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Dorothy E. Kelly
Crowe Paradis Services Corp.
North Reading, Mass.
Dorothy E. Kelly is among a group of people who transformed Crowe Paradis Services Corp. from a small, regional company to a national provider of Medicare secondary payer compliance services for insurers, employers and other parties. Ms. Kelly is now the company’s CEO, overseeing attorneys and medical experts who work to help clients control their costs. She also speaks and trains others on MSP issues, such as mandatory insurer reporting under Section 111 of the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007. Her other activities include fund raising for breast cancer causes.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO WOMEN ENTERING THIS FIELD?
I really encourage women and all leaders to share their whole being. People are at their best when they are able to be great professionals and really stimulated in their careers and fantastic partners in their personal lives — be they spouses, great mothers, sisters, brothers — and great contributors to the community. I really encourage leaders in insurance and generally speaking to really harness that. It’s something I put a lot of emphasis on within my organization, really asking people to be the best version of themselves that they can be. We all feel like we want to contribute and be part of something that is a little bit bigger than ourselves. You get the best business results when you get the best performance from your folks, and are able to provide the best to your customers when you are engaging the whole part of a human being.
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED IN YOUR LIFE?
The best piece of advice was given to me by a close family friend as I was entering college and trying to figure out what I wanted to study and do professionally. He said, “It’s cold in the morning when you get out of bed, the alarm goes off, your feet hit the floor. And if you don’t get up and say, ‘Yes, I can’t wait for today!’ then it will be a long life. In order to be fulfilled as a person, you need to love what you do.” It’s something that has really stuck with me, and I think it is true on a number of levels. Find something that you love, not just in business but in all aspects of life.
WHAT’S THE BEST-KEPT SECRET ABOUT WORKING IN THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY?
For those of us who work in the insurance industry, this isn’t too secret, but sometimes I sit back and reflect on how integral insurance is to the national economy and the world economy. How systems of supporting risk allow entrepreneurs and businesses to develop, to grow and take on new challenges and provide new solutions. It’s really exciting to be part of that. That is one of the most galvanizing and exciting aspects of the insurance industry. I don’t know that folks outside of the insurance industry are aware of that, in terms of how critical that is in stimulating the economy.
WHAT’S THE NEXT MAJOR CHALLENGE IN YOUR BUSINESS SECTOR?
Insurance is a very broad industry. I am in property/casualty, and we focus a lot on health care and the cost of medical claims. That is the largest, dominating part of conversations I see my customers thinking about and focusing on. I feel proud to be part of an organization that helps our customers best position themselves relative to those challenges. That is the biggest thing. In terms of what are the major steps that are going to occur, it’s the solutions that we are able to provide to help our customers deal with that. Health care is something that dominates both the political conversation and certainly the economic conversation as well. Being able to provide new approaches to dealing with those challenges is interesting about what I do and also very relevant.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELIEVE STRESS?
I am an active person, so catch me in one season or another and you will get a different answer. I am an avid skier, so in the winter you will find me up in Vermont or Maine or, if I am lucky, to get out West. I run. It’s a good stress reliever and definitely something that is good to keep the heart healthy. I am trying to learn how to golf. I come from a long line of great golfers, so I am striving to be one at some point.
WHAT’S YOUR SECRET VICE?
The first rule of secret vices is you can’t talk about secret vices. I am an avid concert goer. I probably attend 35 concerts a year. But that is no secret, and I don’t think that qualifies as a vice. I am going to see Citizen Cope tonight. He is pretty eclectic. Really, I am agnostic. Any live music will work for me.
WHAT SKILL HAS BEEN AN UNEXPECTED AID TO YOUR CAREER?
I am a very curious person. I love to learn. I didn’t realize that would be a tool in the toolbox for success. But being a woman in leadership, I certainly encourage women, and people generally, to always be trying to learn. We are most successful when we are not constricted by any types of boundaries. I have always been very eager to learn and not be limited by anything. I hadn’t realized that would be a skill. But it has been useful to approach things that way.
WHAT’S AT THE TOP OF YOUR BUCKET LIST?
Heli-skiing. I have been influenced by Warren Miller and would love to get to British Columbia and do some of that. It’s a somewhat safe but risky hobby to have. It’s beautiful to take in the scenes in that way, so I definitely want to do that at some point.
Business Insurance's annual Women to Watch feature recognizes women doing outstanding work in insurance, risk management, employee benefits and related fields.