as well as authoring Impact’s Estate Tax Analysis calculation engine for both DOS and Windows®. She was Team Leader of the Maxcess® Illustration System Development, Impact Needs, Classic Concepts and SalesLor sales tools. More recently, her hard work and dedication has been instrumental in the development of Impact’s premier platform: PlanLab®.
Prior to working for Impact, Gretchen worked as Research Assistant to the Vice President of Finance and Institutional Research at Francis Marion University in South Carolina. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Winthrop University, became a Chartered Life Underwriter in 1991, and a Chartered Financial Consultant in 1992.