Employee Spotlight: Currie Baker

What’s your role at PS&F?

I lead the Private Client Group, which is here to assist clients with their personal insurance. I see my primary role as a consultant.

What inspired you to start a career in insurance consulting?

I grew up in New Jersey and on Sundays, if we were good, my dad would take us out to get ice cream at Friendly’s. On the way, there was a Chubb insurance location we’d always pass. I started to associate it with being happy and feeling good – because of the ice cream, of course!

So when I was in college and went to the career fair, I went straight to the Chubb booth and asked about jobs. It made sense on paper, too. I had a business degree and my dad said it was a great industry to go into. No matter what happens with technology or people, it will be a good, solid, reliable industry to be a part of.

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

I was a baton twirler in high school. I could still do it today, if I needed to!

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

Shop. Not for specific brands or specific things, and I don’t necessarily buy things, either. I just love to go out and shop for things. I’ll go to furniture stores…plant stores…the mall…anywhere. And I especially like to shop if I travel to a different city, too. Because you can tell a lot about the people there – based on what they’re into and buying, right?

You were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019 and have continued working along with receiving treatment. What’s been the biggest challenge?

Admitting that I need to take care of myself. As a manager, mother, and woman, I don’t often put myself first. But I came to the realization of, “If I don’t take care of myself facing this, then I won’t be able to be there for my team, husband, or daughter.” At some point, you do need to prioritize yourself, and that’s been hard to admit.

I was always one to come to work on eight different medicines while I had pneumonia or something, just to be sure that everyone had everything they needed. Then I’d go home and make dinner; I’d do all of those things. But I can’t do that this time.

This is going to scar me forever, both physically and emotionally. Most things I can recover from, but not this. I got shingles during my course of chemo, and it was bad enough to leave permanent scarring. I didn’t even realize I had it because I was feeling so crummy otherwise. I just absentmindedly asked the doctor about it one day, and she said, “Oh NO! That’s shingles!”

Other aspects have been easy. Like losing my hair – that was fabulous. I don’t have to wash it or fuss with it anymore. It didn’t bother me at all!

Editor’s note: As of April 28, 2020, Currie is 100% cancer-free!

What’s one thing you’ve learned from the experience that you’d like others to be aware of?

Get checked. Don’t wait. I had a mammogram in May 2018, and by February 2019 I had four tumors. It can move fast, so don’t skip a year or put it off. It’s not fun, but it’s better than the alternative.

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

An interior designer. Or, completely seriously, a wide receiver (laughs).

But my love for houses and design is also part of the reason I got into this industry. One of my first jobs was as an appraiser in Los Angeles. I’d go all over Beverly Hills and get to see where celebrities lived. I just have always loved houses; I still like to sketch out rooms and designs in my spare time.

You’re a big Seahawks fan, despite being from New Jersey originally. Why?

My parents are from Pittsburgh, so when we were growing up in New Jersey, they wouldn’t let us root for any local teams. We had to follow the Steelers, of course. But one day I told my dad that I didn’t really like the Steelers, and he said, “Well okay, you can pick a different team, but it can’t be the Jets or the Giants.”

I picked the Seahawks because they were an expansion team and weren’t very good at the time…so they’d run all sorts of crazy plays. They’d fake punts or throw on fourth downs and it was just so much fun to watch them. I was about eight years old, had no idea where Seattle even was, but I just liked the Seahawks. And now, here I am!

What’s the one single piece of information about personal insurance you wish more people knew?

I wish more people understood their liability. If you have assets at risk like your home, liquid assets, a business (if you own it), etc., then that can all be jeopardized by uncovered liability. Most liability limits cost just hundreds of dollars, will provide you with proper defense coverage and other protection, and can prevent serious financial damage in the millions if a suit comes against you.

PROFILE:

Where are you from? New Jersey

Family? Husband, Bob; daughter, Claire; standard schnauzer, Otto; giant schnauzer, Ava

Favorite vacation spot? Monterey, California

Favorite restaurant? Maggiano’s

Favorite quote? “Keep your heels, head, and standards high.” – Coco Chanel


Interviewed and edited by Sara Brauchla, Parker, Smith & Feek’s Marketing Specialist. She is our dedicated copywriter and editor of 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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