Northwestern Mutual: How We’re Helping Communities Through the Coronavirus

Updates on what Northwestern Mutual is doing to help our communities across the country as they continue to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. For information related to your account, payments and other frequently asked questions, visit our COVID-19 hub page


What We’re Doing for Communities Across the Country

  • In Deerfield, Illinois, Gould Financial Group thanked employees in three hospital units with catered lunches.

  • Through the Northwestern Mutual Foundation, we’ve donated more than $1.5 million to organizations like Feeding America, The United Way of Milwaukee and New York City, and the American Red Cross’ Disaster Recovery program, among others. 

  • We’re continuing to support nonprofit partners like Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which helps families dealing with childhood cancer, through fundraising and grants. To date, we’ve contributed $100,000 to the foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund. 

  • We’re continuing to support local arts organizations through our annual campaign for the United Performing Arts Fund. We raised more than $545,000 during this year’s campaign. 

  • We’ve launched #NMNeighbors, a program that provides employees with virtual volunteering opportunities and helps them raise money for their favorite nonprofits. 

What We’re Doing for Our Employees, Advisors and Financial Representatives

  • We provided resources to assist our independent advisors and representatives in evaluating information around the availability of disaster relief loans and COVID-19 government funding.

  • We created financial support and training options for new financial advisor and financial representative candidates, as well as incoming interns, who are awaiting the reopening of licensing centers. 

  • We rapidly created and delivered extensive virtual training for all advisors and representatives on how to work with and support clients in a virtual world.

  • To guide critical decisions, we rely on our Infectious Disease & Environmental Risk Team (IDERT), a cross-functional team created in 2009, to monitor and research the impact of the pandemic on our workforce, our clients and our communities. 

  • The health and well-being of our field, employees and community come first, and with that in mind, we’ve made the decision to pivot this year's Annual Meeting to a virtual event.  

  • Nearly all employees are working remotely, and we’re offering wellness resources that include virtual doctor and physical therapy visits, as well as apps and other online resources that promote fitness and self-care.    

  • Supporting a diverse and inclusive culture is important whether we’re working in the same building or miles apart. We're providing employees with tips and resources for leading inclusive conversations, no matter where their teams are. 

What We’re Doing for Our Clients


Week of October 5, 2020 


Gould Financial Group Thanks Hospital Units With Catered Lunches 

In Deerfield, Illinois, Gould Financial Group thanked the staff at Loyola University Medical Center by treating them to lunch. Employees in the COVID-19, ICU and bone marrow transplant units received meals from Citrus Diner. The office has plans to deliver food to two additional hospitals in the area. 


Despite Feeling the Impact of COVID-19 on Their Finances, Americans Remain Optimistic  

While Americans acknowledge the pandemic’s effect on their finances, they are also hopeful for the future, according to new findings from the Northwestern Mutual 2020 Planning and Progress Study. The survey shows that 84 percent of Americans believe the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn will have an impact on their long-term financial security — but nearly the same number (83 percent) believe they will ultimately be able to achieve it. Meanwhile, more than three-quarters of respondents (79 percent) feel the country will return to economic growth, with nearly half (47 percent) believing it will be in a year or less.  

The study also reveals that Americans are adopting better financial habits: Prior to the pandemic, 71 percent of Americans said their financial planning needed improvement, a number that has since dropped to 61 percent. And more than a quarter of respondents (28 percent) consider themselves highly disciplined when it comes to managing their finances, defined as knowing your exact goals, developing specific plans to meet them, and rarely deviating. 

"It's good to see these behavioral habits are trending in the right direction," said Christian Mitchell, executive vice president and chief customer officer at Northwestern Mutual, in a statement. "People appear to be cautiously optimistic about the future and a growing number are taking responsibility and action, which are key ingredients for financial planning." 

Read more results from the survey here, and go here to learn more about how to make the most of a financial plan. 

Week of September 28, 2020 


Erkel & Erkel Provides Pizza Lunch to Health Care Workers 

To show its appreciation for health care workers, Erkel & Erkel, based in Prior Lake, Minnesota, treated employees at Northfield Hospital + Clinics to a lunch from Lion’s Fire Pizza Truck. The locally owned truck, which employs inner-city youth, is run by Lion’s Ink, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing in Minneapolis. 


