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2019 Break Out Awards, Midwest: Nicole Jolley

Nicole Jolley


Director, nonprofit and human services

Church Mutual Insurance Co.

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age: 32

Nicole Jolley majored in finance at New Orleans University but saw more opportunities in insurance than finance when she graduated during the Great Recession. After developing an expertise in the nonprofit sector, and gaining an MBA along the way, she joined Church Mutual in 2017 to help it expand beyond its traditional religious institutions book to cover nonprofit organizations such as food banks, homeless shelters and group homes.

How do you see your job changing over the next 10 years?

Functionally, strategy itself is not at risk of changing drastically, but how we execute on strategy could significantly change based on changes in technology and automation. I think we’ll see a lot more value from how we collect data and the insight we can get from the changes in technology.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the business?

One of the things that’s really important is just being curious and always wanting to learn something new and different. The industry is so complex and requires someone to be willing to do research and be willing to learn about the different functional areas in the business and keep up with emerging trends.

What surprised you about the insurance industry?

The industry has a reputation for being boring, but I’m someone who gets bored easily. And for me to have been in the industry for 10 years, and mostly in one functional area in underwriting, that speaks to how much you can actually learn and how you can be challenged in one area and feel like every day you learn something different and new.

What would you/do you binge watch?

My favorite show is HBO’s “Veep.”

What is your favorite meal?

Being from New Orleans, I’m always up for some comfort food from home, so red beans and rice.


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