After five months of feeling physically ill and depressed, and after seeing many doctors and leaving with no answers, Erin Brown’s health took...
Why I’m passionate about my job: I enjoy working with entrepreneurs, and business-to-business gives me the opportunity to learn about interesting business models and ideas. Commercial property and casualty insurance is an important part of owning and operating a business, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Our distribution model is fun and fast-paced because it’s in line with how many young and upcoming businesspeople prefer to communicate and engage in insurance services.
Job description: I manage day-to-day operations and set goals and objectives with department managers.
Years lived in Columbia/Mid-Missouri: I moved to Columbia in 1995, so that’s 20 years.
Original hometown: Grew up in Belton, Missouri. Born in Lejeune, North Carolina.
Education: I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology and philosophy, with a business minor, from William Jewell College. I have an MBA from William Woods University.
Community involvement: I started a nonprofit in 2014, called Armani’s Angels, with Jessica Robertson and friends after one of our dogs was severely beaten during a break-in of our home. Armani’s Angels raises funds to financially assist people with the treatment of severely injured or ill animals. I was also coach and club president of Columbia Soccer Club until I stepped down earlier this year.
Professional background: Prior to starting The Insurance Shop in 2004, I worked at Moresource Inc. I started in the benefits department in 1998, then I moved moved to sales, director of marketing, director of operations and finally president.
If I weren’t doing this for a living, I would: I really can’t imagine not doing this for a living, but I would seriously have to contemplate moving to Idaho or Montana and endeavoring to become a fly fishing guide. I get the opportunity to fish out there a few times a year and have met some highly intelligent and happy guides who traded their law degrees and management jobs for a drift boat and an office in the middle of a river.
What I do for fun: I live on 20 acres with dogs, cats and chickens, and I have a few gardens. There are always projects to be done, including protecting the chickens, weeding, mowing, brush hogging, repairing the driveway, cutting firewood from downed trees, repairing something that broke and helping in the garden. I enjoy fly fishing just about anywhere that has trout, but I especially enjoy fishing anywhere you can see some mountains.
A favorite recent project: I spent last year with our technical team developing and integrating our new internal intranet sales portal and agency management systems to work in unison with company lead distribution, insurance quote processing, policy binding, accounting, client services and policy renewals.
What people should know about this profession: It is a rewarding profession where an individual can build solid, lasting relationships with their customers and a strong book of business that rewards their knowledge, skill set and ability to develop interpersonal relationships. It never gets old because insurance products, related laws, and business needs are always changing.
Family: I have been in a long-term relationship with Jessica Robertson for a very long time — too long to mention without getting grief from my friends as to why we are not engaged or married. My daughter, Adison, finished high school at Hickman last year and just started college at University of Missouri. She was super excited to move into the dorms, attend rush, and become a Tri-Delta. My son Griffin just started Hickman High School. He is currently playing soccer there (like his sister did) and swears he is also playing basketball and running track. We hope to leverage sports for good grades. My mom, Nancy Fields, recently moved to Columbia from Florida and is currently working at The Insurance Shop in our research department. My children’s mother, Pia Capell, lives in Columbia, as well as my children’s grandparents Lynn and Pat Hostetler. Pet dogs Gunner and Etta make us always want to come home. We have too many cats and chickens to mention or remember.
Most people don’t know that I: I absolutely have a tremendous fear of public speaking. Despite my strong opinions on a myriad of topics, I’ll never run for public office or move into any profession that requires me to speak in public or even large groups. CBT