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Posted On: Jul. 29, 2007 12:00 AM CST


Chief, Employee Benefits and Services
County of San Bernardino
San Bernardino, Calif.
Age: 43


Crystal V. Hover graduated as a political science major from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1986. After graduation, she worked for the Social Security Administration for 11 years, holding various positions in the Hollywood, Calif., office. Ms. Hover joined Kemper Insurance Co. in 1997 as senior operations manager based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., leaving in 2004 to become account manager of the expatriate benefits division at CIGNA International in Claymont, Del. She joined San Bernardino County in 2006. In her current position, Ms. Hover is responsible for all employee benefits and services including the administration, vendor management, contracting and pricing negotiations for the health and welfare plans for 18,000 active employees and 8,000 retirees. Ms. Hover holds the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist designation.


Best professional advice: "Don’t be good, be great. Understand what management and your organization need and expect from you and deliver on that understanding. Strive to exceed expectations when it makes sense, but when good enough has to do, don’t try to achieve greatness."


Professional role model: "I’ve been fortunate enough to have many people in my career who have influenced me in positive ways. One in particular was the woman who hired me in to the private sector. She was the senior vp of the company and one of the most basic, down-to-earth people but had great respect and influence while being inclusive of others’ concerns. I was always impressed by the fact that she rarely divulged her title when she introduced herself, but people quickly determined that she was the key decision maker."


Advice to young women: "First, realize that success is not gender based. Learn to find common ground with everyone you work with. Be willing to take on odd jobs and projects that no one else wants to do. Become an expert in your field."

2007 Women to Watch Home