A Survival Guide for Small Businesses During COVID-19 

Small business owners have been some of the hardest-hit members of our communities. This Small Business Survival Guide helps break down topics such as how business owners can get forgiveness on federal Paycheck Protection Program loans; what other lending options are available; and how to find liquidity in uncertain times. Plus, read examples of what other small business owners have done to keep their doors open.  

Week of September 21, 2020 


Brecher, Greenberg & Brinson Group and Financial Advisor Dominic Scarpelli Help Support Children With Special Needs 

As a way to invest in their community in Atlanta, Brecher, Greenberg & Brinson Group and financial advisor Dominic Scarpelli donated to ATL Pressure Wash, a local business that will, in turn, provide its services to nonprofit Sunshine on a Ranney Day. The organization renovates homes to provide wheelchair accessibility to children with special needs and is restoring a warehouse where it will sell donated home goods; the proceeds will help support its mission. ATL Pressure Wash is refreshing the storefront to ensure the location is clean and ready for the grand opening.    


How This Nanny Agency Owner Was Able to Bounce Back During COVID-19 

At the height of the coronavirus, Ryan Jordan, owner of Educated Nannies in Los Angeles, was fearful of having to shutter her business. She was forced to furlough her staff and more than half of her nannies were laid off. As the breadwinner for her family, she was also concerned about her own financial situation. After her advisor reassured her that she was already prepared for moments like this because of her financial plan, she was able to get her business back on track. Watch Jordan share her story and read about the role her financial advisor played in helping to give her peace of mind

Week of September 14, 2020


Aria Financial Services Helps Provide Meals to Local Families in Need 

The pandemic has resulted in food shortages for families around the country, and in Durham, North Carolina, Aria Financial Services wanted to help. The office recently donated to a local meal-assistance partnership between Rocky Top Catering, a wedding and corporate events caterer, and Overflowing Hands, a nonprofit that supports children in need. The donation supports a program that has distributed more than 360,000 meals and produce boxes to children and families across Wake County, North Carolina. 


How This Painting Company Owner Survived the Pandemic With the Help of His Financial Plan 

At the onset of the coronavirus, Melvin Gonzalez was worried about how the pandemic would impact his portfolio of rental properties and his painting business, which employed 50 people. After speaking with his financial advisor, however, he realized he was prepared to make it through the rough patch. Watch Gonzalez share his story and read about the role his plan played in keeping his business afloat

Week of September 7, 2020 


Harrison Financial Services Donates Tablets for Literacy Program 

Just in time for the kickoff of the school year, Harrison Financial Services has donated tablets to help children in underserved areas in their community. The Omaha, Nebraska, office purchased the equipment through local IT provider InfiNet Solutions to benefit The Salvation Army’s North Corps Community Center, which provides meals, education and mentorship programs. The tablets will be used over the school year to teach financial literacy to kids.  


How This Bath Products Company Ramped Up Production of Hand Sanitizer 

In our #OpenforBusiness series, we tell the stories of small business clients who have had to pivot amid the coronavirus. We recently spoke with Debra Myers, founder of Enfusia, an artisan bath and body products company in The Woodlands, Texas, about how she was able to quickly produce more hand sanitizer after receiving bulk orders from two local grocery stores. Here’s how the company was able to shift their production focus while keeping all 35 of its employees on staff.  

Week of August 31, 2020 


G3 Wealth Advisors Donates Toys, Art Kits and Meals to Hospital Patients and First Responders 

G3 Wealth Advisors, based in Columbia, South Carolina, wanted to lift spirits at Prisma Health Children's Hospital, where patients can no longer share toys and games due to coronavirus concerns. The office decided to purchase toys and crafts from Be Beep, a local toy shop, as well as art and pottery kits designed for individual use from The Mad Platter. They also partnered with local restaurant chains Eggs Up Grill and Groucho’s Deli and donated meals to local first responders and Ronald McDonald House

Grimm Bissell Wealth Management & Insurance Services Feeds Pediatric Intensive Care Workers  

In Irvine, California, Grimm Bissell Wealth Management & Insurance Services partnered with local caterer Lori’s Kitchen and donated 200 meals to the staff in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital of Orange County


