Frank has 30-plus years of insurance experience. She has served on association boards, including Big I New York, and is former commissioner of the New York State Insurance Fund. J.P. West, the brokerage and risk management firm she founded, marks its 20th anniversary this year.
President and CEO
The Dillard University placement office set up Frank’s first interview. She then negotiated 10 more to earn a spot in Chubb’s casualty underwriting training program, where she was the only black woman. She’d just completed training when a human resources executive told her, “’You’ll never make it in this industry.’ She didn’t equivocate,” Frank says.
Frank has 30-plus years of insurance experience. From Chubb, she moved to Continental Special Risk Underwriters, then to AIG. She has served on association boards, including Big I New York, and is former commissioner of the New York State Insurance Fund. J.P. West, the brokerage and risk management firm she founded, marks its 20th anniversary this year.
HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THE NEGATIVE FEEDBACK?
My first year was painful, total culture shock. However, Chubb, my employer, provided so much positive reinforcement that quitting never crossed my mind. I felt excited and focused on the opportunities to grow. Insurance still excites me! I thank goodness to this day for the thorough professional foundation the Chubb provided.
Be mindful of the feedback we give young people. We must not limit others by our own limitations. As an industry seeking young people, we have to open the doors. We must encourage bright youth with sound work ethics and expose them to the many positive elements of success in our industry.
Some folks are born to the purple. Like royals, they inherit their status in the business. Then there are people like me who happenstance upon insurance in search of opportunity. In either case, we are truly fortunate to be in such a great industry.
YOUR AHA! MOMENT?
After structuring property casualty programs for one of the world’s largest multinational conglomerates, we knew we had the experience and expertise to provide exceptional service to large complex risks, worldwide.
J.P. West Inc. specializes in serving municipal, construction, environmental and political risks.
PHOTO BY KATHERINE MARKS