Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Whirlwind Week

What a whirlwind week of simply amazing news.
Nick and I became an aunt and uncle for the first time.
My amazing younger sister Stephanie got a great promotion to Senior Accountant at work.
My brother John is having a once in a lifetime experience in Austria for the next month.
My husband Nick had a fantastic work review with an amazing (and unexpected) bonus and pay increase.
And somewhere in all of that, I managed to win the New Jersey Young Insurance Professional of the Year at the NJ/NY Professional Insurance Agent's Conference in Atlantic City.

If you would have told me four years ago when I came into the insurance business kicking and screaming I would be winning an award for YIP of the year, I would have told you that you were crazy. Not only were you crazy, but that you were certifiable because there is no way I would still be working in insurance after four years and ENJOYING what I do.

To give you some background the Young Insurance Professionals are an organization that focuses on leadership, education, networking and information within the insurance community for young people. As a branch off of the Professional Insurance Agents, we work in tandem to get young people involved and excited about their insurance careers. I joined the YIP's soon after getting my insurance license at the suggestion and recommendation of my father, who is an active PIA member.

I am honestly honored and flattered that my peers saw me eligible to win this award. But I couldn't do what I do in the YIP's without everyone else who is involved. So in no particular order,  here is who I would have liked to thank and some coherent form of a speech I would have liked to give had I not been so surprised and overwhelmed with gratitude for receiving award:
Thank you to my husband, Nick, who always, always, always, says "okay, go for it" whenever I come up with some crazy idea for work or goal for myself. Your support and love is appreciated more then I could ever express.
My parents who also unconditionally support me and love me no matter how many mistakes I make and for constantly hosting the YIP's at the tiki bar. You've raised me to be the woman I am and I hope I reflect that in my everyday life.
My dad, who 4 years ago told me I should get involved with the YIP's, and who has given me the encouragement and ability to actively participate. I know not everyone has this opportunity and I am so grateful for your support. No matter what I know I will always be "John's daughter" to everyone at the PIA. I've got some big shoes to fill!
The rest of my remarkable family, who all love and encourage each other in all our individual endeavors.
Everyone I work with in the YIPs (in no particular order because I love you all): Tom, Casey, Dan, Kristen, Danielle, Beth, Frank, Josh, Charles, Patti, Glenn, Kim, Terri, and all the behind the scenes PIA staff. You welcomed me with open arms when I started coming to meetings and I've never looked back. When I began making suggestions for South Jersey you always have supported the activities. Honestly I cannot imagine working with a better group of people and am so honored and thankful I got to know all of you.  I look forward to growing with you as we make our way into taking over the PIA next.
Kasy C-R  for sitting me down four years ago and telling me that I really should get into insurance as it's a great industry for women to be in. And that by entering I would be able to have a family and career all in one by (eventually) becoming my own boss.
To Kristen S, who also sat me down when I was on the fence about insurance as a career and encouraged me to come into the industry and get involved in the YIPs organization.
To every single woman that is on the PIA board, member, and involved in insurance, because it shows that there is nothing that women can't do and the glass ceiling has been shattered by all of you amazing ladies.

To every other young professional who may be entering into or considering an insurance career, I strongly  encourage your involvement in the Young Insurance Professionals. The YIPs are an amazing organization with so many opportunities and incredible people to meet.

Now if only I could have come up with something that eloquent when they surprised me and announced my name on Monday. Don't worry, from what I've been told my embarrassing and disjointed deer-in-headlights speech was recorded, so I'm sure it will go viral or something ridiculous. Thanks Public Speaking 101, for making me a fantastic public speaker, but not when they completely surprise you with an award.

I can only say that I am humbled and honored again to have won this award. As I was always taught, there is no "I" in team, and I've only been able to accomplish what I have because of all the other extraordinary individuals that I work with in the YIP organization. Thank you is truly an understatement for how I feel.

UPDATE: Hey look mom, I'm on YouTube.
Sidebar, I'm actually more composed then I thought I sounded in my head.

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