Jessica Westgard Larson, MBA, RICP, AIF is a Financial Representative, Registered Representative and Financial Advisor at Principal Financial Group® in Fargo. While a student at Concordia College in Moorhead, she started working part-time as a file clerk for her father, Les Westgard, who was also an agent for Principal® at the time. Following graduation, Jessica found herself continuing in a full-time administrative role for Les and pursuing her insurance and securities licenses so she could dig deeper into a customer service role. In 2007 she took the leap into an agent/advisor role, as her father was nearing retirement. They worked through a multi-year transition plan for her to take over his client block. In the years since, she has enjoyed making the practice her own and taking it to the next generation.
Jessica has found one of the most rewarding aspects of her work is helping her client’s children through a smooth, well planned, transition of assets when a death happens. (When you take over the client block of a 40-year agent, you do a lot of death claims!) The true value of this is seen when other clients come in who didn’t get help settling the estate of a loved one and discovering the mistakes they made, or problems and taxes that could have been avoided. It certainly encourages that beneficiary make sure they do a better job planning for their kids!
As soon as Jessica signed a contract with Principal®, Les got her signed up for NAIFA and she has been an active participant ever since, serving on the Fargo-Moorhead board and then as Fargo Affiliate Leader before being elected to the ND state board. Her favorite aspect of NAIFA is the friends she’s made over the years, but just like we often partner in business with agents who sell products we don’t, she also values the work her NAIFA friends do in advocacy on her behalf, as someone who doesn’t enjoy being politically active herself.
Jessica has enjoyed her role as the Programs V-P for NAIFA ND the past couple years and looks forward to continuing to try to find ways to get NAIFA members together in-person to learn from each other and through continuing education. Please feel encouraged to reach out if you have ideas of programs you’d like to see offered in your community. This year the major events we are working on for North Dakota will be a golf tournament in Fargo in late June or July that will have a ½ day of education partnered with it, and then we will hold our annual meeting partnered with a partial day educational & social event in Bismarck likely in September. We will start planning early this year for a February 2023 legislative event in Bismarck. In addition to that we encourage our members to get together to participate in monthly Watch Parties of NAIFA Live and North Dakota Connect and talk to their local affiliate leader about what activities you’d like to see in your town. We want to do more but need active engagement and/or feedback!
Jessica and her husband, Dave, have a daughter, Megan (11), 3 cats and their beloved Harvey, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Jessica also keeps busy with the PTA at her daughter’s school and conducting handbell choirs at Concordia College and their church. Her handbell life also takes her to several festivals and events across the country each year. They spend summer weekends relaxing and boating at their lake cabin on Turtle Lake on the Clay/Becker County line in Minnesota.
Insurance products issued by Principal National Life Insurance Co. (except in NY), Principal Life Insurance Company®, and the companies available through the Preferred Product Network, Inc. Securities and advisory products offered through Principal Securities, Inc., member SIPC. Companies listed are members of the Principal Financial Group®, Des Moines, IA 50392. Concordia College and NAIF are not affiliates of any company of the Principal Financial Group®. 2110120-042022