We recently welcomed Kim Schafer as our new director of agency relations. In this role, she’s responsible for driving growth strategies for our agent partners and leading our agency relations team.
With more than 20 years of experience working with agents and carriers in Colorado, Kim might be someone you already know. She’s respected in the insurance business and passionate about building relationships. In the coming months, she’s excited to reconnect with the agent partners she knows and get to know those agents she hasn’t met yet.
In the meantime, to help you get to know her better, we asked Kim 12 questions about herself. Here are her answers:
Who do you look up to for inspiration or mentorship?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She faced a lot of adversity as she was building her career, but she never gave up and she achieved amazing things.
What are the most important attributes of successful leaders today?
Listening to understand. Also, empowering team members and giving them permission to make mistakes.
What one thing makes you most proud about your career?
The number of employees that I’ve worked with, mentored and coached who have moved into leadership roles.
What advice can you give to someone who wants to be a leader?
Seek feedback constantly, particularly from those you know will be critical and willing to tell you the tough things.
What advice would you give to a person just beginning an insurance career?
Network, network, network. Get to know as many different people as you can from a variety of backgrounds, talents and experiences. Be willing to learn from all of them.
What changes are you seeing in the insurance industry that excite you? What changes worry you?
The advancement of technology within the industry is exciting but, overall, there’s a LONG way to go.
Continued consolidation on the agent/broker side backed by venture capital worries me. While I appreciate what brokers do, I would hate to see the disappearance of truly independently owned and run agencies.
What excites you about your role at Pinnacol?
The people and culture! I also love that it’s a smaller environment where, as an individual, you can have a bigger impact and try different things. Remember, I’ve worked for employers that have more than 30,000 employees where there’s a lot of bureaucracy and an individual can feel like a small cog in a giant machine.
Share something about yourself you want to improve.
Patience. I’m a fairly impatient person, and I usually want things to go faster than is practical.
What do you feel is the biggest strength of Pinnacol right now?
The fact that we are looking forward, understanding our obstacles and making changes.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love, love, love to walk my two sassy Scottish terriers, Jagger and Scout.
What are you grateful for?
My family, first and foremost. In terms of my career, I’ve been very blessed to work across many organizations that have helped me build an amazing network.
If you weren’t leading agency relations, what career would you choose?
World travel reviewer/reporter. Not sure that’s a career!