Dave Savula, the top leader of LegalShield’s independent sales force for the past 24 years, passed away June 16 with his family at his side, including his wife and best friend of 46 years, Beverly. Dave had been battling sarcoidosis for more than two years, but never wavered in his passion to help others succeed. His last public appearance came in March at the LegalShield Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas.
“The world has lost a great man, a great husband, father and crusader for justice,” said Jeff Bell, CEO, LegalShield. “Dave not only helped to build this company — he helped tens of thousands of people start and succeed in business, and in the process, he helped protect hundreds of thousands of families. He will be missed by everyone, but his legacy lives forever.”
Savula joined the company in 1992 after he traveled to Ada, Okla. to meet with the company’s founder and CEO, Harland Stonecipher. From that meeting, Savula set course to the top of the company’s sales force and never relinquished his position as leader, becoming the first sales associate to break the $1 million mark in annual earnings in 1998.
His ascension through the company’s ranks was immediate and he was constantly recognized for his unwillingness to let anything get in his way. Kathy Pinson, a long-time company executive, recalled one of the first obstacles both the company and Savula encountered: “Dave was in Ohio holding recruiting events and he sent in a lot of associate agreements and membership applications – but we weren’t even open for business in Ohio at the time. We called and told him we couldn’t process the applications and he said ‘Well, get Ohio opened because I’m not stopping!’.”
The company opened in Ohio soon thereafter.
Savula’s tireless energy and travel schedule made him a top draw throughout North America. His meeting system and recruiting approach became staples the company would adopt for its entire sales organization and utilize to this day. His videos are among the top-selling sales and recruiting aids in the company’s history.
Two years ago, LegalShield unveiled the Dave Savula Lifetime Achievement Award at its home office in Ada. A bronze bust of Savula is set to be unveiled at the headquarters, along with other key figures in the company’s history, during this year’s LegalShield International Convention, scheduled for July 14-16 in Oklahoma City.
Savula also had a lifetime passion for and coached football in the NW Georgia Youth Football Leagues for 30 years. Dave is among the winningest coaches in Ga. youth football history, priding himself in teams that routinely finished among the best in the state. He coached many players that went on to play collegiately and in the National Football League.
To honor Mr. Savula’s wishes, in lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Foundation for the Pearlstine Sarcoidosis Center of Excellence, 18 Bee Street, MSC 450, Charleston, South Carolina 29425 or online at musc.edu/giving/medicine – please note Dave Savula in the “Tribute Information” section of the donation page.
The celebration of Dave’s life and impact will continue to be broadcast through LegalShield’s Associate Network Facebook page.