I guess you could say I grew up in it. My Dad and Uncle started their agency before I was born. I started working there in the summers in high school, doing all the fun jobs like cleaning out the file closet, typing out ACORDS on the typewriter (man was I glad when they invented the white out back space!). I went off to college and told my Dad I wasn’t interested in working in the insurance industry. Two years after college, I started my own agency in Southern California. So much for that; I am convinced that insurance runs in the blood.
What is your favorite thing about insurance?
I love getting to meet all different kinds of people and having the opportunity to see the inner workings of so many different types of businesses. Most of all, I enjoy helping people protect the businesses they have worked so hard to build.
Briefly describe your experience owning a business with your Dad.
Insurance is unique in that the barrier to entry can be quite high. When I was first starting out, my Dad was able to convince Linda Smith (then President at Preferred Employers) to take a meeting with me. At the time, Preferred only had 52 brokers and was not appointing new ones. Ultimately, Linda decided to give us an appointment to write business with them and that was my springboard into starting my own agency and getting additional appointments etc.
My Dad is an incredible teacher, mentor, and all around amazing human being. Having run his own agency in Fresno for over 45 years, he has seen and experienced so many things in the industry. I lovingly call him my “senior advisor”; he is the first person I call when I run across a problem I haven’t seen before. His wisdom and support have been invaluable.
Will you talk a little about your relationship with PIIB?
I am so grateful that I joined PIIB. I looked at several other clusters before finding PIIB. I resisted joining a cluster for years, as I didn’t want an outside entity to have control or to interfere with our operations. The PIIB team has been so amazing in every way! We have benefitted from being part of PIIB in many ways, but the highlights are:
- Steadier and much larger profit sharing than we received on our own
- Access to a large number of carriers for all lines of business
- Strong relationships and communication with all carriers. PIIB team has been instrumental in resolving any issues when they come up
- Reduced performance related pressure from carriers
- Meeting/making connections with other brokers with a similar mindset, yet diverse backgrounds and specialties.
- Great support, referrals, and feedback from other members
Your agency is walking distance to the beach? Do you and the team enjoy a beach day here and there?
We are very lucky to be one block away from one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! Several people in the office break out their surfboards at lunch, and others take walks on the beach.
How do you spend your free time outside of work? Favorite places to go or things to do?
I enjoy road biking, hunting, cooking, traveling, and spending time with family/friends. We love classic cars and motorcycles and enjoy going to car shows. Some of our favorite places are France, Italy, and all along the CA coast; pretty much anywhere we can have a good picnic!
We finish the interview and you find a lottery ticket that gets you 10 M; what do you do?
Donate it to Folds of Honor to support our veterans. It is a cause near and dear to my heart and I would love to be able to do more for them.