I grew up on Long Island and our family values were very clear according to my dad. I was going to college to gain an Mrs. Degree even though all I wanted to do was to work with my dad and eventually take over the family business. That didn’t work out as my dad and I expected. I did not find my husband at college, entered Corporate America and still hadn’t brought home a husband by the time my dad passed away in 2001. I admit he was disappointed but I wasn’t.
I secured my first summer job in college through a connection my cousin had at AIG, an international insurance company. I also worked part time for AIG in Boston during my senior year at Boston University and have actually come full circle, having recently taken a leadership position at their headquarters in New York.
Throughout my early career in insurance I climbed through a myriad of management positions in Chubb’s claims division and took on every new challenge that came my way leading me from Boston to New York to New Jersey and even Bermuda!
I returned to New York to start a new division with a friend at St. Paul Companies. It was an all hands on deck opportunity that didn’t fail to exhaust and inspire us every day. The pace was quick and we quickly grew the business exponentially. The company then merged with Travelers and I hit the pinnacle of my career becoming the President of the Excess Casualty division, providing catastrophic insurance to all size companies. When I left in 2016 the division of 100 underwriters across over 30 offices around the country had grown four-fold in just five years. I am so proud of what we were able to achieve in that organization after the merger with Travelers in 2004. I have a particular passion for developing leaders and helping them find their way and grow is what I love to do.
Now I am in an underwriting leadership position at Everest Insurance. As in any new situation I am facing a new set of challenges: culture, organizational structure, new leadership at the top of the organization, and simply getting to know and understand how this organization operates. It’s incredibly challenging but fun. Between these two jobs I took an eight-month sabbatical and learned more about myself that I ever could have in the office. I really lived life in balance and strive to keep that vibe going in my life. Whether it’s time for a daily workout, your kids, your family, a good book, or a walk in the park. Building in time for whatever makes you joyful outside of work is the biggest challenge we all face in my opinion. If you can strike that balance (which includes white space on your calendar to think, plan and strategize) you will game the system and achieve all you desire. I still struggle every day to find that balance, but it’s worth it!
I love the WIA community and can’t believe it’s been five years since a mentee of mine at Travelers invited me to an event and I was hooked. Many of the mentees and mentors have become great friends. There is nothing like having a safe place to talk about your challenges with women who understand and can help.