Shaping the Next Generation of Risk Management & Insurance Professionals
As the demand for young professionals in the industry increases, FCCI continues to build relationships and programs in universities across the country to help develop the future workforce.
According to Insurance Journal, the insurance industry is expected to lose more than 400,000 employees in the next several years. Replacing such a large part of the workforce might be considered a challenge for some, but FCCI has been facing this head-on for the last several years.
“FCCI has a long record of low attrition, which has served us well,” said Lisa Krouse, FCCI Board Member, EVP & Chief Administrative Officer. “However, many of our teammates will be over the age of 50 by 2025. And it’s not just talent we would be losing, but their leadership. We have known this for some time and have been working to ensure that we have a solid talent pipeline to meet the needs of our business, both in terms of growth and goals.” Ask any insurance executive today — leadership and the availability of quality candidates is one of the most important strategic concerns they face. As much of their legacy, knowledge, expertise and leadership heads into retirement, finding the talent to continue growth is a challenge.
FCCI has made big strides in championing the career possibilities in insurance while highlighting the industry as one filled with human connection and purpose. Insurance, after all, is based on helping people during difficult times. Young professionals increasingly want to work where they can connect with, and help, others. “Through our involvement with local universities and our robust internship program, we’re bringing young people into the industry and helping them understand the opportunities,” Lisa said. “Our thinking is we’re hiring interns today to be our teammates tomorrow.” One strong example of this is at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM). Over the last decade, we’ve supported USFSM in its effort to build a Risk Management & Insurance program. Recently, the university expanded the program from a college minor to a Bachelor of Science degree. In collaborating with local insurance organizations and associations like FAIA, FCCI has been at the helm with USF in its earliest stages to help create a best-in-class Risk Management Insurance program to feed the talent need in this market for years to come. Sheila Kemp, FCCI Senior HR Business Partner, Midwest Region, has been a part of building similar relationships with Indiana State University, University of Texas-Dallas and both of their Gamma Iota Sigma Fraternities to support a pipeline of talent in the Southwest Region. “It’s a direct connection that helps us discover future talent for FCCI,” Sheila said. “This is not only something HR does on a regular basis, but it’s part of our culture and the way we do things at FCCI.” Another relationship worth attention is our connection with Ole Miss. The RMI program at the University of Mississippi is the only one of its kind in the state and has recently drawn national attention as one of the only 12 programs in the U.S. designated as a Global Center of Insurance Excellence. Tom Quaka, FCCI Senior Vice President, Sr. Adviser to the President (recently retired) in Jackson, Mississippi, served on the Ole Miss Insurance Advisory Board for many years. “Tom Quaka has been the anchor to this board from day one and has been key to the success of the Risk Management and Insurance program,” says Dr. Ken Cyree, Dean, School of Business Administration. “Quaka is among those who should be commended for his role in building the insurance program to its current level.” Quaka, who frequently sees the end result of the Ole Miss insurance program, said, “We employ students who graduate from Ole Miss, and we have many of them in our organization today. We have been exponentially successful because of the alumni we’ve been able to recruit from this program.”
Tiffany Hawkins, FCCI Vice President, Gulf Coast Region, continues to develop this exceptional relationship with Ole Miss and sees the benefits. “As a University of Mississippi alumna, I was honored to recently serve as the immediate former chair of the Ole Miss Insurance Advisory Board. The Insurance Symposium is a fantastic continuing education opportunity for insurance and risk management professionals to share knowledge and stay current, and it’s a way for me to give back to the program that launched my career in the insurance industry.” From a corporate perspective, FCCI’s School of Excellence, led by Colleen Berish, FCCI Manager, Training and Development, has formalized FCCI’s internship program using a robust business curriculum to build a strong bridge between our talent acquisition activities and our business. The intern program offers a comprehensive 8- to 10-week schedule that includes both classroom and hands-on experience throughout our various departments in the corporate and regional offices. Interns not only learn about insurance, but shadow coworkers, hone presentation skills, engage in community service and spend quality time with the Company’s senior leaders. Many of our interns and trainees say that once they get into the industry and feel the reward of the day-to-day work, they begin to understand how exciting and fulfilling the roles within this industry can be. Whether it is building relationships to promote the industry to college graduates or building relationships to keep promises to our partners, FCCI continues to help shape the next generation of RMI professionals.
It’s the FCCI Way.
(L to R): Tom Quaka, FCCI SVP, Sr. Adviser to the President; Andre Leibenberg, Robertson Chair of Insurance, University of Mississippi; Van Hedges, Owner, Southern Insurance Consulting; and Dr. Ken Cyree, Dean, School of Business Administration, University of Mississippi
FCCI hosted a New Talent event and reception at their headquarters in Sarasota, Florida, in 2018 to attract potential teammates to a career in insurance
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