Photo by Hilary Ehlen
Grateful to be in Moorhead since 2004 and a new member of the business community! I am a proud wife and mother of two. My family is my everything, and between laundry, dishes, dance, t-ball, movie nights, and talking about what they are hoping to get for their birthday and Christmas – we stay pretty busy!
I am a Concordia graduate and have officially worked for State Farm for the past 12 years. My Dad is a retired State Farm agent from Marshall, so I volunteered my time calling to set appointments, walking in parades, and delivering baked goods to our community. As I got older, I saw family and friends go through devastating losses – auto accidents, house fires, and unexpectedly losing people they love. I understood why my Dad was a State Farm agent and it’s exactly why I chose to do the same. My team and I provide protection plans – we protect lifestyles, incomes, and most importantly, family.
Take us through a typical day in your life.I wake up at 5:45 and get ready before I wake up my 5 and 3 year old. I drink a lot of coffee while pouring their Cinnamon Toast Crunch. J
After my husband and I get them off to school, I head to the office to meet with my team about our goals for the day. We get to work and we work hard!
Appointments, phone calls, people stopping by, emails, texts, etc. We love the fast pace and the ability to work directly with people. In our appointments, we get a good understanding of where people are at today and what their goals are, we uncover any gaps or concerns, and we help them align adequate coverage within their budget. It is very rewarding to provide our clients with peace of mind as they navigate through their busy days, weeks, and years.
We close the office down at 5pm. I head over to daycare and school to pick up our kids, and our family is off to ice skating, dance, t-ball, gymnastics or whatever season it is.
At home, we eat supper and our 5 year old reads us a book. We are amazed by how fast kindergarteners learn to read!
After bath time, 8:30pm is bed time and we are all exhausted.
The kids go to bed, and my husband and I wind down with awful reality TV shows, This Is Us, or any documentary that’s on because we haven’t invested in Netflix yet!
What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?“Have you looked at flying out of Minneapolis? It’s so much cheaper.”
With 2 kids, the time to drive to Minneapolis, and the cost to park your car, my husband and I completely agree that flying out of Fargo is hands down the BEST way to fly.
What keeps you up at night?
So. Many. Things.
· Did I forget to do something today? I feel like I did. Did we pay this bill? Did we take out the garbage? Did I order snowpants? Are we out of creamer?
· I need to add this to the Hornbachers list
· My daughter now that she is in her big girl bed.
· Am I being efficient at work?
· How can I help my team develop?
· I need a haircut.
· What are we doing this weekend?
· Don’t forget mittens tomorrow.
· Is pajama day this Friday or next?
· I really need to look at the Sunday School lesson before I teach on Sunday morning.
· I need to order *insert here* from Amazon
· What should I get my husband for Christmas?
· What should I get my team for Christmas?
· And on and on and on…….
How does the reality of your job differ from people’s perception of it?When I meet with someone with a different insurance company who had a roof or siding covered at actual cash value instead of replacement cost, had to pay 2 deductibles instead of 1, or did not have coverage when their sump pump failed, I remind myself that is our obligation to explain these differences and why a State Farm policy offers the highest level of coverage in our appointments. My job is to help people plan for the unexpected and make informed decisions on their protection so there are no surprises when they have a loss.
What’s one thing the local business community could do to help you/your organization?Tell people about us!
If you could thank one person who’s contributed to your success, who would it be and why?There are so many people. If I could thank one person, it would be my husband. He has always been a huge supporter of me becoming a State Farm agent. His confidence in my abilities to build a team, build a culture, and protect people has given me the confidence to take action. He is my sounding board, my idea generator, the office handyman, the random Costco runner, and is always there for our family. Hands down, he is my favorite person.
What’s your “why”?A client who isn’t financially devastated because I asked them the right questions and they decided to protect themselves. My heart breaks for the families that lose someone they love. Stressing about paying bills, final expenses, and how they are going to afford to raise their kids are the worries I want to take away from them.
Helping a teammate develop in their career, define their goals, and being a part of their life and their achievements truly inspires me.
What’s one characteristic you believe every great leader should possess? Humility
What’s one way you foster creativity within your organization? My team has all the good ideas! We meet as a team twice per week and one-on-one weekly. Our team meetings are brainstorming sessions on how we can tell more people about us and how we can support our community. I love the culture of our office and the people in it.
Who’s a leader you’re studying or paying attention to right now? Katrina Lake – CEO of Stitch Fix – she is setting an example and advocating for extended parental leave in the United States