On June 7, 2018 I have the privilege of representing Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA) in sponsoring the Bay Area CFO of the Year Awards presented by the San Francisco Business Times and Larkin Street Youth Services. As a Board member of Larkin Street, I am proud to support this nonprofit’s ground-breaking work, while honoring world-class CFOs leading their organizations.
On May 3, we welcomed Michelle Wulfestieg as our speaker for the second annual Orange County GROW* keynote. As a two-time stroke survivor, hospice advocate, motivational speaker, and award-winning author, Michelle shared her story of perseverance, hope, and the power of living your deeper purpose.
Diagnosed with a rare vascular brain lesion and given a short life expectancy, Michelle vowed to live her best life during the time she had. At a young age, she discovered that she wanted to help others in need, as she believes “everyone has a purpose to serve in some capacity.” Devoted to finding her true passion, Michelle explored volunteering with many different organizations, ultimately finding herself drawn to hospice.
After suffering a second stroke, Michelle spent eight days in a deep coma. However, after Michelle finally woke, she was free of the lesion. Determined to be able to help her hospice patients once again, she spent years recovering – learning to read, write, walk, and talk again. “It all happens for a reason and there is hope at the end of the day,” Michelle said.
Thought-provoking, lively, engaging and hilarious. Those are just a few words to describe our San Diego Annual GROW Keynote Speaker, AmyK Hutchens. On Wednesday, April 11, AmyK ignited brilliance in our San Diego colleagues, clients and business partners at what continues to be a jam-packed event year after year. GROW, which stands for Growth in Relationships and Opportunities for Women, hosts the annual keynote to bring the community together for an hour filled with inspiration, development, and usually some laughs, and AmyK didn’t disappoint one bit!
AmyK is a former executive of a billion dollar global organization and was awarded the Vistage UK International Speaker of the Year. She has influenced thousands of executives across the globe with her keen insight and intuitive understanding of the issues leaders face. At the keynote, she spoke to real-world challenges and solutions in both personal and professional situations that the multi-generational room of participants could relate to. Audience members ranged from those just getting started in their career to C-suite players, and AmyK had something for everyone.
Through the course of her presentation, AmyK encouraged guests to think about our own challenges as she walked through a series of questions, takeaways and tools. She started out by really encouraging all of us to slow down and realize that leadership is happening “one… conversation… at… a…time”. As leaders, we are responsible for the critical thinking in each conversation and we may need to increase our critical thinking if we want to drive a better outcome. Further into the seminar, she discussed organizational values and the importance of defining the behaviors behind each value, and leading by modeling those behaviors.
Alison Levine, Team Captain of the first American Women's Everest Expedition & New York Times bestselling author of On the Edge, shared her story of adventure and the lessons she learned on her high-risk journey to the top at our annual San Diego GROW Keynote event. Through education, mentoring and networking, GROW (Growth in Relationships and Opportunities for Women) strives to give women in the workplace the tools to become tomorrow's leaders.
Waiting for that big promotion to a leadership role? NEWSFLASH: you’re already in a leadership position. Yeah – I’m talking to you! Leadership doesn’t start the day you’re given a particular title or have a certain amount of tenure. Leadership isn’t about how many people report to you or how large of a budget you oversee. Leadership is about realizing that every person on a team—at work, at home, or in your community—has a responsibility to help guide that team toward a goal. Here are four things you can do to obtain the mindset you need to help your team move forward starting NOW.
As a CFO, I understand the importance of vetting and selecting business partners to support the needs of a growing business. From accountants to law firms, commercial real estate brokers and banks, who you choose to do business with can have a significant impact on the bottom line, your workload and the level of risk to your organization.
When it comes to insurance, I have the benefit of understanding the business as well as the key traits CFOs should look for when evaluating and selecting a broker. The time you gain from partnering with the right insurance broker leaves you more time to focus on your core business strategies and growth opportunities for the future.
For most brokers these traits are a given, and for good reason they should be. If they aren’t core strengths, keep looking.
- Reputation - A solid and long term reputation in your community and the industry often points to a track record of success.
- Intellectual Capital – Experienced, seasoned and intelligent colleagues, who possess the technical insurance knowledge to guide you on what risks to cover and how best to cover them.
- Industry Expertise – Depth of knowledge in your specific industry is key. Access to benchmarking data, trends, and industry changes are essential when evaluating your organization’s risk profile.
- Insurer Relationships – Strong and deep relationships with insurance companies help provide the leverage you need to get the best coverage, best terms and best price available.