How Financial Planning Helped This Entrepreneur Maintain Peace of Mind 

Small business owners have been among the most heavily impacted by the coronavirus. Recently, we spoke with Erika Wexler, CEO and founder of Erika Wexler Transforms, a consulting, training and coaching company, about how she re-focused her business because of the pandemic. She beefed up her virtual training and coaching offerings and, with the help of her Northwestern Mutual financial advisor, figured out what numbers she needed to hit to keep her business going. That guidance, along with the financial plan she already had in place, helped relieve any financial stress and helped her feel more secure than ever. Check out the full feature here

Week of August 24, 2020 


DJM Financial Sends a Food Truck to Feed Hospital Workers 

DJM Financial Wealth Management & Insurance Services, based in Irvine, California, treated 500 health care workers from St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, California, to lunch via food truck. The meals were provided by Smosh Town, a local family-owned business that had to close its storefront due to the pandemic but has been able to continue serving customers through mobile catering. 

DKD Wealth Strategies Group Donates Lunches and Gift Cards to First Responders 

DKD Wealth Strategies Group in Charlotte, North Carolina, recently donated to a local office of Feed the Frontline, a national nonprofit that works with restaurants to feed those affected by COVID-19. The organization used DKD’s donation to provide lunches from Firehouse Subs for 400 first responders, including Mecklenburg EMS workers. The office also donated Harris Teeter grocery store gift cards to their local Charlotte fire station. 


How This Sales Training Company Went Virtual and Found New Opportunities 

In our #OpenforBusiness series, we tell the stories of small business clients who have had to pivot amid the coronavirus. Recently, we spoke with Nema Semnani, president of Precision Sales and Consulting, in Fairfax, Virginia. The company, which normally works with clients via in-person training sessions, was forced to move entirely virtual when the pandemic hit. This gave Semnani and his colleagues the chance to experiment with new ways of doing business, such as creating video series and offering free daily sales and management training as a way to give back to clients. Check out the full feature here

Week of August 17, 2020 


Clinton Financial Group Provides Meals, Haircuts and Animal Care for Community 

There are numerous ways to thank and support a community, as Clinton Financial Group in Annandale, New Jersey, demonstrated. In partnership with The Clean Plate Kitchen, the office provided meals for The Flemington Area Food Pantry; made a donation to Front Row Barber to provide complimentary haircuts for first responders; and donated to New Beginnings Animal Rescue New Jersey, which provides essential services and foster homes for animals. 

Dawson Financial Services Donates Gifts and Supplies to Facility for Disabled 

Dawson Financial Services partnered with several local businesses to give back to Vita Living, a comprehensive care facility for adults and children with disabilities. For the residents, the office purchased arts and crafts supplies, games and puzzles from Texas Art Supply and FUNdamentally Toys. For the employees, the office provided custom masks from Texas Ink and gifted certificates to local restaurant Tribute at the Houstonian


How the Owners of a California Fitness Studio Shifted Their Business Model and Mindset 

In our #OpenforBusiness series, we tell the stories of small business clients who have had to pivot amid the coronavirus. Recently, we spoke with JT and Jake Peterson, owners of Studio Thirty, in Mill Valley, California. After working as trainers at different gyms, the brothers built up a client base that allowed them to open their own studio. Just as they were getting ready to open their doors, the coronavirus hit. This led them to accelerate their online class offerings and focus on their financial future, while also finding ways to give back to their community. Read on to see how they did it.

Week of August 10, 2020


Cannataro Park Avenue Financial Partners With Black-Owned Restaurants  

Cannataro Park Avenue Financial decided to partner with local Black-owned businesses to support the community in Harlem, a neighborhood in northern Manhattan steeped in African American history. Using donations provided by the office, Sugar Hill Creamery, a family-owned ice cream shop, ran a free scoop giveaway for elementary school students. Comfort food restaurant Melba’s used its donation to deliver meals to Safe Horizon, a victim assistance organization. And soul food restaurant Boulevard Bistro is providing meals at a local nursing and rehabilitation home. 


