2006 Women to Watch: Nancy M. MellardPosted On: Oct. 8, 2006 12:00 AM CST
Executive Vp and General Counsel
CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services Inc.
Nancy M. Mellard has more than 25 years of legal, licensing and compliance experience in the insurance industry. She joined CBIZ in 1996 and since then has built her division’s licensing department and managed the legal consolidation of more than 20 corporations into a single division for CBIZ. Before joining CBIZ, she served as vp of legal affairs and was later promoted to senior vp and general counsel at the Grant Nelson Group Inc. in Kansas City, Mo. She also is leading CBIZ’s Women’s Initiative Program and serves as chairwoman of the legal counsel’s committee of the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers.
Q: What advice would you give young women entering the industry today?
A: "In all aspects of your life, surround yourself with people and associates that are smarter than you. This industry has changed significantly in the past 15 years and will continue to change. Don’t let knowledge and change intimidate you or be seen as a threat. Both should be embraced as the greatest opportunities to grow."
Q: Who has had the greatest influence on your career and why?
A: In terms of the insurance business, "The president of CBIZ’s Benefits & Insurance Services Division, Rob O’Byrne, gave me the advice years ago that in order to succeed in a sales-driven organization, it was critical for a person with my credentials and training to get out in the field and ‘walk in the shoes’ of our producers/consultants so that I could understand what truly motivates them. It was invaluable advice."
Q: If you had the ability to change one thing about the industry what would it be?
A: "Our reputation. It is my opinion that the perception of professionals in our industry is very different than who they really are and what they really do. This change is not about raising the professionalism and credentials of our associates, but rather, that we need to do a much better job of educating the market about the value we add and the creative solutions insurance consultants provide to our clients to solve their business issues."