Employee Spotlight: Andrew Peoples

How would you describe your role at PS&F?

I develop and maintain relationships with clients and advise them on their risk management and insurance needs. I’m also responsible for identifying and bringing in new clients that fit our firm’s culture well.

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

A few years ago, I did the 200-mile, two-day RSVP bike ride from Seattle, WA to Vancouver, BC. I was really into biking at the time, so a few of my buddies and I trained up and completed the ride. It was a great combination of fun and misery.  

What makes you so passionate about the insurance industry?

Well for one, I love working with people – coworkers, clients, prospects, everyone in the industry. Particularly, I love to help others. So things like digging into the complexity of contracts and being able to communicate that clearly, or working through a claim with a client where there’s adequate coverage and everyone is made whole are hugely rewarding to me. Obviously, you don’t ever want a client to have a claim, but being able to turn it into a good outcome is extremely rewarding.

Our industry gets a bad rap, but we do important work for our clients. We’re protecting a business that people built and potentially invested their entire lives into. We provide such vital security, and I take that responsibility seriously.

What’s the best career advice you’ve received?

Always sign up for the 401k. When I was fresh out of college and going through the benefits offering of my first job with my dad, I wrote it off and thought I’d rather have that money in the paycheck. He insisted that I needed to put even just 1% in to start with, set it to automatically increase by 1% each year, and I wouldn’t even notice it. Now looking back, I’m so grateful that I listened to him, even if it was begrudgingly. 

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

The technology standards. The industry as a whole seems to always be ten years behind where the rest of the world is. Things are starting to change though and you’re able to get results quicker, which is a great trend.

But at the same time, as technology advances, efficiencies are eliminating some of those interpersonal touchpoints with underwriters or carriers. It’s more important than ever to nurture those relationships in order to achieve the best outcomes for clients. When you’re just entering details into a computer program and it comes back with poor coverage terms, there’s less negotiating you can do. Those relationships are crucial to working through to achieve the best results for our clients.

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

I love woodworking. I have a little shop in my garage and I’m always building furniture, doing projects around the house…I’ve always got something I’m working on or updating.

My family loves being outside, so we do lots of hiking and camping too. We bought a popup camper last spring, so we aren’t sleeping on the ground anymore. It’s been so much fun.

Tell me about your family?

My wife and I have been married for 16 years now and moved out here from North Carolina about 12 and a half years ago. We have three kids – an eight-year-old boy and five-year-old boy/girl twins. They’re all wonderful.

My wife is from the Puget Sound area, so we used to come out and visit all the time. The first time I came here, I told myself that this was where I was going to live. I loved it so much. The mountains are everywhere, summers are 75 degrees with no humidity as opposed to 95-degree, muggy North Carolina, and it’s just beautiful. I never looked back once we moved here.

What is the quality you admire most in other people?

A positive attitude. I strive to bring that to the table every day, and work to impart the importance of it on my kids. A good outlook affects everything in your life. When I see someone else embodying that day-to-day, I really respect that.

I had a mentor in high school and college that always said that no matter what was happening, the one thing you can always control is your own attitude.

You studied philosophy in college – what made you pursue that topic?

When I started college, I decided to major in business, so I started working towards an accounting degree. But as I entered my sophomore year, my grades started to slip, and I realized that I just didn’t really care about a lot of the classes I was taking. I talked a great deal with advisors and my parents and came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to just grind through those years doing something that didn’t interest me. I’d always been interested in philosophy, so I switched to that major, and everything turned around. My grades improved, I was focused and enjoying my classes, and ended up just absolutely loving it.

PROFILE:

Where are you from? Greensboro, North Carolina

Favorite vacation spot? The next one – we don’t like to go to the same place twice

Favorite book? The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Bellevue favorites? The geography – mountains and water right next to each other


Interviewed and edited by Sara Brauchla, Parker, Smith & Feek’s Communications Specialist and Copy Editor. She is responsible for editing all published materials, including spotlights, which offer a peek at who our hardworking employees really are when not consulting on our clients’ insurance programs. Stay tuned for her next installment, and refer to our blog or articles page for more of her work.

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