How This Los Angeles Startup Revamped Its Strategy  

In our #OpenforBusiness series, we tell the stories of small business clients who have had to pivot amid the coronavirus. Recently, we spoke with Sam Madani, CEO of BOMANI Cold Buzz, which makes alcohol-infused cold brew coffee. The startup had launched two weeks before the coronavirus hit, forcing Madani and his co-founders to come up with a new strategy, which included offering direct-to-consumer delivery and boosting their digital advertising. Read on to see how the company regained its momentum

Week of July 27, 2020


Symphony Financial Supports Community With Meals and Groceries  

When Symphony Financial in Skokie, Illinois, wanted to give back to their community, they decided to focus on places that provide important services for others. The office thanked the staff of McHenry Villa, a senior living community, with catered meals from two local restaurants, D.C. Cobb’s and Addison’s Steakhouse. They also purchased groceries and gift certificates from The Grand Food Center to donate to the New Trier Township food pantry, which helps people trying to make ends meet with food and essentials.  

Ludacka Wealth Partners Gives Thanks to Medical Practice Employees 

To show gratitude to health care workers and help local restaurants, Ludacka Wealth Partners in Omaha, Nebraska, presented the entire staff of MD West ONE, a local medical practice they work with, with gift cards that can be redeemed at any of six local restaurants that make up the Flagship Restaurant Group. A total of 217 doctors, nurses, frontline workers and other medical staff who specialize in orthopedic, neurosurgery and spine care received the gift cards.  


How This Atlanta Brunch Spot Transformed Its Business 

In our #OpenforBusiness series, we tell the stories of small business clients who have had to pivot amid the coronavirus. Recently, we spoke with Suzanne Vizethann, owner and executive chef of Buttermilk Kitchen in Atlanta. She shares how the 88-person dine-in restaurant shifted to boost its takeout business, as well as launched an online store featuring Vizethann’s recently published cookbook. Check out the full feature to learn more

Week of July 20, 2020 


Tauzin Wealth Management Donates Lunches to Local City Workers 

To thank the city employees of Ridgeland, Mississippi for keeping the community up and running during the pandemic, Tauzin Wealth Management donated 200 box lunches to first responders, as well as workers in the city’s water and sewer, grounds maintenance, and recreation and parks departments. The lunches were provided by local seafood restaurant CAET


How Life Insurance Cash Value Helped This Indiana Company Expand Its Core Business 

In our #OpenforBusiness series, we tell the stories of small business clients who have had to pivot amid the coronavirus. Recently, we shared the story of Rubber Products Distributors in Greenwood, Indiana, which saw its supply chain disrupted by the coronavirus. When the owners received an opportunity to distribute PPE instead — something they’d never done before — they decided to go for it, but still needed to make payroll to fulfill the orders. They used the cash value of several key-person life insurance policies to cover these and other business costs, enabling them to successfully distribute PPE to customers — which included the state of Indiana. Check out the full feature here.

Week of June 29, 2020


McGill Junge Wealth Management Celebrates Essential Workers and Hospital Patients 

Like many grateful people across the country, McGill Junge Wealth Management wanted to find a way to acknowledge the tireless efforts of essential workers. They found an opportunity to do that by celebrating National Hug Holiday on June 29 in a novel way: In lieu of actual hugs, they would show their thanks through bag lunches for those on the frontlines. The Urbandale, Iowa, office donated 500 bagged lunches, provided by In the Bag Catering, to essential workers at Unity Point Health – Des Moines and Blank Children’s Hospital.  


How This Soul Food Restaurant Kept Its Doors Open — and Even Grew Staff 

In our #OpenforBusiness series, we tell the stories of small business clients who have had to pivot amid the coronavirus. Recently, we spoke with Candi Dailey, co-owner with her husband, Jason, of Ruby’s Southern Kitchen in Bowie, Maryland. In order to avoid laying off any of their 28 employees, they made some strategic moves to keep the business running — and ended up hiring five more employees during the height of the pandemic to keep up with demand. Check out the full feature to see how they did it. 

