Women in Insurance - December 10 2020
In this interview series, we profile women who are shaping the future of insurance. This week, we’re pleased to connect with Billie Jo Galle, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, TRICOR Insurance. Billie Jo shares her career journey in insurance, the importance of diversifying your skills, and her insights on how insurance companies need to pivot their recruitment strategies to attract new talent.
Billie Jo, tell us about your path to insurance. What attracted you to the profession?
I fell into the category of—I did not seek out working in the insurance industry. The right opportunity at the right time, I was proactive about not boxing myself into one sector to work in throughout my career. The path that I took, I believe, in the end, has made me more of an asset to the insurance industry.
I worked in retail at Lands’ End, a large corporate direct merchandiser. I learned a lot about marketing, branding, advertising, consumer behavior, buying patterns, building customer experiences, and the overwhelming importance of data, and using data analytics. I moved to a privately owned company called Omnipress, which creates websites and printed research books for conferences attended by mainly doctors and engineers. I then got my first opportunity working in the insurance industry. I took a position working for CUNA Mutual Group. I first worked within the Lending department, helping data flow between Credit Unions, CUNA Mutual, and Data Processors, building an ecosystem of data sharing for lending and insurance data between companies. I learned a great deal about data sharing and data consistency across a very complex regulated industry. My final role in CUNA Mutual before choosing to go agency side was selling to direct-to-consumer insurance products such as auto, home, life, and health. This role was multi-faceted brand development, direct marketing, direct-to-consumer sales, compliance, data analytics, creative development, and operations related to workflow and process, technology, and data feed.
As I stated before, all the experiences before this helped me build this knowledge and bring it into one role, some of the pieces I had complete ownership in, and some I played a vital role as a subject matter expert. My next move was to TRICOR Insurance, working within their Brand, Marketing, and Insurance Operations department. This was a fantastic opportunity to bring my diverse set of skills to a privately owned company and help them become a high performing agency. Through leadership, my goal is to help build an agency that understands the importance of data, how to use data and technology to provide employees and clients insight into a holistic risk assessment, cross-sell, up-sell, and build a best-in-class customer experience by leveraging automation.