BRIELLE – It all began in 2012, when Frank Petrulla was the winner of the annual “Rising Star Award,” as an evolving leader with the New Jersey Association of Health Underwriters (NJAHU). The very next year, association leaders handed him the “Shooting Star Award” for his ongoing volunteer work.

From there, the NJAHU continued to honor Petrulla for his ongoing service, which includes his annual chairmanship of the NJAHU “State of the State” conference each fall that continually attracts nearly 400 attendees, sponsors and partnerships. He then won the “Board of Directors Award” in 2014 and the “President’s Award” three years later.

All of these awards and accolades pale in comparison to his most recent – and final – NJAHU award: The 2019 Louis G. Mattei Achievement Award. Petrulla was given the 26th-annual lifetime achievement award at the NJAHU’s annual conference in Atlantic City, flanked by previous winners who honored him for “tireless service, sacrifice and dedication.”

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In receiving the Mattei award, Petrulla was able to accomplish what no other NJAHU member has: Winning every single award the association hands out.

“Rarely, I am at a loss for words,” said Petrulla, of Brielle. “But this honor – and the honors that NJAHU has bestowed upon me in the past – is truly indescribable. My involvement has never been to win awards. NJAHU has given back to me more than I can imagine. The awards are incredible, the feeling is wonderful, but I don’t think anyone in NJAHU is really in this to win awards.”

Petrulla, a Registered Employee Benefits Consultant, launched his career in the insurance industry in 1985 because he wanted to be in corporate sales.  He was offered the opportunity through the career planning office at the University of Richmond, and started at Great West Life.

He stayed there for 12 years, then worked for State Mutual and John Hancock Financial, before landing at Richard Oscar & Associates in 2004. Petrulla is now Executive Vice President, AP Benefit Advisors, LLC dba Walsh Benefits, in Fair Haven.

“Frank is one of those dedicated people who has been a consistent resource for the NJAHU,” said NJAHU President Carolyn Andress. “He is smart, hard working and has such an incredible knowledge of the intricacies of health insurance. In this era of constant change in the market, Frank is a very special resource for NJAHU members.”

An active member of NJAHU since the 1990s, Petrulla twice served as Northern NJAHU President in 2012 and 2013, but is better known statewide for his ongoing coordination of the State of the State conference, a flagship NJAHU event attracting the best and brightest in health care each year.

“This award is well-deserved as Frank has been tireless in educating the public about critical healthcare issues, shaping health insurance legislation and raising the ethical standards of the insurance industry,” said Rob Saphow, the incoming NJAHU president.

“If you want to congratulate me on the Mattei award, come to this year’s State of the State conference on Thursday, September 26 at the APA Hotel in Woodbridge,” Petrulla said. “I’ll be there, greeting you at the door.”

The NJAHU is a statewide consumer advocacy organization of professionals in the health insurance industry who are dedicated to educating the public on critical healthcare issues, shaping health insurance legislation and raising the ethical standards of the business. Our members help employers and consumers select the health insurance plans best suited to their needs.