Skip to Content

Employee Spotlight : Matt Vail

Parker, Smith and Feek Employee Spotlight, Matt Vail

Interview with Matt Vail, Property & Casualty Account Executive

How would you describe your role at PS&F?

Maintaining and creating new client relationships and doing whatever is best for the client. I love building relationships, getting out and about, and meeting new people in the industry. I think you get a lot of different backgrounds between the two sectors I specialize in (manufacturing and agricultural), and those industries are constantly changing, even though both have been around for a long time.

What inspired you to start a career in insurance?

Insurance is probably not something I would have expected to do if you had told me about four years ago when I was in college. I wouldn’t have told you that I was going to love it. When I was graduating college, I had a friend who was working in insurance, and he spoke very highly of it. So, I thought I’d give it a shot and ended up really enjoying it. So here I am!

What inspired your specialization in the manufacturing and agricultural industries? What’s something exciting going on in those industries?

I’ve always been around agriculture. I grew up in Stanwood, Washington, so as a kid, I spent a lot of time around the farm just baling hay and doing stuff like that. For manufacturing, I’ve always kind of loved to look at how things are made. I’ve always loved that process and looking at warehouses. Something exciting going on in both industries is the development of AI-based automation processes in many manufacturing and agricultural facilities. It’s incredible to see what the future could look like with all those technologies. It’s super interesting, and it’s something that’s going to change a lot over the next few years.

Any pertinent pieces of advice you’ve been giving your manufacturing or agricultural clients lately?

A big one would be to review cyber coverages. Cyber is just another one of those things that is constantly changing at the moment. We’re seeing more and more attacks, so reviewing your cyber coverage is always beneficial so you can be prepared.

What is the most valuable advice you ever received?

It’s not the destination; it’s the journey. It goes back to Kobe Bryant. I played basketball at Seattle University, and our coaches would say it to us a lot, so I think it kind of stuck with me. When you’re younger, you’re looking forward to the destination the whole time, and it can be harder to stay present and focus on the journey. So, that’s been a big thing for me.
Learn more about Account Executive Matt Vail in this Employee Spotlight

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

One of the big aspects of the PS&F difference is always doing what’s best for the client. That client focus, I think, is something I always make a priority. It’s about taking the viewpoint of the client and always doing what’s best for them. For example, I’m always a proponent of going back through the insurance program audit process for a client or prospect, as they significantly benefit from it. Double-checking that information is a super important thing to do, even if they’re not your client yet.
Learn more about Account Executive Matt Vail in this Employee Spotlight

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

I think most people can pick up on the fact that I’ve played basketball just because of my height, but a lot of people may not know that I was a commercial fisherman in Alaska. My dad did it for about 30 years, and I really enjoyed it. But it’s something that’s hard to do long term, as my dad said, so I just did it for a summer while I was on the basketball team because you only have a month off.

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

Most of my winters I spend skiing. In the summer, I like wake surfing, and I still play basketball year-round as much as I can. I’ve also started to pick up some golf and pickleball. Anything outdoors I really enjoy.

Tell me about your family.

I live in Seattle, but my family still lives in Stanwood, Washington. My mom and dad operate two Windermeres up there, so they’re in residential real estate. I have an older brother who’s worked construction in Colorado, and then my younger brother at UW wants to be a teacher. So, my siblings and I are all kind of spread out across the board.

What’s your favorite thing about your hometown?

My friends. We all grew up together; my whole friend group from Stanwood has been friends since birth, and all of our parents are friends. Getting out of the city is another one of my favorite parts. It’s always nice to have a place where we can go in the water, go kayaking, crabbing, and stuff like that just to get away from the busy life a little bit.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

My senior year of basketball, we won the WAC championship. That’s probably my biggest one.
Learn more about Account Executive Matt Vail in this Employee Spotlight

What is your greatest indulgence?

A good red wine. A guy who makes wine by my hometown, Dusty Wine Cellars, makes a red called Spartan and I love it.

What is the quality you admire most in other people?

Hard work and good habits. A person who builds good habits is really respectable to me because I think building good habits every day is one of the hardest things to do. So, I always respect people who are going to try to go in and do the same thing every day to perfection. Things like working out daily, eating a good diet, going into the office early, and keeping a clean house every day are so admirable to me.

What is your most treasured possession?

My basketball championship ring. That’s going to stick for a while, I think.

Who is your hero of fiction?

Percy Jackson from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series. He went in there, nobody knew who he was, and he ended up saving the world. I think that’s awesome.

Who is your hero of history?

Julius Caesar. I’m a big fan of the Roman Empire.

What is a talent you would like to have?

Photographic memory.


Where are you from? Stanwood, WA.

Family? Mom, Dad, and two brothers (one older, one younger).

Favorite vacation spot? The beaches on Turks and Caicos are hard to beat. There are so many cool things to see, and there are so many cool things I haven’t seen yet. Hopefully I’ll be back soon.

Favorite book/movie/television show? Game of Thrones.

Favorite food/meal/restaurant? I love a good steak. STK’s got a great one. Daniel’s Broiler has a good one; Ascend’s got a great one, too. Paired with red wine, of course.

Seattle favorites? I love Alki Beach. That’s probably the only proper beach around here, and I’m a big beach guy.

Childhood hero? My grandpa, Ed O’Brien was his name. I spent a lot of time with him growing up, so he’s always been a hero to me because of what he’s accomplished. He played baseball at the pro level and basketball in college, and I just think he’s a really respectable man. I’ve always tried to follow in his footsteps and be more like him every day.

Return to Blog index