Tell us about the current work you do at QBE.
I am Vice President - Product Development for QBE North America, serving as Underwriting Counsel for Commercial P&C. In this role, I am responsible for overseeing the development of our entire suite of property and casualty products across all lines including general liability, property, auto, workers compensation, excess and umbrella, in support of our three Corporate regions, Small Commercial division, Multinational unit as well as our Excess and Surplus lines.
How did your experiences at Tressler prepare you for your current role at QBE? How did Tressler help you in your career development?
Since Tressler was my first attorney position out of law school, Tressler had the herculean task of training me from the ground up. As I grew through the associate ranks and into the partnership, I developed key managerial skills that are serving me well in my new role within QBE.
What advice would you give to current associates moving up the ranks at Tressler?
Get involved and take the initiative. Start developing your network as early as you can; it will serve you well at Tressler as you demonstrate you have qualities that are attractive to the partnership and serve you beyond Tressler if your path takes you in another direction.
What are the biggest differences between law firm life and in-house life?
Corporate life is a very different environment. QBE is a global insurance company with approximately 15,000 employees. So, there is a healthy amount of red tape that can get challenging at times. Professionally, I have always adopted the “get it done” attitude, but in the corporate setting, things just take time. You must develop patience in-house, which is not my strong suit. However, on the flip side, “PTO” is gospel in corporate life. If you get a PTO “out of office” in corporate life, you are waiting until that person gets back.
What was your most memorable experience at Tressler?
It’s difficult to list just one. Obviously, the day I was offered a place in the partnership was a pretty good day. There was a lot of change happening at the firm during that time, and the Partnership’s recognition of my years of hard work was very much appreciated. But, in general, I would say all the travel for arbitrations, depositions and hearings. Although Tressler is a national firm, it’s a pretty small group that gets to travel around the country. I felt fortunate to be a part of that group. Some of my most memorable experiences were as an associate prepping with A. Boris on our “road shows” out East.
Are you involved in any pro-bono or volunteer activities?
I am still on the Board of Directors of Secret Santa, Inc., which as most of the Tressler family knows, is a cause near and dear to me (a program providing gifts to underprivileged Chicago Public School students during the holiday season). Tressler was such a large supporter of the program over the 10 years I was there. I think at its height Tressler folks sponsored over 115 students one season!
Tell us about the personal and professional satisfaction that you get from your work.
QBE NA has made some significant changes to its structure over the last few years. As such, it has a “startup” vibe which I think is so fun to be a part of. It is a fast-paced environment with a lot of moving parts. We are all change-agents, developing our teams not only to align with the vision of QBE, but our individual visions as well. There aren’t many companies of this size where you can do that.
What is most challenging about your current work?
My team supports over 110 “clients” across all business segments. A “client” for us is a business lead – a front facing internal business partner. With so many clients, the demands placed on our group are challenging at times. Prioritization and communication are crucial. We try to establish individual relationships with all our business partners, which is no easy task given the sheer volume of folks we are interacting with daily.