Office Profile

Kevin Miller was appointed managing partner in Pittsburgh on November 1, 2007, a city where he was born, raised and began his career.

Career of his own
Miller grew up in Pittsburgh and went to college at Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pa. He had big goals and dreams from an early age – knowing he wanted to own his own business.Originally, he explored various franchise opportunities. "That was the challenge," Miller said. "I knew I wasn't going to invent my own product or service, so I needed to find something which would allow me to have personal freedom while selling a great product."

However, what he found was an even better opportunity, one where he would be backed by the company while starting, and better yet, could have an impact on people's lives and their financial futures. He found Northwestern Mutual. During a campus visit to Saint Francis, a field director interviewed Miller. As the field director described the role, Miller was already eyeing the possibilities this career could offer – not just as an intern, but as a full-time representative in a life-long career.

Upon graduation, he transitioned to a full-time representative contract. "I focused on a practice with high activity and high lives," Miller said. With no clients to his name, Miller began dialing and networking. He knew he wanted to develop relationships with young professionals, so he determinedly went about calling as many attorneys, accountants and resident physicians as he could. He started to develop a clientele, which led to more referrals.

Leadership calls
Not wanting to leave behind his clients or his successful personal production, Miller took his first step into leadership as a college unit director. Originally, he assumed it would be a great step for his own business. "It gave me an opportunity to stay close to those things that helped me with my practice: teaching client building and the fundamentals of building a client base." What he didn't expect was that he would love introducing the career to other people. "I didn't know I was going to get as much of a charge out of that as I actually did," he said. "I wanted to continue to explore leadership at the same time I built my personal practice, and being a player-coach helped me do that."

A few years later, he found success as a field director, to which he credits his predecessors, Charles Ferrara, CLU® , the retired managing partner in Pittsburgh, Kevin J. Hassan, CLU®, now managing partner of The Philadelphia Group and David C. Mc Avoy, CLU® , now managing partner of The Boston Group. "Charlie, Kevin and David taught me a lot about being a field director. And seeing where they went helped me see this was a track to run on,"Miller said. "Plus, I formed some great relationships with financial representatives who helped me with referrals and helped the unit with joint work."

Pushing beyond comfort zone
In 2004, Miller joined Northwestern Mutual's corporate office in Milwaukee as an assistant regional director. Making the move to Milwaukee was a very tough decision, Miller admitted, but as he talked to the financial representatives in his office, he recalled encouraging them to move outside of their comfort zone in order to grow. "Upon reflection, I realized that maybe I hadn't been taking my own advice," Miller said. "And this offered me the opportunity to move out of my comfort zone and see the bigger picture. I was able to take a look at the company and build relationships with people who I will be doing business with for the next 25 years."

While at the corporate office, Miller spent a lot of time working on leadership development and helping people in similar college unit director and field director roles grow in their offices. He feels it better prepared him to lead a leadership team as managing partner, and credits Jed Pendley, CLU® , ChFC® , CASL® , vice president – agency development, for helping him to make the most of his time in Milwaukee. "Jed is a great sounding board and has helped me think through my development strategy," Miller said. "My time allowed me to understand there are a lot of moving parts to this business," Miller said. "The relationships I built have helped me understand how this company works, which will help us grow the network office and better aid the representatives in Pittsburgh."

Coming home
Now Miller is back in Pittsburgh as the managing partner of Northwestern Mutual's Pittsburgh network office, and he couldn't be happier to go home. "It feels great to be going back to my hometown, where my family and friends are," Miller said. "And I'm also excited to spend time with the financial representatives in the office. I want to be a resource for them, to help them grow and develop."

As he takes the reigns in Pittsburgh, Miller feels there is a lot of opportunity for both newer and established financial representatives in the office. "I believe in the financial representative internship program, and I am focused on leadership development," Miller said. "I really enjoy watching others succeed in this business – seeing somebody as they could be, not necessarily as they are," he added. "I certainly feel there is an opportunity to grow the Network," Miller said. "And I want the culture to be very inclusive. Our industry is headed in a direction where we need to be more interdependent. Because of that, I want to leverage the strength of our financial representatives, specialists and associates in a way which will allow them to work together to build a strong network office team."

This Network Office has been active since 1875.

District Network Offices:

Craig B Fiedler

2790 Mosside Blvd Fl 4
Monroeville, PA 15146-2743
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Jamie Robert Thomas, CLU®

Managing Director

310 Seven Fields Blvd
Seven Fields, PA 16046-4343
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Ryan Hazlett McKenna, CLU®, CFP®

Managing Director

1928 Cochran Rd
Pittsburgh, PA 15220-1106
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