Our Founder : Empire Financial Architects

Our Founder

Sharon Welch-Blair

Sharon passed away after a brief battle with leukemia in 2020

Sharon began her career as an agent for New York Life in 1987 (AR Insurance Lic. #31980). As a leading representative in the Arkansas General Office, she was honored in 1988 as the Rookie of the Year and Arkansas’ Outstanding New Agent of the Year. In the last 26 years, Sharon was named New York Life’s Agent of the Year or Producer of the Year 10 times for the Arkansas General Office. She was a Qualifying Council Member every eligible year and was a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Round Table*. She received NAIFA's National Quality Award honoring professionals for their ethics, service and production 21 times: 1989-2004, 2006, 2008, and 2011-2013.

Besides being an elder and active member of the Presbyterian Church, she was a board member of the Arkansas Association of Life Underwriters and served as Chairman of the local Board of Directors of New York Life. In 1999 she achieved the Certified Life Underwriter® designation, and was a registered representative of NYLIFE Securities, LLC**, licensed with Series 6, 63, 22, 7 and 65.

Sharon was the President of the Downtown Neighborhood Association for 12 years through 2013 and was a resident and promoter of the Quapaw Quarter Historic District. She was actively involved in developing solutions to neighborhood crime and rehabilitation. She also owned the award-winning AAA Four Diamond Small Luxury Hotel, The Empress of Little Rock Bed and Breakfast.

* MDRT is recognized throughout the industry as the standard of excellence in life insurance sales performance.

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