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Vice president, energy product line manager
American International Group Inc.
During the multiple times that Susan Gonzales has moved for her career, one thing has always stayed the same: She finds time to volunteer at the local Boys & Girls Clubs. In Denver, Ms. Gonzales was on the associate board and created a teen cooking program providing students with access to a master chef and international cuisine.
“Charitable organizations are always looking for help and fresh perspective,” Ms. Gonzales said. “The Boys & Girls Clubs seemed to appreciate my hands-on approach in helping to solve their biggest challenges. It’s so rewarding to pay it forward and give these kids a glimpse outside of their day-to-day experience. It also keeps me grounded.”
Ms. Gonzales, a mother of two children, ages six and three, serves as a mentor to other women in the industry who desire to be working moms with continuing career opportunities. In almost every department she has led at American International Group Inc., the turnover has been minimal.
“Susan is such a special individual — curious by nature, technically brilliant, sincere in every way,” said Neil Smallcombe,
Chicago-based head of casualty at Lexington Insurance Co., a subsidiary of AIG. “She is a great leader, coach and mentor who is completely selfless with her time when helping others with their development. She strives to do the right thing in every situation regardless of the challenges.”
Ms. Gonzales came to the insurance industry after working as an energy trader for Kansas City, Missouri-based utility Aquila Inc. As the energy-trading business began to slump, Ms. Gonzales shifted her actuarial analysis skills to the brokerage side of the insurance business with Lockton Cos. in Kansas City.
In 2011, she moved to AIG as an underwriter and was promoted to her current position in 2019.
Ms. Gonzales said she has found the insurance industry to be one that supports women and encourages everyone to work as a team.
“The goals set for ‘Susan’ by AIG cannot be achieved without my cohesive team who choose to rally around me,” she said. “In turn, I serve my team by fostering their individual drivers as well as creating harmony and building trust.”
The Business Insurance Women to Watch awards program highlights the achievements of female leaders in the insurance sector to celebrate their success and promote gender diversity in the industry.