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Can you believe that this post marks our third anniversary of highlighting so many incredible women in our industry with this column?  A lot has happened in our industry in the past three years; however, so much has remained the same.  I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing these female accomplishments from around the country and I feel like we are only getting started!  Each month, I am contacted with stories of new women changing the face of our industry and it is simply wonderful.  So, without further ado, let’s get you some more inspirational stories to continue with your summer fun!  Please welcome, Ricki and Nikki to the crew.  These two changemakers have learned a tremendous amount this past year when it comes to new aspects of the business and also how to manage work/life balance.

 Ricki Hancart, Conner Insurance

“I believe the transition from working in the fully-insured small group (2-99) market into the self-funded large group (100+) space as an account manager has been the biggest business accomplishment I’ve made in the past 12 months. A member of our team had decided to go a different route with her career, leaving her book of business up for grabs. I only had about two weeks to train with her and acclimate myself to this new set of clients, one of them being in a captive arrangement with six other holding companies, most with common ownership. The level of complexity to this client was much greater than anything I’d experienced to-date. The day the lightbulb went off in my head was a success in and of itself! In addition to all that, I was still managing the small group book of business, while training my replacement until she felt comfortable enough to be on her own. I cannot begin to quantify the growth that has taken place for me, both professionally and personally, during this past year. It’s been hard work, but absolutely worth it!”

Nikki Poole, Raffa Financial Services

“This was a year of finding balance for me. Being in a role where you are responsible for renewing and advising clients, you’re bound to run into difficult situations that take a toll on your confidence in your ability to do your job. Clients come and go but for those that leave, it’s a learning experience every single time and it only pushes me to be better at my job. I turn that gut wrenching “oh no, we lost an account, what did I do wrong?” mentality and put it right back into my work. While I still beat myself up over mistakes, I’ve been trying to focus a lot of time on redirecting that negative energy into positive energy. I found myself bringing that negativity home and I hated it. I needed to find a way to change this thought process and by recognizing my mistakes, I was able to learn from them quickly and move on. By doing that, I am less likely to make the same mistake twice! It’s also helped me work smarter, not harder! I think this is key to having the perfect work/life balance that we all need.”

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