As the national director for the Insurors of Tennessee, Cindi Gresham’s career path demonstrates how a typist with ambition and drive can have a successful and rewarding insurance career.
Gresham was studying biology at college when a friend of her father asked if she or her sister would be interested in a summer typing job at an insurance agency. While Gresham did not know how to type, the owner asked if she could be accurate and she replied, “What dummy can’t do that?” She was hired and started working her way up, promoted to personal lines customer service representative (CSR) and then to commercial lines CSR.
Gresham later joined Boyle Insurance Agency as a commercial CSR. “I worked my way up and was eventually promoted to senior vice president and then became president of the agency in 2010—I’ve been here 34 years.”
As the national director for the Insurors of Tennessee, Gresham’s career path demonstrates how a typist with ambition and drive can have a successful and rewarding insurance career.
What Advice Would You Give a CSR in 2022?
Always do your best. Never compromise your values. Be honest and thorough. Continue to learn and grow in our industry. Get involved with your state and national Big “I” association. Goals are good to have, but don’t spend so much time focusing on the future that you miss today. It is a gift.
How Does Education Open Doors?
I highly believe in education. I believe in continuing that throughout your career. When you take time to master each step and continue to learn, the possibilities are endless. That is why at Boyle we pay for all continuing education and insurance designations.
Right now, it is finding personnel. We started a program where we are going to use a former secretarial desk for entry-level people where we will train them and help them get licensed.
Even if we do find people to work at our agency and we are not a good fit for them, I feel like we've still been successful getting someone into our industry. I will never feel bad or begrudge anyone for trying to do better, but right now it's hard when you can't find people at all.
I remember when we changed to the commercial lines manual and people were saying this will never work because you must have separate manuals for each line of business, like a fire rate manual, a crime manual and a surety manual. When I came to Boyle I had a little computer experience and some of the older ladies that worked here told me I was going to have to do all the work because I knew how to work a computer. I think there have been lots of changes already, but I think we're going to see a lot more.
Olivia Overman is IA content editor.