Employee Spotlight: Lynsee Wiegand

What’s your role here at Parker, Smith & Feek?

I’m an Account Executive in the Commercial Department. I’ve officially joined the food practice group as well, so I’ll be focusing on clients in that space.

You’re new to Parker, Smith & Feek, what inspired you
to join the team?

I worked on the carrier side for a few years, and came across Parker, Smith & Feek in that capacity. I always really admired how the company conducted business. They consistently had a great team that sincerely focused on being client-centric and solving problems. For a people-person like me, that emphasis on helping people really resonated. When Parker, Smith & Feek expressed interest in having me join the team, I felt it would be a great fit and jumped at the opportunity.

Tell me a little bit about your background.

My first professional experience was in retail at Nordstrom and I learned a lot about client service while there. After a few months, I secured a position at a large national bank as a home mortgage consultant, where I handled home purchases and refinances. I absolutely loved it; I worked with a fantastic team of people who were dedicated to making sure the clients came first.

However, I eventually found my way out of the banking business and into insurance. I made a move to The Hartford working on commercial sales, then to CNA for a year, before joining Parker, Smith & Feek.

What encouraged you to start a career in the insurance business?

I was on vacation and started casually chatting with a manager at The Hartford. He suggested applying, and it was as simple as that. I was intrigued because, while I enjoyed working on mortgages and it was a difficult decision to leave, I wanted the opportunity to learn something new and build a network of clients to work with consistently. I saw my opportunity to make a change, and went for it.

Have you had a mentor who’s been influential in your career?

Yes, Jason Buchanan. While at my banking job, we had worked well together across departments so he encouraged me to join his team and handle mortgages. We had tremendous success while working together. Jason and I both had a passion for helping people and doing what is right for the client, and he showed me how that could be accomplished with our offerings.

We have become great friends since and he has tremendous confidence in my ability to succeed. I always appreciated his work ethic and his efforts to put people in better home loans through refinancing, or the effort to complete new purchase loans.

Later in my career, I found that I was the one being asked to step up, keep others on track, and lead by example. Jason’s mentorship helped me to find my own internal compass and make the right choices.

What’s made you so passionate about the insurance industry?

I like helping people; I care deeply about my clients and take their needs and the task of protecting their assets very seriously. Most people don’t really understand just how important insurance is. Some think that it’s just a box that needs to be checked or an arbitrary, bureaucratic requirement. In fact, a well-crafted and comprehensive insurance policy can be a major contributor to what keeps a business afloat in the event of a large loss or other event. At the end of the day, my job is to help protect business’s livelihood.

If you could change one thing about the insurance industry,
what would it be?

I’d like to see more innovative ways to attract younger, more diverse talent into the industry so they can understand the opportunity and potential. There’s a misconception that insurance is dull and unfulfilling, when in reality it is full of creative problem solving and fascinating clients.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I enjoy hiking and traveling with my husband, Kenny, and our two dogs, Archie and Oreo. I love doing all of the traditional, cheesy tourist stuff while abroad, like tours and museums. Seeing the Crown Jewels was one of my favorites while visiting London – you ride along on this conveyor belt and it’s all very organized. It was nothing at all like Paris, where people are shouting and shoving you out of the way with their phone to get a picture. We’ve been to Thailand, London, and Paris so far; we are currently planning a trip to Italy and Croatia next!

I’m also a surprisingly good bowler and a decent golfer, mostly because I enjoy competition.

What is something your co-workers would be surprised to
learn about you?

I went skydiving in Hawaii, and didn’t enjoy it like I had thought I would. It was scary, and you’re falling so fast through the air that it’s actually painful.

You grew up in the Tri-Cities? That must have been quite the change to Seattle.

Yes! I transferred out to Seattle because of my job at Nordstrom. There’s so much to do out here on the West side, and I love the mild weather. Even so, nothing beats going home to the Tri and soaking up a hot summer evening. They have over 300 days of sunshine and no traffic.

Tell me about your family?

My family and I are very close; I frequently visit the Tri-Cities to spend time with my two younger siblings. There’s a bit of an age gap between me and my brother and sister and we’re all pretty different people, but we get along really well.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I wanted to show horses professionally or go into dentistry. That’s obviously not what I ended up doing!

PS&F Employee Spotlight : Lynsee Wiegand

You’re a big fan of Serena Williams. What do you like most about her?

She’s just…amazing. I wasn’t even a tennis fan originally, but Serena turned me into one. Her athleticism is astounding; she can serve the ball almost as hard and fast as her male counterparts. She can go out, completely annihilate her sister, Venus, and then turn around and win doubles with her the next day. She’s never had any major scandals and is just a fantastic role model, particularly for women.

I waited in line starting at 4 am to get tickets to see her at Wimbledon. It’s still one of my favorite memories, getting to see her play in person.

Why do you think you will stay in the insurance industry?

When I worked in banking, I didn’t really get to help anyone long term. Once the loan went through, you were done with a particular client. I really thrive on building lasting relationships and, here at Parker, Smith & Feek, I have the opportunity to do that. I’m able to help people and see it through as a lasting relationship.

Have you learned any lessons throughout your career that really stick with you?

Always be responsive. Even in situations where I don’t have an answer on the spot, I always inform the person that I’ll be looking into it, or will get back to them. People appreciate being kept in the loop, and doing so has definitely served me well in my career.

PROFILE:

Favorite vacation spot: Palm Springs, CA

Favorite season: Summer

Favorite sport(s): Hiking, golfing, paddle boarding, and tennis

Seattle restaurant: Mojito’s Cuban restaurant on Lake City Way in Seattle. It’s very fresh.

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