UP CLOSE: Liz SmithPosted On: Sep. 27, 2015 12:00 AM CST
SCHAUMBURG, ILLINOIS-BASED CO-PRESIDENT
Assurance Agency Ltd.
PREVIOUS POSITION: Schaumburg-based president of employee benefits for Assurance
LOOKING FORWARD TO: Working closely with the co-president, Dan Klaras, to continue driving the vision and strategy of the organization.
GOALS FOR NEW POSITION: Helping Assurance continue its double-digit growth.
CHALLENGES FACING INDUSTRY: I believe the biggest challenge our industry faces today is convincing business owners that they can make a difference in the well-being of their employees through employee improvement programs, (such as) wellness, safety (and) financial education ... and that this will ultimately have a positive impact on their bottom line.
FIRST INDUSTRY JOB: I was in sales at Celtic Insurance Co., an individual health insurance company.
WHAT SURPRISED ME: Let's face it, our industry isn't the most appealing industry to people. Not many people say, “I want to work in insurance.” What has surprised me most is how impactful our industry can be on organizations, as well as their employees.
ADVICE: Do something every day that gets you out of your comfort zone. That's the only way you're going to grow as a person.
OUTSIDE THE INDUSTRY, A DREAM JOB: I have always wanted to be a meteorologist. Strange, but I'm obsessed with the weather.
HOBBIES: Being with my two little girls, of course. But I love anything sports-related, traveling to warm-weather places, hanging with friends and, of course, enjoying a good glass of vino.
THING MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT ME: I'm scared of heights, which most people will find interesting based on the fact I'm really tall.
WHEN I RETIRE: I plan to travel quite a bit and just enjoy life.
FAVORITE MEAL: I'm more of an appetizer/small plate kind of person, so I guess I would say tapas.
CAN'T-MISS TELEVISION SHOW: “Grey's Anatomy.”
BEST CITY: I have to say Chicago. It's got it all!