Employee Spotlight: Chris Corry

What’s your role at PS&F?

I see myself as an outside risk manager for my clients. Anyone can sell an insurance policy, but my goal is to ensure that we’re protecting the business. I’m a part of their team helping the business to be successful.

What inspired you to start a career in insurance?

My first job was setting appointments for my dad, who sold ancillary benefits…you know, life insurance, AD&D, disability, that sort of thing. I was 15 and I would call leads and set up appointments and got paid for each confirmed appointment that actually took place. In college, he really pushed for me to get into the business.

I had absolutely no interest; I wanted to go to law school. But in my senior year, I was calculating my costs for attending law school and looking at admission rates and earning potential after graduating without getting into a top 25 law school. It didn’t make any sense, so I decided to take a year off and see what I wanted to do instead.

This was during a recession, so my choices were slim. I worked as an auditor for a pension fund for about six months and it was miserable. No matter how hard I worked, the pay raises were the same. I got my weekly work done in about two days, and I spent a lot of my downtime just…sitting.

One day a friend’s parents asked what I did and encouraged me to come talk to them since they worked in premium auditing. The pay was better, and I figured nothing could be worse than what I was already doing. I did auditing for about 10 years at Travelers before getting tired of it, so I moved into the risk management department because I loved working with customers.

I found myself in the exact industry I swore that I would never work in, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s funny how that works out sometimes, right?

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

I love spending time with my kids. We have two biological kids, an adopted three-year-old from foster care (though we’ve had him since the day he was born), and one foster placement.

What’s something exciting going on in the food processing industry right now?

It’s an interesting time for agriculture; it’s an industry that’s traditionally been heavily reliant on labor but is now becoming increasingly automated and intelligence driven. It’s created opportunities and challenges simultaneously, and I worry about my local workers and their ability to support their families.

I’m helping to create a new program at Perry Technical Institute to retrain traditional agriculture workers in systems software and computer science. That way, the same people in the community being replaced by automated machines will be the people writing code and running software for those machines. Someone who has been making $30,000-$40,000 a year can suddenly make over $90,000. To me, that’s a tremendous opportunity to positively change the dynamics of Yakima Valley along with the evolving industry.

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

I was homecoming king at University of Washington.

Do you volunteer with any organizations or charities? Tell me about your volunteer work with the Salvation Army.

They do great work in our valley and focus on taking care of the mort vulnerable people. Especially during the pandemic, we’ve seen families who’ve never had to go to a food bank in their life come to us. They don’t care who you are, they just want to make sure that your basic needs are being met. It’s so important to have groups out there to help pick up the pieces, especially in frustrating times like this where people have been forced out of work through no fault of their own.

We talk a lot about the PS&F difference. How do you make a difference?

The fact that we’re not commissioned here allows me to do so. I can bring in experts in individualized areas like loss control who have the best advice for clients without negotiating commissions on the back end after the fact. My clients, on the other hand, don’t have to worry that they’ll be charged extra for advice that will help keep their business safe and running well, or that it’s bad advice just so we can get paid a little more.  

Are you from Yakima? If not, where did you grow up?

I am not. I grew up in Southern California, and we moved to Port Orchard, Washington when I was in high school. My wife is a local though.

What’s your favorite part of the Yakima community?

I love the level of accountability here. As a kid growing up in Southern California, I could spend a week going about my business without running into anyone I knew. Here, I can’t spend a couple of hours out and about without running into people I know into the community. My wife didn’t like going anywhere in public with me before COVID-19 because it was like a mini town hall – anytime I went to Costco I’d spend two hours just talking with other community members.

PROFILE:

Where are you from? Southern California

Favorite movie? The Godfather Part II

Favorite food/meal/restaurant? Japanese food

Yakima favorites? Fall and harvest time


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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