Week of June 15, 2020 


2020 Planning and Progress Study Explores How Americans Feel About Their Finances in the Coronavirus Era 

The pandemic and its impact on the economy are making people feel less financially secure — and more aware of the importance of financial planning, according to Northwestern Mutual’s 2020 Planning and Progress Study. Only 35 percent of Americans feel secure about their finances, down from 45 percent prior to the pandemic, and one-fifth said they had made significant adjustments to their financial plans because of the pandemic. Meanwhile, 15 percent of those who did not have a financial plan before want to start one now.  

Young people in particular seem eager to start: 25 percent of Generation Z respondents say they are looking to start a financial plan, while 22 percent say they are willing to work with a financial advisor; 19 percent of Millennials want to both start a plan and work with an advisor. 

“This is an enormously difficult time for so many Americans; however, it’s good to see they’re taking action, rising to the challenging road ahead and making choices at enabling recovery,” said Christian Mitchell, executive vice president and chief customer officer at Northwestern Mutual, in a statement. “People are doing their best to secure their financial foundations and position themselves to emerge from this stronger.”  

Read more results from the survey here, and go here to learn more about how a financial plan can help in times like these. 


Technology Outreach Program Offers Virtual Tech Minicamp for High Schoolers 

This month, hi, Tech, Northwestern Mutual’s technology outreach program, began a virtual version of its High School Tech Minicamp and Internship program. This staple summer offering typically occurs in person but has shifted to virtual for the first time because of COVID-19.  

After completing three weeks of self-paced coursework, local high school students began participating in a four-week online bootcamp to grow their tech and professional skills, be mentored and learn about career opportunities in technology. Students will soon apply for virtual internships to finish out the remainder of the summer.  

The Minicamp serves as a diverse tech talent accelerator, with 70 percent of this year’s students representing demographics that are underrepresented in tech. Since 2017, 45 percent of participants have returned to Northwestern Mutual as college interns or contractors, and three have gone on to become full-time employees.


How 2 Fitness Companies Expanded Their Online Offerings for Members 

In our #OpenforBusiness series, we tell the stories of small business clients who have had to pivot amid the coronavirus. When the pandemic hit, gyms and fitness studios were among the first to close their doors, so going virtual has been key to staying afloat. We recently featured two clients who were able to keep their classes and training open online for members. 

Hye Jin and Ash Kalgaonkar, owners of The Hot Room yoga studio in Indianapolis, share how they transformed their in-person classes into an entirely online platform known as The Hot Room Now. And Nancy Terry, senior vice president of marketing at U.S. Fitness, explains how the McLean, Virginia, gym company is offering online classes and installing safety measures in preparation for when they can open their facilities again. 

Week of June 8, 2020  


Partnership Set to Bring Tech Jobs to Milwaukee 

Northwestern Mutual has partnered with GalaxE.Solutions, a New Jersey–based IT services company, to launch Outsource to Milwaukee, an initiative to bolster growth in the city’s tech sector. Milwaukee joins Detroit and Hartford, Connecticut, as the third city in GalaxE.Solutions’ Outsource to America program, which aims to bring outsourced IT jobs back to the U.S. and create community and economic development. 

As part of Outsource to Milwaukee, GalaxE.Solutions will hire 300 employees and is in the process of selecting office space for an innovation hub to be built downtown. “GalaxE shares our commitment to upskilling local talent to fill critical tech job needs in the Milwaukee region,” said Northwestern Mutual Chief Information Officer Neal Sample in a statement. 

Northwestern Mutual – Indiana Office Donates $25,000 to Support Childhood Cancer 

Northwestern Mutual – Indiana is donating $15,000 to local Ronald McDonald House Charities in South BendFort Wayne and Indianapolis, as well as $10,000 to St. Vincent House, to help families dealing with childhood cancer treatment. The funds will also be used to support the organizations’ evolving needs due to COVID-19.  

The Indiana office received the grant from the Northwestern Mutual Foundation in recognition of managing partner David Kiecker’s Lifetime Achievement award. Kiecker received the award for leading his office to become the first to surpass $500,000 raised for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

Wealth Management Advisor Mike Stafford Matches Food Donations 

Last week, Mike Stafford, a wealth management advisor in West Chester, Ohio, matched donations made at Mockingbirds Cafe in Middletown, Ohio, to provide meals for health care workers at Atrium Medical Center. Stafford’s match was part of downtown Middletown's “Lifting UP from Downtown” initiative, a pay-it-forward meal program in which local restaurants take turns making meals for those on the frontlines with the help of suggested $5 donations from their patrons and matched donations from individuals or local businesses. 


