After living in Payson for almost 10 years, Tina Terry saw an advertisement in the Roundup a little less than a year ago and was intrigued.
She responded and became a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and at the same time started training to become the district rep for the fraternal financial service's company -- which is called a "society."
"Modern Woodmen of America is fraternal," Terry said. It was founded in 1883 to care for widows and orphans and it provides a wide array of financial services products -- it even has its own bank.
"We have no stockholders," she said. "Anyone who purchases any of our products and signs the membership application becomes a member and co-owner of the fraternal society of MWA. They share in the society's gains."
Terry said that if a person cannot agree to MWA's objectives and creed, and sign a document stating that agreement, they cannot purchase the products. The objectives include supporting positive community and family life, and the creed notes that "all that we send into the lives of others comes back into our own."
Statistics would indicate the objectives and creed of the group meet with the approval of a substantial number of consumers.
"We are larger than 93 percent of all life insurance companies," Terry said.
She says the society "insures only people, nothing on things." Among its products are life insurance, annuities, IRAs, retirement products, disability insurance, long term care, health and dental insurance.
Before becoming a member and district representative for MWA, Terry worked with her husband in his flooring contracting business.
"He was badly injured and we were in need of income," Terry said of her reason for looking into the business.
Besides teaching sixth grade and English for 10 years, she had had experience in sales and management in both home-show skin care and cosmetic products in her home state of Hawaii, and matchmaking and dating services in California and the Midwest.
"Matchmaking is essentially what I do now with the society," she said. "I match people with the kind of financial products they need. We do a free, in-depth financial analysis for individuals and families."
Terry said the most popular products MWA offers are its various life insurance and retirement plan programs.
"We call ourselves financial security with a plus," Terry said. "The plus is our fraternal benefits and community involvement."
The fraternal benefits include the society's picking up the premiums of members for up to six months if they are in a situation, such as a disability or house fire, where they cannot make their payments.
Much community involvement of the society is focused on children and teens.
"We want to be of service, to be part of the community," Terry said.
MWA has a long list of programs it has developed for youths and schools. Among these, offered at no cost to schools, teachers and youth groups are: a Saf-T-Fun Fest, Safety and Life Skills Program for Kids; Pedal Power for Kids, a bike safety program; Ecology Awareness Program; a School Speech Contest; and a Creative Writing Essay Contest.
Terry said she has started presenting some of these programs to Rim country schools and home-schoolers, and some educators are now considering them for the upcoming school year. She and her local MWA camp 14707 sponsored the recent Spring Fling fund-raiser at Julia Randall Elementary.
"MWA also strongly believes in life insurance for children," she said. "Buying life insurance for children, while they are healthy and young, is inexpensive; it provides for future insurability and a membership in the society (MWA) and all its benefits. Many parents use life insurance for saving for college, too."
Staying on the subject of young people, Terry said the company is looking for a youth service leader to get the various service programs up and running in Payson. A successful candidate would have to be a member of MWA. Training would be provided for free.
When Terry is not working as district representative for MWA or serving as secretary of the fraternal group's camp, she is finishing a book on health and nutrition with Dr. Bernd Friedlander, a holistic doctor in California. She hopes that by midsummer it will be at the publishing company owned and operated by Jayne Peace and Jinx Pyle, and available later this year.
To keep in shape she practices yoga, and hikes with her husband and their three Chow-mix dogs, Pu'u Bear and Panda Bear, found through Trades and Sales, and Teddy Bear, who came from the Payson Humane Society shelter.
She is also a big promoter of Bill of Rights Day, Dec. 15. Every year for the past three years she has done a special program on the Bill of Rights on KMOG radio.
To find out more, visit MWA's web site, www.modern-woodmen.org or contact Terry at 928-468-1111.