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Lee V. Bethel Named The American College of Financial Services 2020 Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee

Lee V. Bethel, CLU®, ChFC®, REBC®, RHU®, ChHC®, CAP®, AIF®, CPFA, CASL®, C(k)P® to be honored in recognition of his enduring expertise and commitment to the financial services profession, as well as the mission of The College

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA – August 27, 2020 – The American College of Financial Services announced today it will induct Lee V. Bethel, CLU®, ChFC®, REBC®, RHU®, ChHC®, CAP®, AIF®, CPFA, CASL®, C(k)P®, President of Comprehensive Benefit Services, Inc., into its Alumni Hall of Fame on November 5, 2020 at The College’s President’s Dinner—this year to be held virtually. Bethel is the first African American to be inducted into The College's Alumni Hall of Fame.  

Bethel is a long-time College volunteer and served on its Trustee Board for nine years. His support of The College has been steadfast for the past two decades as a President’s Circle donor, a Loyalty Society and a Legacy Society member, and the epitome of a lifelong learner. He is one of the founders of the Conference of African American Financial Professionals (CAAFP), and in 2018, was the first recipient of the inaugural Lang Dixon Leadership and Excellence in Achieving Diversity (LEAD) award, which held extra meaning for Bethel as Lang Dixon was his friend and long-time mentor. In addition to being a 27-year Life and Qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) with 13 Court of the Table qualifications, he has received multiple professional awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National African American Insurance Association.

“I’m beyond honored and humbled to be inducted into The American College of Financial Services Alumni Hall of Fame,” said Bethel. “My personal passion—to help provide services that benefit others—has always aligned with The College’s mission to benefit society by delivering the highest quality education to the professionals entrusted with the public’s financial well-being. I’m very grateful for the education and guidance The College has provided me.”

Bethel credits The College for having a profound effect on his career, and he has never stopped expanding his knowledge base. In fact, Bethel is currently growing his long list of designations as he works to complete his Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®) designation with The College.

“If you take the ‘l’ off of ‘learn,’ what do you have? You have to learn in order to earn. If you learn, the earning will take care of itself,” said Bethel. “Professional education is vitally important. When I talk with prospective clients, I want to come to the table with more questions than they have answers so they know they will benefit by working with me. I want my competitors, when they see my credentials, to say to themselves, ‘We can’t go after him; it’s not like he doesn’t know anything!’”

After graduating from Morehouse College in 1978, Bethel planned to attend dental school and become an orthodontist. That all changed when his uncle, Ted Tillman, invited him to join him in the insurance business. Tillman was the second African American agent hired in the history of New York Life and was one of the company’s top 10 producers. He saw something in his nephew that was just beginning to emerge.

Four decades later, Bethel is the President of Comprehensive Benefit Services, Inc., in Alexandria, VA, where he specializes in corporate retirement plans and employee benefits. He is a Series 7 Registered Representative with LPL Financial and a member of the Society of Financial Service Professionals, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, and the District of Columbia Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. Bethel and his wife, Valerie, have three daughters, Brittney, Kristin, and Lindsey, and one grandson, Mekhi. He is an accomplished bass guitar player and is the former director of his church’s a 20-piece orchestra.

“We are privileged to have the opportunity to recognize Lee and our alumni who have excelled in their profession and have made an impact in communities across the country,” said George Nichols III, President and CEO of The American College of Financial Services. “Lee has always carried the torch in our mission to benefit society, and we’re proud to celebrate him and his accomplishments.”

Bethel has been unwavering in his extraordinary dedication and leadership to The College, to the profession, and to the community. For these reasons, Bethel is a worthy 2020 inductee into The College’s Alumni Hall of Fame.


The American College of Financial Services was founded in 1927 and is the nation’s largest nonprofit educational institution devoted to financial services. Holding the highest level of academic accreditation, The College has educated one in five financial advisors across the United States and offers two master’s degrees in management and financial services, along with prestigious financial planning designations such as the Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®), Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®), Wealth Management Certified Professional® (WMCP®), Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®), Chartered Special Needs Consultant® (ChSNC®), Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®), and education leading to the Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) certification. The College’s faculty represents some of the foremost thought leaders in the financial services profession. Visit and connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.