1. How long have you been in the industry? Just over 13 years
2. What is your current position and employer? Insurance Producer at Towne/SIL Insurance Agency
3. How long did it take you to obtain your CPCU? 2 years
4. What do you like most about your job? Problem solving, building relationships, and communicating in a way that give clients clear and actionable options without analysis paralysis or information overload
5. Why or how did you start in the insurance industry? My grandmother moved with her husband from a rural life to the “big city” in Richmond VA many years ago, and she got a job at an insurance agency. Her relationships opened doors for my dad’s career many years later. My dad in turn introduced me to Fred Itzkowitz at SIL after I had been in the workforce for 2 years, and I decided to change my career path and move into insurance from there.
6. Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of getting the designation? I recommend CPCU to anyone looking to make a long-term investment in their insurance career. One area CPCU does an excellent job preparing you for is the thought process involved in our industry, and you can apply those methods to everyday challenges. On the agency side, it gives you the ability to explain what is happening, and why it is happening to your clients in a confident and understandable way. In addition, it allows you as agent to recognize circumstances that call for intervention and a change of direction on the carrier side. Overall, if insurance is your career track, I highly recommend starting CPCU as soon as possible as it is highly rewarding and will take considerable time as it is comprehensive.
7. What book did you read last? Peek-A-Moo (I have a 19 month old daughter)
8. What is your favorite restaurant? Can’t go wrong with local favorite Carytown Burgers and Fries
9. What college/university did you attend? Virginia Tech
10. Tell us something about yourself outside of your insurance career. My wife and I love to travel internationally, and do so as much as we are able. Japan was one of our favorite trips, and while it is a long way to travel, it is well worth it for the unique culture, art, architecture, museums, mountains/nature, and amazing food. One interesting thing of many that happened is that we experienced an earthquake on the 20th floor of our hotel on the first morning. Our building first started bouncing, then began swaying like a ship at sea…that was an interesting way to wake up! It was odd to look out the hotel window and see the buildings all around swaying, but they are built to absorb the shock waves of an EQ as occur relatively frequently in Japan. This just so happened to be the largest EQ in that region in 15+ years, and thankfully, no injury or major damage occurred as reported by local media.