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February 7, 2019
As an Account Executive, I develop new and maintain existing client relationships. My role is to understand my clients business and goals inside and out. Working in the world of construction, you can often find some challenging and unique clients. There’s a great deal more that goes into a client’s profile than just the name on the door. In regards to clients, my role is to make insurance easy for them by being a trusted partner.
When I was just out of college, I worked for a construction and engineering firm down in Southern California. I was a labor relations specialist, which is essentially a liaison between a project owner, contractors, and the labor unions. I worked on a $20 billion schools program for Los Angeles Unified School District and a runway addition project at Los Angeles International Airport. My role had me on jobsites working with contractors daily, which was invaluable.
After we moved back up to Washington, I went to work for a commercial and residential floor covering company doing project management and sales. I handled all aspects of the job from initial bid to project punch list. I did everything from blueprint takeoffs, product specifications, hiring installers, site management, and punch list close out.
It’s that kind of real life experience that I bring to the table for our construction clients. I know beyond the routine exposures that they face because I’ve actually been in the field facing them myself.
It’s funny, really, because people often say I’m crazy but…I have always wanted to get into the insurance industry. It’s something that everybody needs, right? I have a couple of friends with successful personal lines brokerages, and I thought that was the direction I wanted to go. But that required a lot of upfront capital, and when I was 25 and trying to start a family, that just wasn’t going to work out.
But I always had it in the back of my mind. Fortunately, I stumbled into the world of commercial insurance through a client in my former work life. The rest is history.
I just think it is fun to watch the amount of construction that is going on in the area. Everywhere you look downtown and on the eastside there are tower cranes. With the advancement in technology, projects are getting done faster, better, and safer. There are some pretty amazing projects being completed in our skyline.
I think the biggest challenge facing the construction industry is the lack of labor. Entering the construction trades has become a much less attractive option than going the college route. College is not for everyone and we need to do a better job of showing the next generation that there are very good opportunities within the trades.
That relates back to my experience in construction. I know there are other brokers out there who understand the insurance side of construction, but I have actually been an integral part of the building process.
As they say, I can walk the walk and talk the talk.
I had open heart surgery a few years ago. It’s definitely uncommon for a 38-year-old to need a valve replaced. I’m back to 100 percent now, but I did have the “luxury” of having that done.
I would say clients changing their mindset and stop looking at insurance like a commodity. That mindset is unfortunately driven by the industry and many brokers, who will call a client and say, “I can get you a better quote than your current broker offers,” or “we can save you 15 percent in just 15 minutes…”
That’s great and possibly true, but what kind of coverage are you receiving for that undercut price? I faced that issue at a recent renewal, where a client told me that another broker had called and given him a much cheaper quote than mine. However, that broker barely understood what they were even building. When I reviewed the quote, it was exclusion after exclusion, to the point where the current work they were doing was essentially uninsured.
It’s an unfortunate reality that on our side, the broker side, some people are just trying to peddle any policies they can to make money, rather than acting as a professional advisor, similar to a lawyer or accountant.
Well I am an absolute sports nut. I love anything Huskies and professional baseball.
We have pretty extensive landscaping at our house, which sucks up a lot of time on the weekends. We think finally after 11 years we have it just right. Although, I am sure that come springtime we will find a new project.
Honestly, any time I have outside of work I like to spend with my family.
My wife, Kate, and I have been married for fifteen years; we’ve been together since our sophomore year of college. Our daughter, Ava, is ten and son, Adam, is twelve. It will be kind of weird to have two middle schoolers coming up this next year.
Kate stays at home right now and raises the kids. I often tell her that her job is much harder than mine. When she is out of town, I am one lost soul.
My kids play sports year round. Adam plays basketball, water polo, and swims. Ava plays basketball, softball, and also swims. If I am not coaching their teams, I try and help out as much as possible.
I coached my son’s baseball and football, and coach my daughter’s softball team. But I don’t coach their basketball, because the only thing I can teach is how to stand under the backboard and throw elbows.
I also swam competitively while growing up, so I try to give them as many tips and pointers as possible to help them with that. I don’t, however, help coach swimming because the time commitment is a bit too aggressive for my schedule. They practice six times a week.
My current location, Gig Harbor. I like to call it God’s Country. It’s absolutely beautiful here and has been a wonderful place to raise our kids. I would be happy if we never left!
I not only wanted to be, but also thought that I would actually become a professional football player. Much like my son, I was always one of the bigger kids growing up…until I stopped growing in 7th grade, and everyone else kept getting taller and taller.
My dad played football at the University of Washington (funny enough, he played football with my father-in-law). So from as early on as I can remember, I wanted to play for the Huskies. I wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps, and then go one farther and play in the NFL.
Yes, definitely. As I said, my dad and father-in-law both played for Washington. My wife is from Southern California, but she, her sister, and brother all went to Washington too. Two of Kate’s uncles played football for Washington and both of my uncles played baseball for Washington as well…our family bleeds purple and gold.
My dad always told me, “Be good at what you do, and the money will follow.” I always took that along the lines of the grass is not always greener. Work hard, do your best, and good things will follow.
It took me a long time to get to where I am and now that I’m here, why would I want to make a change? I’m where I want to be.
I really appreciate the consultative aspect to our business. I work very hard to develop the relationships I maintain with my clients. I always appreciate the trust my clients put in me with such an important piece of their business.
Where are you from? I moved around a lot when I was a kid so that is hard to say. I was born in Bellevue but lived in Chicago, Atlanta, and the Bay Area when I was young.
Family? Wife and two kids, Adam and Ava
Favorite vacation spot? Loon Lake, north of Spokane
Favorite sports team? Washington Huskies, Atlanta Braves
Favorite food? Mexican food
Favorite quote? “Not being prepared is preparing to fail.”