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Employee Spotlight: Derelynn Williams

Employee Spotlight: Derelynn Williams

How would you describe your role at PS&F?

I recently changed roles from a client executive, so I’m still trying to navigate things and make it my own. I feel like I’m still living in both worlds and getting to know my clients in an entirely new way. Even so, my highest priorities are obviously ensuring the best client service at every level and fostering relationships.

How did you start a career in insurance?

I, like a lot of people in the industry, fell into it. I moved to Washington in 1996 from California and found a job with a small mom and pop brokerage firm through a temp agency in Lynnwood. I started as the receptionist because the former woman in the role was promoted to assist the office manager. After about a month, she stopped showing up for work, and I told them that I wanted to do more. I started working as the assistant office manager, got licensed as a property and casualty producer, and eventually had my own book of business. I stayed there for 15 years until another agency came in and bought the firm.

I came over to Parker, Smith & Feek shortly after that, eight years ago now. It was such a huge transition for me because we work on such a different scale and do so much more here. I felt a little out of my element at first. It took about a year for me to get into the groove and start feeling comfortable, and now I know I could never go back.  

Derelynn Williams and her family

You specialize in the healthcare industry, how has the pandemic impacted your clients?

COVID-19 is having a huge impact – everyone’s feeling it. Rates are increasing on virtually every line of coverage. On medical malpractice, specifically, the market has been underpriced for many years and now a lot of carriers are walking away or severely increasing rates due to the legal environment being what it is and the huge settlements being paid out. On top of all of that, organizations are trying to cope with worker burnout and potential staffing shortages.

It’s a hard time for healthcare, even without the hard market. But we are working hard with our clients to ensure that they maintain coverage and protect their assets so they can keep providing care.

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

I love to scrapbook. I have a opens in a new windowDreambox in my office – it’s a giant cupboard dedicated to craft supplies with a table and everything. I started before my son was born and then stopped for a long time because life got so busy, but I always kept all my supplies. I moved them with me wherever I went. They’re so expensive, I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of anything.

Now my passion has totally reignited and every weekend the Dreambox comes out. I’m working on one for my close friend’s daughter’s wedding – I’ve known her since she was born, so this is a really special project.

Derelynn Williams and her Dreambox

Do you volunteer with any organizations or charities?

I currently serve on the Evergreen Health Monroe Foundation Board – I’ve been attending and supporting a lot of their events, but it’s really exciting to actually be helping make decisions now.

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

When I first started in the industry and dug into the nitty gritty of coverages, it just clicked for me. Sure, reading policies can get monotonous, but piecing together limits and coverages and digging into policies to see what is and isn’t covered is really rewarding.

I love working with our clients. They all do amazing things, whether it’s teaching kids or setting up clinical trials or running big hospital systems, and they rely on us quite a bit. I just love being a partner to them. I may have fallen into the industry, but once I landed here it all felt right.

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

I started dancing when I was five years old, and it’s always been a huge part of my life ever since. I did hip hop, ballet, jazz, you know, a bit of everything. My high school had an advanced, audition-only dance class where you had to try out in front of everyone, which was terrifying, and I loved being in it. I was one of four girls out of my class that made the team as a freshman. I also taught kids prior to moving to Washington. My sister and I were cheerleaders as well. We are 14 months apart, so we were able to cheer together in 7th, 8th, 11th, and 12th grade. It was really special to share that together. My entire life revolved around dance and cheer during school.

Now I’m just a huge nerd with my love for musicals and dance movies.   

Tell me about your family?

Jeff is my forever fiancé, we’ve been engaged for eight years now. It’s not that we don’t want to get married, it’s just that every time we sit down to start planning and consider how expensive it will be, we second guess it. We own a home together and share everything already – we’re basically married. He works for a big printing company that makes labels for wine and other food products. I also have a 16-year-old son, Gage, who just started driving himself to school this year, which is crazy to me. Then Jeff has two kids, Alyssa and Chris. Alyssa is married and has a stepdaughter who just turned ten, and a daughter who is 18 months old, so we have two granddaughters. They’re super fun. Alyssa and I are really close; she even asked me to be in the room when she delivered, and I was able to help deliver her. It was the most amazing experience. Being a Nana is literally the best thing ever!

PROFILE:

Where are you from? La Crescenta, California

Family? Jeff, fiancé; Gage, son; Alyssa, stepdaughter; Chris, stepson; Harmony, granddaughter; Adalynn, granddaughter

Favorite television show? Ozark or Yellowstone

Favorite restaurant? opens in a new windowAnthony’s

Childhood hero? Wonder Woman

Parker, Smith & Feek Communications Specialist, Copy Editor, Sara Brauchla
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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