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Senior Vp, National Sales Executive
Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.
Lisa Morgan leads Hartford's small commercial sales organization, a new position for her. She is responsible for developing distribution strategy for top agency partners, managing agency growth and profitability, and directing the sales focus and operation. Prior to that, Ms. Morgan was senior vp, middle-market commercial insurance. While at the helm of Hartford's $2 billion middle-market commercial property/casualty insurance business, a position she had held since September 2010, she charted a new strategic course that focuses on customers in growth industries. In addition to the unit's strategy and growth, Ms. Morgan oversaw product development, underwriting, sales, marketing and operations, encompassing several hundred employees nationwide. Ms. Morgan's communication of the new direction won the support of employees across departments and business areas as well as partner organizations. A former defense attorney, Ms. Morgan's first position with Hartford in 2001 was to direct strategy and litigation for claims handled by the insurer's large-loss unit. After moving into an operations role, she joined the middle-market unit in 2005 as assistant vp of strategic design and technology solutions. She was promoted to vp of middle-market operations in 2007. Ms. Morgan is known for her clear and direct communication with employees at all levels of her team. She also takes time to mentor employees.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO WOMEN ENTERING THIS FIELD?
I would tell both men and women to be open to new opportunities that may not be in your planned path. If someone had told me when I was working as a defense attorney that I would be in charge of a $2 billion business, I would have said it's not part of my planned path. Sometimes an opportunity arises that makes it worth going off the career path you originally intended. I also would advise women working in this male-dominated world not to ever lose touch with their feminine side. Be true to yourself.
WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU'VE LEARNED IN YOUR CAREER?
The most interesting thing I have learned is to be mindful of the people around you. I learned this after realizing the number of people who have supported, enabled and taught me in my career. Learn from the people around you, and lean on the people around you.
DID YOU HAVE A MENTOR EARLY IN YOUR CAREER?
I wish I could say that I had a mentor. I never had a formal mentor. I have been at The Hartford 10 years, and I have had 14 different managers. Through having worked for a number of different leaders with different styles, I have learned a lot. They really shaped me and my leadership style.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM JOB, OUTSIDE OF YOUR CURRENT ROLE?
I would become a certified personal trainer and nutritionist.
OUTSIDE OF FAMILY AND COLLEAGUES, WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST?
I know the question says outside of family and colleagues, but I have to break the rule. I am a first-generation Italian-American. I am always amazed at my parents' ability to pick up and start over again in a new country, learn the language and face many challenges. They had a passion to succeed and instilled a strong work ethic in me. They continue to inspire me every day and to encourage me to think big about what I can accomplish in this world. I am always incredibly awed by and have tremendous respect for powerful, strong women with backgrounds similar to my parents or who have faced many challenges, like Maya Angelou or Hillary Clinton.
WHAT'S YOUR CAN'T-MISS TV SHOW?
“Modern Family” makes me laugh and laugh. The program shows how different American culture has become.
BEYOND WORK, WHAT ONE THING DO YOU WANT TO DO OR ACCOMPLISH IN LIFE?
I want to learn to speak proper grammatical Italian, Spanish and French.
DO YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA? IF NOT, WHY NOT?
I don't use Facebook and Twitter, because what concerns me is that they suck you in and can consume so much time. I do use LinkedIn professionally.