Alumna of the Month

Nicole Lawson Travis

Nicole Lawson Travis


September 2016

Growing up in the inner city of Chicago, Nicole Lawson-Travis had a plan for her life. Nicole was a leader in her family and amongst her peers since early childhood.  Determination, tenacity, passion, and strength have been her driving forces; these characteristics have helped to shape Nicole into the professional women she is today.

Helping people has always been a passion for Nicole. While working at Citibank in 1999 as a financial advisor, she excelled in her role. She created educational awareness programs in under-served communities, educating consumers about the importance of saving for the future and investing in life insurance. Nicole was good at connecting with people, explaining the benefits of what she called “love insurance” for your family. She went on to lead the Chicago South area of Citibank in life sales over her tenure there. While working at Citibank, Nicole discovered a new passion, which lead to her transition to an independent agent working for American Family Insurance in 2002.

As an American Family agent-owner, Nicole excelled. She continued on the path of educating customers in some of Chicago’s under-served areas. Nicole partnered with the (NHS) Neighborhood Housing Service and Auburn Chamber of Commerce to create educational programs. These programs focused on life insurance awareness and first time homebuyer seminars. In just two years, Nicole caught the attention of State Sales Director Douglass Stimeling. Doug saw leadership qualities in Nicole which lead to a discussion on becoming a district sales manager. In 2004, Nicole was promoted to district sales manager and relocated her family to Ohio to develop a new territory. During her time in Ohio, which was 18 months, Nicole recruited 12 independent agency owners into the district. This was an all-time high!

In January of 2005, Nicole relocated back to Illinois to lead a team of 31 agency owners. Over her tenure, Nicole has trained and coached more than 60 agents and staff under her leadership. Being responsible for the success of independent insurance agents is no small task. Nicole prides herself on building immeasurable relationships with her team members. Her team is her family! During her 12 years as a sales leader she has achieved various awards and accolades. One of her greatest achievements was leading her team, to become the American Family Insurance top life sales district of the year in 2011! Additional career highlights are listed below.

Nicole holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Capella University (Summa Cum Laude) 3.96. She earned her CLF® designation from The American College of Financial Services in 2013. Nicole remains on the board of NHS still today. She continues to educate consumers on the importance of insurance!  Nicole was among a select group of women who earned their CLF® designation through the Women's Leadership Academy (WLA) Summit hosted by The American College State Farm Center For Women and Financial Services. In 2012, Nicole began her CLF® studies at the WLA and completed the CLF® capstone at the 2013 WLA Summit.