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Profiles in Excellence

CLM award winners JoAnn Goff and Cameron Shirley share their stories of success.

May 06, 2016 Photo

Getting to Know: JoAnn Goff, CLM Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

On winning CLM’s Lifetime Achievement Award: “I feel honored and humbled to have been recognized by a fabulous organization. We typically see ourselves the way others see us, and quite honestly, I see myself as someone who goes about doing what is best for all concerned and doing it as best as I can. I don’t look back on my career and think, ‘Look at all I achieved.’ I look back believing I did some good things while at the same time wishing that I could have done more.”

On her proudest career achievement: “I would have to say driving the change from ‘adjuster’ to ‘resolution manager.’ The positive reception of the change was overwhelming. I believe people in the industry felt re-energized, while those new to or considering the industry as a career choice were inspired. An example of this is my own son, Brian. He chose to make claims his profession after seeing the videos I put out at Gallagher Bassett, which showed how we went through a series of steps to ensure it wasn’t just a label change. Some of those videos came from management, but many of them came from the resolution managers themselves. I believe that made a big difference with how well it was received. We are almost a year into the official change at Gallagher, and I know from my many friends there that it remains alive and well. That makes me proud of the achievement personally, yet even more proud of the team of 3,000 people at Gallagher who made it a reality.”

On the advice she would give to those just entering the field or who are new to management: “For those just entering the field, I’d say, ‘Be proud of your profession.’ Recognize the social purpose and good things that you do. For new managers, I’d say recognize that your brand is vital to your success as a leader. Protect your personal brand in all you do. I always say your brand is like your shadow—it follows you wherever you may go.”

On her plans for retirement: “My husband and I enjoy helping seniors in need. This has been our primary focus for the past several months. We also are planning to do a little consulting for the insurance industry. Lastly, like most retirees, we are planning to travel a bit more!”

Getting to Know: Cameron Shirley, CLM Claims Management Professional of the Year

On winning the award: “I was quite surprised when I received the email congratulating me for being a finalist for the award. I really had no idea, and to this day, I do not know who nominated me as no one will fess up! Even though I have never been one to seek the spotlight, it is quite an honor. The emotions I felt when receiving the award were surprise, appreciation, honor, and humility. Quite frankly, there are many in the industry I respect and who I think are more deserving, but it is definitely an honor to be recognized.”

On what makes him a great claims professional: “I have always said that the key to being successful is surrounding oneself with smart people, and I have been fortunate to work with many great people throughout my career. I think they deserve much of the credit for my success. Having said that, I think that to be successful in the claims management profession, you must be good at a lot of things. Some of the key skillsets include being able to communicate, organize, analyze, negotiate, and manage time. But as one advances his career, some of the most important skills include emotional intelligence, business acumen, and understanding the bigger picture and how every decision impacts the business. Mentoring and helping those in the profession has been very rewarding for me.”

On staying productive: “I recently discovered SamCard, which has been a big help in managing my contacts. This app allows me to take a picture of a business card and then download information directly into my Outlook contacts. Technology is a great thing!”

On something most people don’t know about him: “I am an open book, and people who know me know that. You might be interested to know that first and foremost I’m a family guy, but I have a lot of other interests. For instance, one of my favorite pastimes (when time permits) is to go to a beautiful place in the mountains and do some fly fishing. It is my therapy!”

About The Authors
Eric Gilkey

Eric Gilkey is vice president of content at the CLM, and serves as executive editor of CLM magazine, the flagship publication of the CLM.  eric.gilkey@theclm.org

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