At 30, with seven years of on-the-job experience, Avery Moore speaks with the perspective of a veteran. "We need more strong women to lean in and seize opportunities as producers. I grew up watching my mother, but when I tried to find my own community as a producer, there were few women," says Moore.
Director of Business Development
Her heading on LinkedIn is “Better than Jake from State Farm.” At 30, with seven years of on-the-job experience, she speaks with the perspective of a veteran. That’s partly because her mentor is her mother, Denise Johnson—a long-time producer who now is CEO of Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma. “She’s strong, she’s wise, and she is everything I hope one day to live up to,” says Moore.
We need more strong women to lean in and seize opportunities as producers. I grew up watching my mother, but when I tried to find my own community as a producer, there were few women. Even now, working with college risk management programs, we see females take the company or customer-service path more often than not, whether it’s out of fear of a commission-based job or not understanding how great and flexible a producer’s job can be.
To attract the best talent, we must do better by Gen Z. When I joined this business, the constant conversation around millennials was so negative. Imagine being stereotyped to fail? We’re finally bringing in new, young, vibrant talent, but we’ve done an awful job of showing them how great this industry is.
WHAT ARE WE GETTING RIGHT?
Dominating the commercial space. But let’s not get comfortable. We have to keep evolving to continue this gig.
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?
Beating the person I was yesterday. And coffee.
WHAT DO YOU QUESTION?
Why is there a lack of transparency in our industry? Why is it that we as agents and owners and company people don’t talk about the hard stuff? We only toot our horns about how great business is, and we wear busyness like a badge. But this is a daunting job. We are responsible for peoples’ livelihoods, and if we mess up, the repercussions can be huge. That responsibility is enormous but also should be wildly empowering.
YOUR BIGGEST LESSON?
In the first year of producing I worked a large apartment complex—the first large commercial account I’d ever put together. My first quote was about $150,000 out of the ball park. I had one last chance, but as the hours ticked away that little voice in my head fed me all head trash. By midnight, I found myself sitting on my office floor crying, defining myself as a failure. But I realized I was not facing failure, because I can’t fail at something I haven’t tried. Ultimately only I control my life and whether I fail or learn from the struggle. I’m not always in control of what life throws at me, but I am in control of the fight.
PHOTO BY TRACE THOMAS