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Executive Vp/Practice Leader
Lockton Dunning Benefits, a unit of Lockton Cos. L.L.C.
Sheri Pixley has more than 28 years of experience in consulting with employers on employee benefit health and welfare programs. She joined Lockton Dunning Benefits, a unit of Lockton Cos. L.L.C., in 1992 as a consultant and has held various positions with increasing responsibility since then. She leads 17 client service teams, servicing more than 240 clients as well as Lockton Dunning Benefits' in-house subject matter expertise practice, in which the firm's in-house experts such as medical directors and health risk management directors develop solutions to meet clients' needs. She mentors associates in the Dallas office and in 2008 led a team that developed and launched a formal associate recognition program that acknowledges and rewards Lockton Dunning Benefits associates for outstanding performance. Born and raised in the Chicago suburb of Barrington, Ms. Pixley and her husband have two children: a son, 19, who is in college, and a daughter, 14, who is in high school. Ms. Pixley has had "kind of a magic year," this year, turning 50 and celebrating her 25th wedding anniversary.
WHAT'S THE BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE YOU RECEIVED?
I would say the best advice from a professional standpoint is talking with colleagues that share your common values, and I would put integrity above all on top of the list. You learn that reputation is built around those with whom you choose to associate, both in my business and in my personal life.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG WOMEN ENTERING THIS FIELD?
Don't let a traditional, male-dominated field hold you back. Exert your presence, influence and perspective. Women think and react differently than men, and the combined efforts of both genders produce a better outcome. I also believe that life is seasonal. There's a season to focus more closely on each aspect of your life, whether it is your marriage, your family, your friends or your career, and that you can be successful in all aspects of your life.
OUTSIDE OF WORK AND FAMILY, WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST?
I would have to say it's a personal friend of mine that I have known for 20 years. She was an advertising executive, a career woman; and when she decided to have her family, she became a stay-at-home mom and took her talents from her career background and reinvested them in the community and into community services.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
I wanted to be a social worker and somewhat of a consumer advocate, to help others. (I) actually did my internship at the Better Business Bureau in Chicago. So in many ways, what I do for a living now—in terms of consulting employers and, subsequently, their associates and employees—falls right into that, not entirely, but certainly as a consumer advocate for employees on health care and benefits.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?
My favorite movie is "White Christmas" because I think it's genuine Christmas and entertaining for the whole family. I watch it every year after Thanksgiving and it gets me into the holiday spirit. I love the music. I love the acting. It's just light-hearted.
WHAT'S THE MOST INTERESTING PLACE YOU'VE BEEN?
I would say it would be Italy, a trip to Italy, and that dates back about 15 years ago, and we spent time in Rome and in Venice. I think the most interesting part of that trip for me was the history of the city and getting to know the people.
WHAT DO YOU PREFER AND WHY: PHONE OR E-MAIL
Phone, because e-mail is not very personal and it's hard to determine the voice inflection; and if you want to know the truth, my personal preference would be face-to-face over both.
Business Insurance's annual Women to Watch feature is our attempt to identify and recognize individuals doing exceptional work in risk management, benefits management, commercial insurance and related fields.