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Chairman and CEO
As chairman and CEO of PMSI Inc., Eileen Auen leads one of the nation's largest pharmacy, medical service and equipment providers for the workers compensation industry. PMSI employs more than 650 professionals processing more than 3 million pharmacy transactions annually for insurers, third-party administrators and self-insured companies. Before joining PMSI in 2008, Ms. Auen was head of health care management at Aetna Inc. Her years as an executive for workers comp companies include a stint as CEO of APS Healthcare and senior vp at Intracorp.
WHAT'S THE BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE YOU RECEIVED?
The best advice I ever received when I was worried about getting ahead I got from a partner who said, "Just do good work all the time and all rest will follow."
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG WOMEN ENTERING THIS FIELD?
It's very important to build strong professional relationships because our industry is small; you will meet everyone in multiple roles and functions and companies over your career. So make sure you are very careful to treat everyone with respect.
OUTSIDE OF WORK AND FAMILY, WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST?
One of the people I have worked closely with in the past that I have tremendous respect for is Mark Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna. He went through difficult personal injuries as well as serious illnesses with his son. He persevered to lead Aetna and also did what he needed to do for his family and himself, so he is an inspiration to watch.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
I wanted to be a journalist. I wanted to travel and write.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?
I am not a huge film buff, but I like clever movies. For a recent movie I would say "The Sixth Sense."
WHAT'S THE MOST INTERESTING PLACE YOU'VE BEEN?
The most interesting place I have ever done business is Puerto Rico. It's a world unto itself and there is a small layer of people that run all the business on that island. You really have to understand the local culture in order to be successful. In terms of personally where I have been that is the most interesting is Queenstown, New Zealand. It's a culture of risk-takers, extreme sports and outdoors.
WHAT DO YOU PREFER AND WHY: PHONE OR E-MAIL?
They both have their uses, but I prefer the phone. It's a more direct way of getting your point across. There is an ability to hear nuance and the texture of a conversation that is often lost in e-mail.
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.