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Name: Sandy
Position: Agent Relations Manager, Select Benefit Administrators
Location: Ashland, Wis.
How long have you been with Symetra?
I started with Select Benefit Administrators (SBA) nearly 13 years ago. I began as the claims manager, which gave me a well-rounded view of the Select Benefits product. I learned a lot during that time that’s helped me in my current role.
Why did you choose Symetra?
Symetra really chose me. They purchased the company I was working for. I feel lucky to now be part of Symetra.
What’s your professional background?
I previously worked in the accounting department of a Wisconsin state educational agency that provides services to school districts. I helped manage a self-funded insurance trust that provides health and dental benefits to a consortium of school districts. That’s how I got connected with SBA—they administered our medical claims.
It’s been an interesting path to management. All of my training has been on-the-job. I’ve been extremely fortunate that my employers have given me an opportunity to grow and to learn. It’s nice when they’re willing to do that.
Can you describe your day-to-day work?
I manage four people, and we handle everything it takes to set up new Select Benefits business that comes in—from making sure that agents are appropriately appointed to creating policy documents. Once we’re done, the rest of the building here in Ashland takes over. We also support the sales staff in the field and make sure that their agents are taken care of.
What character traits are most important in your job?
You have to be open, responsive and service-oriented. But most of all, you have to be a people person—and I like people! I wouldn’t want a job where I didn’t have contact with the outside world.
What’s your primary responsibility?
My main responsibility is to ensure that new Select Benefits business is set up appropriately so day-to-day operations can begin. But, as I said, we’re also here for the agents. They really appreciate the fact that they can pick up the phone and talk to us. Sometimes, they even call with questions from an employer’s office just to show that when you call Select Benefits, a live person answers.
What motivates you?
During my first interview with SBA, I was asked if I wanted to be on the front end of something that was going to be really big, something that would constantly challenge me. That’s what I like about this job and what motivates me. Every day there’s something new to learn.
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