2018 was, for all intents and purposes, a year of growth, positive change, and finding our stride. 2019 is about maintaining this forward progress and building on it. It’s about honing in on what makes us a premier insurance company with a small business mindset. It is not necessarily about building new relationships but fortifying the ones that have been with us from the beginning.
In thinking back on the foundation of this great company, it is hard not to mention all of the incredible individuals who have done the back-breaking, tireless work to be the ultimate resource for brokers and insureds alike. One such individual, Mita Patel, embodies everything that we look for in a leader, a co-worker, and a representative of Pacific Specialty.
As I mentioned in my 2018 year-end letter, “family is one of the pillars that constitutes the core foundation of this company”. To recap:
Family: We support and respect each other, we are a family. We are able to rely on one another and lean on each other for support in good times and bad. We want to see everyone excel and share in the success of others. We help each other, we are resources for our peers.
Mita is the epitome of this core value and has given 32 years of service to Pacific Specialty. Mita’s story goes as such: her husband was a full-time student and looking for a part-time job. In 1987, he came across a posting by McGraw Insurance at his college which he inquired about and took once he realized this was a company that was able to accommodate his busy academic schedule with his work schedule, a luxury most businesses do not afford their workers. We were also looking for a full-time employee and Mita jumped at the opportunity. Interviewed by Mark Davey, she began working at the company (alongside her husband) at our small office of merely eight or nine employees. “I knew nothing about insurance, only how to spell it,” Mita jokes in recalling how this spontaneous career path began. At that time, we were a managing general agency and have since seen incredible expansion with our many different branches, which offer various levels of insurance, service contracts, priority maintenance packages and more.
Since Mita began at the company, over 25 members of the Patel family have come through our doors as full-time, part-time, and intern employees. “McGraw always has been family-oriented,” says Mita. Mita believes that the knowledge and experience she has gained at the company have been invaluable and allowed her to provide for her family and enjoy opportunities she would not have ordinarily been privy to. She also explains that the flexibility offered at the company proves that The McGraw Group and all of the affiliated companies (including Pacific Specialty) prioritize employees and their needs.
Jack McGraw, the patriarch of our company, has always been “approachable, personal, and caring,” with Mita recalling how he would check on each and every employee daily when he was working in the office. As Jack’s son and current CEO, I have attempted to continue this tradition and build a positive rapport with those I lead. With me, transparency has been a key component to building an altruistic, open relationship with all employees.
One of the career highlights of 2018 was seeing the way our Claims Department handled the California wildfires, paying out all loss claims within days of them being filed. It was truly a team effort that has been a huge point of pride for our company as well as a huge relief for those impacted by the fires. As with my note from a year ago kickstarting 2018, Pacific Specialty is and remains steady as she goes. We will continue to offer premier coverage and new products aimed to make the policy process more convenient, quick and cost-effective. We are reliable. We are accountable. We choose quality over quantity and we will continue to do business one policy at a time…