This month we celebrate the successful career of Lisa Almeida, AVP- Key Account Manager of territories- National (UMP), California (CTA & ACSA), Arizona, Nevada, Utah NEA Affiliates, and Administrators. Lisa started with California Casualty back in February of 1993 and will retire in April.
We recently had the pleasure to sit down with Lisa and discuss her life and her career at California Casualty. Here’s what she told us:
“I was born in Redondo Beach, California. If you listen carefully to the Beach Boys’ “Surfin USA”, you’ll hear a brief shout out to my hometown. I grew up in many beachy areas of Southern California until I got married and moved to Miami. During my time in Florida, I finished college at Miami Dade, started a family, and began my permanent 37+ year career in the insurance world. That’s when I moved back to SoCal and started working for California Casualty in 1993.”
California Casualty was actually a client of Lisa’s when she worked for American Bankers Insurance Group. That is where she met Linda Anderson and Mary Wilson (both retired from California Casualty Agency Services). She loved working with the California Casualty and the Agency Services team so much she was encouraged to apply for a Field role with the company. “Honestly, it was not only their support of the company that inspired me to apply,” says Lisa, “but it seemed that everyone that worked for CalCas had just an extraordinary amount of tenure. And, being in the insurance industry, I heard nothing but praise for the company’s sterling reputation and excellent customer service.”
Throughout her career with California Casualty Lisa has held many positions, but it’s her love for Group Marketing/Partner Relations that has kept her in the department her entire tenure.
“I started as a Field Representativeive (now Field Marketing Manager) and within a year I was promoted to Senior FMM. After that, I was fortunate enough to earn an Associate Account Manager role, then Team Supervisor followed by about 10 years as West Region Manager. For about the last six years, I’ve been the Key Account Manager for the California Teachers Association. I will say that this position has been my absolute favorite. Not only have I had the privilege of working with some of the most influential and inspiring educators in the state, but I’ve also learned more about the operations of California Casualty than in any other role that I’ve had during my 29 years.”
When asked about her most memorable accomplishments she said, “Oh gosh, back in the day, I did achieve Presidents/Pinnacle Club status multiple times and that is always an honor.
Most importantly, I think working as the California Teachers Association (CTA) Account Manager has been quite an achievement, especially when you look back historically at how few of us there have been in the role since 1951. It’s humbling to be a part of such a distinguished group of individuals. Also, as the spokesperson on behalf of California Casualty for the California School Recognition Program, it has been such a privilege to work with the Department of Education and CTA in that unique capacity. The opportunity to represent this wonderful company and speak in front of thousands of educators throughout the state was just amazing!
Additionally, our partnership with United MileagePlus has been rewarding, and having the opportunity to act as the National Manager for that group for the last few years was a true learning experience.”
Looking back on her career and all of her achievements she says what she will miss most is the friendships she has made, both inside and outside of the company. She says, “I have been so fortunate to have gotten to know so many truly talented, generous, and kind individuals and it saddens me sometimes that I won’t get to see them as often. Still, they all leave me with some beautiful and fun memories…and thank goodness for Facebook.”
And her colleagues will certainly miss her! Lisa’s friends Brian Goodman, AVP-Partner Relations, Debbie Harris, Vice President Field Relations, and her direct report Inez Morales, Senior Field Marketing Manager, had a few parting words they wanted to say to, and on behalf of, Lisa.
“I’ve worked with Lisa for all 27 of my years here at California Casualty. I met her after just a couple of weeks on the job at a Group Marketing (now Partner Relations) department meeting in San Ramon, CA. That was December 1995. As a 30-year-old newbie just getting started with my California Casualty Field Marketing career, it didn’t take long before I knew this was the Field Territory Manager that I should emulate. Thank goodness I was smart enough to realize that right at the beginning! Eventually, Lisa became my boss. She offered me wise guidance countless times in my career, sometimes without even knowing it. Now, many years later, I consider Lisa a friend. I wish Lisa a sincere congratulations on her esteemed career and the new journey that is ahead. -Brian”
“Over her 29-year career, Lisa has established numerous successful partnerships and life-long friendships with group partners and CalCas employees from coast to coast. Wherever we go, she runs into someone who knows her and feels compelled to give her a hug. Lisa’s caring nature, professionalism, work ethic, and humor is alluring, as well as inspiring. I feel honored to have had the chance to work with Lisa for the past two decades and wish her the best in her retirement. -Debbie”
“I met Lisa 14 years ago at the Colorado Service Center during my new employee orientation. I remember it well because I had the worst altitude sickness ever. Lisa immediately asked, are you okay? Her voice was soft and comforting and instantly made me feel at ease. This is what makes Lisa so special. Her grace, words of encouragement, and guidance kept us sane while chasing goals. Lisa, you are a true professional who shows by example that excellence is something to aim for daily. It has been an honor and pleasure working with you. Congratulations on your well-deserved retirement! You will be truly missed!!! –Inez”
In retirement, Lisa plans to spend her days with her family and traveling. Only this time around, traveling for fun! She also plans to increase her ministry and attempt to get back into some of the activities (art, golf, gardening, etc.) that were pushed by the wayside due to all the travel that her positions have required over these many years.
Her parting advice to those also looking to have a long-lasting, successful career is to “Work hard. Play nice. Be grateful.”
Thank you for 29 great years, Lisa. We will all miss you and wish you the best. You’ll always be a part of the CalCas family!
This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.