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Senior vice president, team lead in the casualty division of the Philadelphia office
R-T Specialty LLC
For Shannon Stefanski, working in insurance was a no-brainer, as she had friends and family members employed in different parts of the industry.
She started at Marsh LLC, moved to CRC Insurance Services Inc. and was recruited by wholesaler R-T Specialty LLC when the company was formed in 2010. At R-T, Ms. Stefanski manages a casualty book of business of more than $70 million and a team of seven colleagues that has generated year-over-year organic growth of 20% or more since 2013.
“There are wonderful people at R-T who know how to encourage and support young talent,” she said. “This helped give me the momentum to build a brokerage team in Philadelphia.”
Her team, she added, is her primary focus. “It’s important that everyone is happy and excited and that there is synergy and positive energy every day,” she said. “Once that is happening, we’re in a great position to help our clients, whatever the issue.”
Having a cohesive team has been critical during the COVID-19 pandemic and a shifting insurance market, she said, noting, “One thing for certain is that change is always happening.”
Because much of her knowledge was passed down from experienced brokers, she strives to do the same. Mentoring is a significant part of the process. “It’s very important to me that everybody on the team has their career path set up, and that I help them reach their goals,” she said.
Brenda Ballard Austenfeld, president, national property practice and managing director with R-T Specialty, and a Business Insurance Woman to Watch in 2006, said Ms. Stefanski is an effective leader, who “stands out in a big way and sets a high bar for others.”
Ms. Austenfeld added that a key to Ms. Stefanski’s success is her background as an athlete. “That determination, drive and motivation have helped her to set high standards and given her a love of winning,” she said. Ms. Stefanski played basketball as a point guard at the University of Dayton and now runs on a regular basis.
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.