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March 09, 2022

Gabe Cossio

Columbia, South Carolina-based vice president of sales, Clara Analytics Inc.

Columbia, South Carolina-based national sales director, Duck Creek Technologies Inc.

My former CEO once shared an insurance industry quote that has always resonated with me: “Insurance is the oxygen of free enterprise.” I believe in that quote wholeheartedly, but does anyone disagree that this incredible industry is ripe for disruption? From top to bottom, there is amazing opportunity to improve the value chain, eliminate waste, optimize efficiency, and ultimately impact the price of insurance for the end consumer. Competition, tech and regulatory pressures will continue to drive innovation in this relatively recession-proof business, and I’m so excited to work in insurance technology to contribute to the solution.

As a five-year young startup, I’m excited to lay the foundation for our go-to-market strategy to enable scalable growth. One key goal is hiring incredible talent, which is key to building great culture (my second goal). Combine that with a proven artificial intelligence product that Clara Analytics offers claims departments, and we are going to have a stellar year for growth.

The war on talent is challenging, especially in tech. With remote work taking hold of the industry because of the pandemic, how do you find the right balance between working from home and going to the office? I think the answer differs by employer. I can certainly vouch for the benefits of working from home. My family has definitely appreciated my presence. I worry about new joiners absorbing the culture that drives a company’s success.

Life as a traveling software salesman began for me at age 28. I was assigned to a territory that included upstate New York. As a “Southerner” based in Columbia, South Carolina, I quickly learned what traveling for work was like in the winter of upstate New York. Needless to say, my jacket wasn’t big enough.

Some of the best advice I received was to request 30 minutes with key leaders from different business units and ask for counsel on navigating the company. Especially with remote work, getting to know your colleagues is critical.

If I could get paid to smoke meats on my pellet smoker (Traeger), sign me up. It’s therapy for me.

Risk management and insurance; entrepreneurship

A new professional challenge as a sales executive with a startup. It’s my job to help my team succeed. What an opportunity.

A perfectly grilled filet mignon paired with a Napa cab

“How to Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie

Spending time with my family, smoking meats on my Traeger, and supporting the University of South Carolina Gamecocks.

“The Office”

Family time and smoking meats on the Traeger