How This Idaho Chiropractic Office Revamped to Keep Seeing Patients Safely 

In our #OpenforBusiness series, we tell the stories of small business clients who have had to pivot amid the coronavirus. Recently, we spoke with Dr. Ryan Bones, co-owner with his wife, Cassidy, of Beyond Bones Chiropractic in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, about the measures they took to revamp safety protocols so they could continue seeing patients. In addition, the business found creative ways to market their services while simultaneously giving back to frontline workers. To read more about what they did, check out the full feature here

Week of May 25, 2020


The Latest on Our Foundation’s Coronavirus Efforts 

In partnership with Northwestern Mutual’s Diversity & Inclusion team, The Northwestern Mutual Foundation has dedicated $80,000 in grants to help nonprofits in Milwaukee and New York City with COVID-19 relief. The organizations were chosen by our eight Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), which represent individuals who share common identities, interests and their allies. Among the recipients: The Bowery Mission, Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin, Vivent Health and United Migrant Opportunity Services, among others. 

Technology Outreach Program Supports STEM Education 

At Northwestern Mutual, our commitment to technology extends beyond the walls of our offices. One example is our technology outreach program, hi, Tech, which provides STEM education, programming, events and real-world experiences to students in Milwaukee from kindergarten through high school. The program also grants funds to nonprofit partners who are furthering technology education and experiences. These partners, including Code for MilwaukeeGirls Who CodeBeyond STEM and SHARP Literacy, have not only continued their work with students through the coronavirus, but have also created greater online learning opportunities and virtual experiences, including upcoming summer camps and internships.  

Financial Advisor Erik Stephens Provides Meals for Health Care Workers 

Erik Stephens, a Cincinnati–based Northwestern Mutual financial advisor, wanted to show his gratitude to frontline health care workers so he raised money to start #CafeCOVID, which provides meals to medical personnel in the Cincinnati area. The goal was not only to provide lunches for health care workers, but also to support local food establishments by having them cater the meals. 


How This Florida Bakery Kept Its Doors Open Safely During the Coronavirus 

In our #OpenforBusiness series, we tell the stories of small business clients who have had to pivot amid the coronavirus. Recently, we spoke with Marie Korsykov, co-owner with her husband of OfKors Bakery in Sarasota, Florida. After quickly setting up the store to be safer and more convenient, the bakery continues to serve its customers, while helping to facilitate donations of baked goods to local hospitals, police and fire departments. To read more about what they did, check out the full feature here

Week of May 18, 2020


The Latest on Our Foundation’s Coronavirus Efforts 

To help support the essential-supply needs of those affected by the coronavirus, The Northwestern Mutual Foundation is expanding its Matching Gifts Program to include contributions made to food banks, food pantries and meal programs. Donations made during the 2020 calendar year by employees and financial representatives to these types of organizations through a qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit will be matched dollar-for-dollar. Since 1966, the Matching Gifts Program has matched contributions made to nonprofit organizations that support veterans, educational institutions and childhood cancer programs. 

Wealth Management Advisor Doug Miller to Complete Ironman Triathlons for Childhood Cancer Awareness 

Many of us are trying to keep up with our regular fitness routines despite social distancing, but Doug Miller, a wealth management advisor in Ellicott City, Maryland, is taking it to the next level. Miller was scheduled to compete in an Ironman triathlon when it was cancelled due to the coronavirus. Instead, Miller pledged to complete the equivalent of five half-Ironman triathlons and one full Ironman triathlon between May 30 and October 17 in order to raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. You can donate by visiting Miller’s fundraising page here. His goal is to raise $50,000 by mid-October. 

Financial Advisor Tracy Shackelford Organizes Lunch Donations for Hospital Employees 

For Tracy Shackelford, a financial advisor in Williamsburg, Virginia, sharing food with others is how you show you care. After putting out a call for donations on social media, Shackelford worked with local restaurants to provide lunches for frontline health care workers and other hospital staff members. Over the course of four weeks, Shackelford raised enough money to donate more than 1,000 meals. 


