First Financial Security, Inc. recently welcomed Gary Oelschlaeger as the latest addition to the FFS team, joining our Home Office as a new Sales Trainer under Director of Sales Andy Cowan. Long-time FFS agents will be familiar with Gary — who commonly goes by Gary O. — from his prior work with our Annuity Hour webinars that ran until the end of 2020.
A veteran in the industry since 1994, Gary’s other nickname has long been “General Knowledge,” as he can answer practically any question about securities, IRAs, annuities, sales and just about any other financial product. “If I don’t know anything about a subject, I’ll say so,” Gary said. “But I usually can point you in the right direction.”
Gary started in the industry working as an Edward Jones representative until 1996, when he moved to Mercantile Bank as a financial advisor. It was here that he first developed a relationship with a young Ron Wheeler, who called upon Mercantile as a wholesaler at the time. Gary was promoted to sales manager in 1999, staying on through their acquisition by Firstar and merger with U.S. Bank, all the while recruiting and managing full-time advisors and insurance-only licensed bankers who specialized in annuities.
After leaving U.S. Bank in 2001, Gary managed an investment group in the latter half of that year before deciding to part ways over a difference of opinion on compliance issues — an act of integrity that caught the attention of Ron Wheeler, who brought him on to work training bankers how to sell annuities. “The rest,” Gary said, “is history.”
A natural teacher with a passion for helping others, Gary has trained countless individuals over his years in financial services, translating the details of difficult financial products with skill and ease. “I love teaching and training people how to be successful in this business,” he says. In his spare time, Gary is the pastor of the small church he grew up in. Together with his beloved wife Connie, with whom he shares a passion for history and gardening, their combined family includes seven grown children and ten grandchildren.
With his depth of knowledge, skill in teaching and familiarity with FFS operations, Gary is the perfect candidate to bring the highest quality training to our field. “As sales continue to increase, adding more resources for our agents has become crucial,” said Andy Cowan. “Gary’s industry experience and knowledge will be an invaluable resource for our leaders and agents to lean upon as we continue to grow.”