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2016 Women to Watch: Azurely Kerr

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Azurely Kerr
Senior vice president of operations
Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc.
Southfield, Michigan
Age: 40

Azurely Kerr is one of the youngest senior vice presidents within Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. and is responsible for overseeing several lines of the third-party administrator’s business, including workers compensation, disability claims and absence management.

In 1999, Ms. Kerr joined Sedgwick as a workers comp claims examiner. In two years, she was promoted to workers comp examiner team lead, and within another year was promoted to integrated disability manager, handling both workers comp and disability claims.

In 2006, she became responsible for Sedgwick’s workers comp claims program and credited by Sedgwick President and CEO Dave North for revamping the program and turning it into a success.

“In this particular case, the client had reached a point where they were interested in exploring fresh ideas and a new pathway for growth,” Ms. Kerr said. “I was tapped to lead the team in putting together a pilot program for consideration. Many key components came from listening to the client and being a part of the discussions in which they defined expectations. It was then possible to build custom claims solutions to address those specific needs.”

“Azurely exemplifies Sedgwick’s commitment to meeting client needs and what it means to be a strong business partner,” Mr. North said in an email.

By 2014, Ms. Kerr had been promoted to a senior vice president. Ms. Kerr lists her positive attitude and “enthusiasm with a smile” as traits that have gotten her this far.

“I think there is nothing better that a leader can do than show your colleagues that you thoroughly enjoy what you do, put on a smile every day, make work as fun as it can possibly be,” she said.

Her positive attitude has not gone unnoticed.

“She personifies the type of leader that you would want to represent your company,” Mr. North said.

Ms. Kerr also played a role in founding the Michigan chapter of Kids’ Chance, a nonprofit that provides educational opportunities for the children of workers seriously injured or killed on the job, something she is familiar with due to her workers comp background.

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