#QuestionsAndAdvisors Series Now on YouTube 

We launched our #QuestionsAndAdvisor series on our social media channels earlier this month to help answer some of the most frequently asked questions people have about their finances right now. You can now find the series on our YouTube channel, where advisors will go into depth discussing everything from unemployment to retirement. This week, Jessica Salazar, a wealth management advisor in Jacksonville, Florida, answers questions about how to access cash, what to consider about your 401(k) right now, how to recover costs if you’re canceling a wedding, and more. To submit a question to be considered for a future Q&A, direct message us on Instagram or Facebook


How This California Winery Kept Its Doors Open During the Coronavirus 

In our #OpenforBusiness series, we tell the stories of small business clients who have had to pivot amid the coronavirus. Recently, we spoke with Michelle Lorenzi, a director of career development at Northwestern Mutual in Los Angeles and co-owner with her parents of Lorenzi Estate Vineyards in Temecula, California. She explains what they had to do to keep their business running despite being previously dependent on in-store purchases. Check out how the company revamped its business model by reading the full feature here

Week of May 11, 2020


#QuestionsAndAdvisors Series Answers People’s Personal Finance FAQs 

Almost everyone has had questions about how the pandemic will affect their personal finances, so we launched our new #QuestionsAndAdvisor series to help answer some of them. Our financial advisors will be answering questions submitted to us via social media on topics like retirement, budgeting, saving, investing and unemployment. Most recently, Wealth Management Advisor Tom Canale answered these questions for small-business owners. To submit a question, direct message us on Instagram or Facebook.   


Financial Advisor Katie Jacobson Organizes Donations for Frontline Workers 

Personal protective equipment (PPE) like face masks and shields have been in high demand, but what many may not realize is that the equipment can cause discomfort around the ears for frontline workers who have to wear them for extended periods of time. Enter ear savers, which attach to face masks to help alleviate that pain by reducing pressure and friction. 

Katie Jacobson, a Minneapolis–based financial advisor who serves a lot of medical-professional clients, worked with Steve Upton, owner of 3D printing company Schmit Prototypes, to bring 3D-printed ear savers to frontline workers. Together, they donated more than 10,000 units to 11 hospitals and health care facilities in the Twin Cities area, including the Gillette Children’s Hospital.  

The Latest on Our Foundation’s Coronavirus Efforts 

To support the needs of health care professionals as well as local arts organizations, The Northwestern Mutual Foundation donated $70,000 to four arts groups in the Milwaukee area so that their costume makers can produce PPE for frontline workers. Employees of the Milwaukee BalletMilwaukee Repertory TheaterThe Florentine Opera and First Stage children’s theater have repurposed their skills to sew masks and gowns and create face shields for health care workers. More than 10,000 PPE pieces have been donated to Children’s Wisconsin hospital and the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin.  

The partnership is part of the Foundation's $200,000 donation to Children’s Wisconsin for COVID-19 relief efforts. You can read more about the partnership and the donation here


How This Minnesota Salon Used Life Insurance Cash Value to Stay Afloat 

In our #OpenforBusiness series, we tell the stories of small business clients who have had to pivot amid the coronavirus. Recently, we shared how client Kris Bergly, co-owner of Xalon Salon in St. Cloud, Minnesota, used a loan against the cash value in his permanent life insurance policy to help pay the bills as well as cover health insurance costs for his 22 employees. Check out the full feature here

Week of May 4, 2020 


Flexibility on Premium Payments for Clients Impacted by the Coronavirus  

Clients who are having trouble keeping up with their payments because of COVID-19-related financial hardships now have access to extended grace periods. Talk to your financial advisor to discuss your options and see if this makes sense for your situation. 


Financial Advisors Start a Peloton-athon to Raise Money for COVID-19 Efforts 

Why not get fit and fundraise at the same time? That’s what financial advisors Mark KullAl Schor and Ben Feldman thought when they launched the NM Peloton 30 for 30 challenge to help raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a nonprofit that supports childhood-cancer programs. The goal was to complete 30 days of exercise for 30 minutes a day. 

