1. What’s your title? Vice President in the Carrier Practice Team. My focus is on generating new, and maintaining current, strategic relationships in the insurance industry while increasing interest regarding Gallagher Bassett’s innovative products and services, primarily insurance carriers.
2. You presented at Women to Watch last week – what was your biggest take away? There was a 1970s song, “I Am Woman” by Helen Reddy, that says, “I am woman, hear me roar, in numbers too big to ignore, and I know too much to go back an’ pretend … no one’s ever gonna keep me down again.” Based upon what I witnessed at the Women to Watch event, Helen Reddy would be so proud. The panel on which I spoke was terrific and discussed in detail closing the wage gap between genders. The gap continues to be narrowed, especially as more companies recognize the importance of talented women in the workplace, inclusion, diversity and reflecting your customers and community.
3. You are a 20+ year veteran in our industry – what advice would you give to a young person joining our industry? Whether you are a young person joining this industry or a seasoned veteran, demonstrate that you care. This may be the one and only time that person experiences a claim, has purchased a policy, or has to provide proof of insurance to secure a purchase. Guide them through the process. Care about their needs, pain, anxiety, concerns and financial challenges. Meet and exceed their expectations (i.e. go beyond). For you this may seem routine but for them, they are depending upon your skills, knowledge and ability. Differentiate yourself and demonstrate that you care about their situation. What we do is not just a job – it’s an amazing career helping so many people around the world.
4. Who’s been one of your leadership models in your life? Why? One of my leadership models is Wayne Gretzky, known in hockey as “the great one,” and yet, he was all about the team. He would keep the other 11 players on the ice all in his sight, anticipate what others would do, pass the puck to teammates to take shots, learn from mistakes, and celebrate victories together. He did all of this while always giving back to the community. Those are techniques that I have emulated in my business and personal life, whether as an attorney, a claims executive, a public speaker, a daughter, friend or colleague, or a non-profit volunteer. We achieve more as a high performing team, helping one another be recognized and promoted for our unique talents which when combined propel us all to achieve more and enjoy what we do as amazing careers.
5. What is something you’re proud of? It’s an interesting question. I take pride in having made my parents proud of all that I’ve accomplished personally and professionally and ultimately being a good daughter. My father and his parents came to New York with nothing right after WWII and my mom had a career as a school teacher. They both encouraged me to do more, be more and reach new heights. All my success would have all been hollow without being able to see the joy in my parents’ faces.
6. What’s a favorite hobby or pastime? I love to travel both domestically and internationally while also loving sports. So, I’ve made it a point to go to an event in just about every city that I’ve ever visited. That includes the World Cup in Chicago; the Stanley Cup final game in NJ, Boston, Anaheim, LA and Dallas; seeing several Bulls Championship Games in Chicago; several MLB All Star games in Chicago, NY, Milwaukee, Anaheim and elsewhere; and getting to 5 events in one long 4-day weekend (Oakland Raiders, Golden State Warriors, San Jose Sharks, Cal Berkley and San Francisco 49ers). Two items still on the bucket list – ride a Zamboni at an NHL game and go to the Super Bowl.
7. What one word guides you? Courage – especially courage to dare to move outside the comfort of what one knows and pushes the limits. Setting ambitious objectives and having the persistence to pursue them in the face of adversity is a particularly critical form of courage in the business world. I received a thank you note from a female colleague about courage. The note read: “I appreciate you always pushing me to the limits and working outside of my comfort zone. You enabled me to be a better employee as a result, and I appreciate the chances you took on my development.”