Angela Ward, Property/Casualty Underwriter
Q: What brought you to MJ Kelly?
A: My sister-in-law used to work in the finance department at MJ Kelly. She helped me get a ‘temporary’ processing job 16 years ago … and the rest is history!
Q: What do you like most about your work?
A: My co-workers at MJ Kelly, the retail agents, and the carrier underwriters. Also, E&S is like solving a puzzle. You have to be constantly up to date with changes, new trends, weird risks that don’t fit into nice neat boxes. It’s always something new.
Q: What’s the most challenging part of your job?
A: Keeping up with the ever-changing market. Just when you think you know something – it changes.
Q: How do you keep up with news and trends regarding your industry?
A: I like to read the Insurance Journal. Watching and reading the news; local, national and world-wide events all have an effect on our business.
Q: How do you predict your industry will be different in two years, and how do you see MJ Kelly shaping that change?
A: I’m hoping the market will continue to harden. We’re seeing it on the E&S side, but we’re still waiting on the standards to catch up. I see MJ Kelly continuing to adapt. The ebb and flow of the market has always been a roller coaster ride and we’re always prepared for the changes.
Q: Who has been your biggest influence, and how have they affected you?
A: I really look up to so many strong women in this industry; it’s hard to pinpoint one specific individual. I’ve had many female superiors in this industry as well as carrier underwriters who know so much and are willing to help out their fellow women to succeed. I try and do the same for other women (and men!!) when I am able.
Q: What books and blogs are you currently reading?
A: I haven’t sat down to read a book lately; something I hope to do more of in 2021. I get distracted by social media too much (bad habit). I tend to listen to podcasts more than read blogs. I like Brene Brown’s ‘Unlocking Us’ podcast. She’s fantastic! Watch her TED Talk on vulnerability if you have a chance. It’s great!
Q: Where do you feel you made the greatest impact in life?
A: Outside of work I’m involved with a homeless outreach project in our community. It’s been eye-opening to see how many unsheltered individuals live in this area. Many of them are veterans, foster children that have aged out of the system and people with mental health issues. I feel like in a small way I’m helping to give those people a leg up to overcome their problems. Their gratitude is good for the soul.
Tell us something that we don’t already know about you.
A: I am an artist. I have a degree in Graphic Design/Visual Communication. I love to paint (watercolor, acrylic) and draw. Give me some art supplies and a blank piece of paper and I’m in my happy place.