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Managing director, multinational practice leader
Beecher Carlson, a unit of Brown & Brown Inc.
A native of Poland, Olga Collins always had a passion for travel and experiencing other cultures, and as a leader in Beecher Carlson’s multinational practice, she says “international insurance has allowed me to stay close to that passion.”
She began her career in the industry on the client side as a risk manager for United Parcel Service Inc., and spent nearly 15 years with the company before moving to Beecher Carlson nearly six years ago, where she travels frequently due to the company’s growing partnerships across the world, she said.
“I decided it was time to branch out just a little bit more,” said Ms. Collins. Beecher Carlson “is a smaller but mighty shop with a very flexible and nimble culture … it gives me the opportunity to view risk management strategies from a different perspective.”
Her team at Beecher Carlson is younger than those at a lot of her competitors, she said, providing her with opportunities to mentor and show the younger generation — particularly young women — that insurance “can be innovative, can be fun and flexible enough to have a career and have a family life.”
“There’s definitely room for women in leadership to excel” in the insurance industry, said the mother of two elementary school-aged children. “You can have family that looks up to you, and you can also have a career that makes you stand out.”
And Ms. Collins has stood out in the industry by taking advantage of strategic and leadership opportunities, including sitting on the board of directors of the Worldwide Brokers Network, where she is one of just four women — and the youngest.
Ms. Collins “has a very special balance of professionalism and personalism,” said Francie Starnes, CEO of the San Francisco-based network of commercial insurance brokers and employee benefits consultants. “She’s able to navigate the borders and come up with very solid solutions for clients, and ones that they want to stay with for a long time.”
The 2019 Business Insurance Women to Watch Awards showcase another outstanding group of female executives in the insurance and risk management sector.