Buddy Dike wins the 2015 Preston Hotchkis Award from Pacific Life
The Distinguished Achievement Award was created by Preston Hotchkis, who was a member of Pacific Life’s Board of Directors from 1945 to 1970. The annual award recognizes the life insurance producer who best personifies Pacific Life’s standard of excellence through high sales production, dedication to the community, and overall achievement. Get to know the winner of Pacific Life’s 2015 Preston Hotchkis Distinguished Achievement Award.
A.R. “Buddy” Dike believes in teamwork, service, and good old-fashioned sweat equity. The roots of his beliefs were evident in high school, where his talents on the football field led to multiple scholarship offers.
After his father’s career in the meatpacking industry moved the family from Chicago, Illinois to San Antonio, Texas, Dike accepted an offer from Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, Texas, where he played both fullback and linebacker. The athlete formed many indelible memories at TCU, including meeting his wife Sara and helping the school’s Horned Frogs defeat the Syracuse University Orangemen in the 1957 Cotton Bowl Classic. Dike remembers the game fondly both for his team’s 28-27 victory and for shattering his facemask tackling future Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown.
Top to bottom: Marshall & Ben Dike, grandsons; Michael & Stephanie Dike, son & daughter-in-law; Jason & Susanne Dial, son-in-law & daughter; Ethan Dial & Sara Dial, grandchildren; David & Beth Dike, son & daughter-in-law; Ellen Dike & Taylor Dike, granddaughters; Buddy & Sara Dike; Audrey Dike, granddaughter.
LAUNCHING A CAREER
After graduating from TCU, Dike settled in Fort Worth where the tenacity he displayed in tackling challenges on the field served him well as he launched his career.
“Football taught me about perseverance,” Dike says. “You get knocked down, and you have to get right back up. You have to learn how to stay with it.”
This lesson served him well as he launched his career in life insurance with Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company, which had an office in Fort Worth. “My first year was tough. It was hard to get people to talk about life insurance,” Dike recalls. “They wanted to talk about football. But, I tried to make a game out of it, challenging myself to make more calls and more sales.”
Fortunately, Dike was able to use the topic of football to break the ice with potential customers and apply the sales concepts he learned from Connecticut Mutual to start building relationships and closing more deals.
Dike wanted to help the owners of small-to-medium-sized businesses by offering the protection of life insurance as well as property and casualty insurance. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to form The Dike Company in 1966. His commitment to client needs and expertise in the field helped the new business prosper.
“You treat people with respect and over time word gets out that you aren’t just selling policies to make money,” Dike explains. “You are selling policies to help people meet their goals.”
By 1985, Dike recognized the potential benefits of partnering with fellow insurance professionals and merged with other firms to form The Insurance Alliance. Their combined expertise and access to major insurance carriers helped the company succeed. Insurance Alliance was sold to Willis North America in 1991. Dike is also one of the founding members of National Financial Partners, which was taken public by Apollo, a private equity firm in 2003.
WORKING WITH PACIFIC LIFE
Dike’s relationship with Pacific Life began 27 years ago. “I started doing business with Pacific Life around 1988, and Pacific Life has been an exceptional company over that time,” says Dike. “As part of National Financial Partners, we have access to the top carriers in the country, but three things make Pacific Life stand out: its people, equitable treatment of existing policyowners, and innovative products.”
“The tax system is complex,” he says, “and as long as I can keep providing strategies to help my clients pass on what they’ve worked a lifetime to achieve, I’ll keep coming to the office.”
Left to right: Jason & Susanne Dial, daughter & son-in-law; David & Beth Dike, son & daughter-in-law; Stephanie & Michael Dike, daughter-in-law & son; Sara & Buddy Dike.
COMMITMENT TO SERVICE
Buddy and Sara have 3 children and nine grandchildren who call Fort Worth home. Over the years, Dike has devoted himself to numerous causes, serving on the boards of the Davey O’Brien Foundation, Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, and TCU, and contributing to numerous worthy charitable causes.
When he is not working or volunteering, Dike enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf, and watching his beloved Horned Frogs take the field.
In addition to his charitable work, providing stewardship for the life insurance industry has been a point of emphasis for Dike. He served as President of the Fort Worth Association of Life Underwriters, Society of Financial Service Professionals, and Fort Worth Business and Estate Council. He was also a charter member and board member of the Top of the Table.
As the recipient of the 2015 Preston Hotchkis Distinguished Achievement Award, Dike receives a $5,000 gift to be donated to the charities of his choice. The award winner wants the gift split between two beloved organizations he treasures: Cook Children’s Health Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the health of children in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, and the WARM Place, which helps children and their families who are suffering from grief.
“Buddy’s commitment to his clients’ success and to the community of Fort Worth embodies the ideals that the Preston Hotchkis Distinguished Achievement Award represents,” says Rick Schindler, the executive vice president for the Life Insurance Division of Pacific Life. “We are honored to welcome him to the fraternity of honorees.”