Recipient of NetVU’s Young Professionals Award
Commercial Lines Producer and Office Manager
Fogle Insurance Group
Huntersville, North Carolina
Guilty pleasure TV show: Friday Night Lights
Favorite beer: Viking French Sour by D9 Brewing Company
Preferred social media: Snapchat
This is something I fell into. I used to work at a doggie day care and I also have my own pet-sitting business, so I was doing both. I’d been looking for another job and a friend of mine texted me a picture of a business card. I was on a dog walk for my business 30 minutes before I had to go to my other job, so I decided to call the number, and it went straight to the owner’s cell phone. I talked to him for about 20 minutes on my dog walk and told him I was interested in coming to work for him.
Today, I love the people I get to meet. As a business owner, it’s very interesting to get to talk to other business owners and explain my side of it. I feel like a lot of other agents—especially in the commercial lines department—can only go on what they know about the insurance side of it. I have that insight into being a business owner. I love the relationships I get to build with other business owners and the relationships I’m developing with other people in the industry, and all the amazing opportunities that come with it.
What keeps me so motivated while I’m in the office to keep growing and doing things is the people I work for. They’re incredibly supportive. They love seeing us get out and do things and start up new programs and initiatives. They like that we’re involved in the community. They’re a family-owned agency, so the owner, his son, both his daughters and his grandson all work in our office. When you’re in an atmosphere where everyone loves everyone and they’re all so supportive of everyone, it makes you want to do great things.
Biggest role model?
It’s kind of a tie. The vice president of our agency has been very supportive of anything I want to do. He takes my recommendations to heart and listens to what I have to say. He’s very much pushing the leadership thing and wants all of us to make ourselves better.
But then my boss in the commercial lines department—she’s been here for about 12 years now, and she has set an incredible example. She loves everyone and has amazing relationships with our clients, and she’s very dedicated to being here even when she’s not here. She has been an incredible role model as what I want to emulate as a commercial lines producer.
I do my pet-sitting business before work, after work and on my lunch break. But I still have a personal life. I do check my email and do the phone thing even when I’m not at work, but I give myself time to do things that don’t involve work, to just walk away and be wherever I’m at. Having weekends definitely helps—I didn’t have a weekend for about six years and that has helped me recharge a lot.
Most annoying millennial stereotype?
The entitlement thing. I started paying my own bills when I was 16; I’ve had a job since I was 17; I work 14-hour days three or four times a week. I have a pretty intense work ethic, so when someone says something about entitlement, I just kind of shake my head. I work so hard for everything I have and everything I do. I put 100% effort into everything and expect absolutely nothing in return.
Millennial stereotype that fits you?
Probably the social aspect. I’m always out there talking to people. I go to some of the breweries and strike up a conversation. I’m all over social media. I have basically every social media outlet—no matter which one it is, I’m always talking about my job or insurance. I have people who come in from out of town that I knew in high school and I’m like, “Hey, while you’re on your way to Charlotte, stop by the office—I’ll quote your insurance for you.” I can’t tell you how many prospects I’ve had that were friends of friends who got on Facebook and sent me a message.
Industry’s biggest challenge?
I think the perpetuation issue is going to be one of the biggest ones, and I think technology is going to be the other half of that. At our agency, we have some people around the baby boomer age, but we now have five people under 30 in a 12-person office. It’s about telling people this is a great industry, this is a great place to work, these are the benefits, these are the perks. Getting those people in here will solve both the millennial problem and the technology problem all in one swoop, because everyone our age is all over social media and technology and innovating and trying new things.
This article is the second in a series that profiles 10 millennials in independent insurance, based on IA’s July cover story. Keep an eye on IAmagazine.com and upcoming editions of the News & Views e-newsletter for more insights into how young people are working to secure the future of your industry.