Lisa DohertyPosted On: Dec. 5, 2010 12:00 AM CST
Co-Founder, President and CEO
Business Risk Partners Inc.
In 2000, Lisa Doherty and her sister, Linda Boborodea, founded Business Risk Partners Inc., a Windsor, Conn.-based managing general agency that focuses on specialty commercial insurance. Ms. Doherty previously worked for larger companies, including American International Group Inc., but wanted to work in a smaller entrepreneurial environment. In the decade since its founding, BRP has grown to 25 employees and writes for three major insurers—Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, Lloyd's of London and QBE Insurance Group Ltd. BRP underwrites and administers professional and management liability policies covering more than 160 professions.
WHAT'S THE BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE YOU RECEIVED?
Sell, sell and sell again. In the early days of BRP, we were easily distracted by suitors, alternative initiatives and potential revenue streams. A very wise adviser continually brought us back to focus on what is the most crucial in any early stage business: attracting customers and generating revenue. The adviser is no longer with us, but I still remind myself even 10 years later.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG WOMEN ENTERING THIS FIELD?
Be decisive and have integrity. I really value individuals who can analyze a situation, determine the course of action and execute. If you truly believed it was the right course and you do the right thing, you will achieve the desired result more often than not.
OUTSIDE OF WORK AND FAMILY, WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST?
It is too difficult to select any one individual, so I will cheat and describe a type of person. I love the underdog; the person who defies the odds and achieves or contributes in ways that are never expected: charter school founders in urban cities changing education or a Chilean miner running marathons. Defying expectations and adversity gets me every time.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
Since I mentioned integrity earlier, I must live by my own standards no matter how embarrassing. I wanted to be a lifeguard. I loved to swim.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?
"Harold and Maude." It's funny and quirky and makes you appreciate life, and the soundtrack is terrific.
WHATS THE MOST INTERESTING PLACE YOU'VE BEEN?
I spent three weeks traveling in New Zealand on my own. New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places in the world. I spent the entire time hiking, biking, kayaking—all sorts of outdoor activities. Spending three weeks on your own, you really get to know yourself and you better like yourself. I loved the country but loved the solo adventuring.
WHAT DO YOU PREFER AND WHY: PHONE OR E-MAIL?
Phone, for two reasons: E-mail can be misinterpreted as tone is much harder to convey. A conversation is rarely scripted, you never know which direction it may take and, therefore, what you may learn. Three minutes of conversation will provide much more richness and depth than multiple e-mail exchanges.