Participants were encouraged to log their 30 days of Peloton or their exercise of choice between April and May to raise money for ALSF’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund. The money will be used to expand the foundation’s existing Travel for Care program by providing grocery assistance to families dealing with childhood cancer and affected financially by the coronavirus. NM Peloton 30 for 30 raised more than $30,000 within the first two weeks alone; you can still donate by visiting the group’s fundraising page. The Northwestern Mutual Foundation plans to match the total amount raised dollar for dollar. To date, the Foundation has contributed $100,000 to ASLF’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund. The challenge ends on May 8 and has secured more than $40,000. 

Employees Support Their Favorite Nonprofits Through Virtual Volunteerism 

Northwestern Mutual recently launched #NMNeighbors, a program that encourages employees to engage in virtual volunteering and random acts of kindness. For every 30 hours that employees spend helping out in their communities, their nonprofit of choice will receive a $500 grant from the Northwestern Mutual Foundation (up to a maximum of $1,000). Every act of kindness counts, whether it’s reading to kids online, writing thank-you notes to frontline workers or setting up a food-donation pantry on your front lawn (as Northwestern Mutual senior client care services rep Leahrae Longoria did with her next-door neighbor). #NMNeighbors is part of #NMTogether, a companywide initiative to rally behind our friends, families and communities during these trying times.  


Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer John Schlifske on How Financial Advisors Are Helping Small Business Clients 

In his most recent LinkedIn post, John Schlifske, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, highlights how Northwestern Mutual financial advisors have sprung to action to help clients with their financial concerns during these uncertain times. From spending days on end doing back-to-back video conferences to helping small business owners apply for stimulus loans, these examples exemplify the lengths advisors have gone through to help clients navigate the pandemic. You can read the full post here

How These Small Business Owners Are Coming to the Aid of Frontline Workers 

In our #OpenforBusiness series, we tell the stories of small business clients who have had to pivot amid the coronavirus. Recently, we shared how two businesses shifted their strategies to provide medical equipment for health care workers. In Minneapolis, client Benjamin VandenWymelenberg of Woodchuck, USA, a designer and manufacturer of custom wooden gifts, started producing plastic face shields to ship to doctors and nurses nationwide. Check out the full feature here. Meanwhile, in Herndon, Virginia, client Brad Palmer of IT consulting firm B3 Group is connecting organizations with 3D printing capabilities to health care workers who need specially designed medical equipment. Learn more about their story here. 

Week of April 27, 2020


The Latest on Our Foundation’s Coronavirus Efforts 

To help our nonprofit partners meet food and essential supply needs in our communities nationwide, The Northwestern Mutual Foundation donated more than $1.5 million to organizations that include Feeding America, Ronald McDonald House Charities Eastern Wisconsin, the United Way of Milwaukee and New York City, and the American Red Cross’ Disaster Recovery program, among others. In addition, with our employees working from home, we’ve donated nearly 1,000 rolls of toilet paper from our Milwaukee campus to distribute to local neighborhoods we support after hearing from community leaders that residents needed these essential household supplies. You can learn more about the neighborhoods and organizations we support here


#OpenforBusiness Series Highlights Small Business Owner Clients 

In our new #OpenforBusiness series, we’re sharing the stories of small business owner clients who have had to change up their strategies in order to keep their companies afloat during these difficult times. Our goal is to help get the word out so their local communities can support them, while also inspiring other small business owners facing similar struggles. 

Recently, we featured Pam Kattouf and Pat Miller of Beloved Bath, a Maplewood, New Jersey, company that makes body and bath products. Despite having to put their expansion plans on hold, the company donated 600 bars of soap to a nearby nursing home. You can read more about them here. Meanwhile, in McLean, Virginia, Golfdom owner Buddy Christensen has managed to keep all his employees on payroll by getting creative with his curbside offerings. Check out the full feature here


What Clients Can Do to Protect Themselves From Cyberthieves  

The fraud and cybersecurity team at Northwestern Mutual is encouraging clients to be more vigilant as criminals look to capitalize on the COVID-19 pandemic. Any suspected fraudulent activity should be reported to your Northwestern Mutual financial representative or to the Northwestern Mutual Special Investigations Unit (877-607-2485). Read their recommendations to avoid email hacking and to protect your information and accounts. You can find additional tips on how to protect yourself online here

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