The annual award is presented during the MAIA’s Big Event
Alexis Kimball, a Risk Advisor with Deland, Gibson Insurance is the recipient of the 2016 James O. Herrick Memorial Young Agent of the Year Award. The annual award, presented during the MAIA’s State Annual Meeting, “…seeks to recognize agents who demonstrate leadership in their agency and community and support the mission of the committee by being active participants.”
“It is quite an honor to receive such wonderful recognition from my peers,” Ms. Kimball told Agency Checklists in an email. Ms. Kimball, who joined the Massachusetts insurance industry in 2012, is the fourth recipient of this award. In commenting on the selection of Ms. Kimball, MAIA Young Agents Committee Staff Liaison Melissa Murphy said,
We are proud to have such a positive, professional candidate represent the Young Agents Committee as the 2016 Young Agent of the Year. Alexis embodies both the entrepreneurial spirit of sales and the commitment to personal service needed by successful independent agents today. She was a pleasure to work with as a YAC member and she provides a great example for other young professionals.”
From the fitness industry to the insurance industry
After spending 15 years in the fitness industry, Ms. Kimball says she decided to make a career change. “I enjoyed the hands-on and social atmosphere of the fitness industry, but the early mornings, late nights, weekends, and holiday shifts started to wear on me,” she explained.
Knowing her skill set in sales and marketing would be of value in other industries, she set out to find a small to mid-sized organization where she would have a role in both the sales and marketing strategies and operations of the company. She knew that as long as she believed in the product, the selling would be easy.
Before long, Ms. Kimball found that company. “I found a terrific organization, Brownstone Insurance,” she said. Based in Norwell, Brownstone is a niche agency dedicated to selling Massachusetts master policies to insurance agents. Formally joining the Massachusetts insurance industry in April 2012, she said she quickly saw a whole new world for her – the world of insurance. “I quickly became a licensed producer,” she added, “…so that I could understand the language of my insurance agent clients. And then I set out to learn as much as I could about the industry, underwriting, and claims.”
In 2015, Ms. Kimball joined Deland, Gibson as a Risk Advisor. Deland, Gibson is a Five Star Agency family-owned agency headquartered in Wellesley. “Moving into a Risk Advisor role at Deland, Gibson has challenged me even further,” says Ms. Kimball. “Every day I am faced with new challenges and I work on improving my process to change the way we look at the industry.”
How the YAC has helped Ms. Kimball expand her ideas on insurance
Ms. Kimball said she first joined the MAIA’s Young Agent Committee, while at Brownstone, as a way to meet other agents. “I became a part the MAIA Young Agents Committee as a way to meet other agents,” however, she notes that the YAC helped her grow in her knowledge as an agent. “…[W]hat I found [after joining the YAC] was an engaged group of young professionals who wanted to challenge the traditional ways of the industry.”
As she attended monthly meetings, her whole outlook on what insurance is and what it could do changed. “Our monthly meetings brought up viewpoints on emerging risks, political involvement, networking, social media marketing, and more. This group of ‘out of the box’ thinkers really expanded my viewpoints of the insurance industry, as a whole, and I saw an unlimited potential to encompass so many different aspects of a business.”
With that in mind, Ms. Kimball hopes that other young agents in Massachusetts will follow her example and involve themselves in the Young Agent Committee’s activities not only to better themselves, but the Massachusetts insurance industry as well. “I would hope that my story will help to inspire other young professionals to get into the insurance industry.”
About the James O. Herrick Memorial Young Agent of the Year Award
In 2013, the MAIA renamed the Young Agent of the Year award in honor of former MAIA Board Member, Jim Herrick. Mr. Herrick, who passed away unexpectedly at the age of 46 during the fall of 2013, spent his entire career in the Massachusetts insurance industry. Right out of college, he began his insurance career with Toole Insurance in the Berkshires. He eventually moved on to The Hanover Insurance Company where he spent many years before finally joining The Berkshire Insurance Group.