To say that becoming the Strategic Account Manager for one of the most significant partners in our company’s history could be a little intimidating is an understatement. The partnership between the two organizations has-
1. Influenced our company’s affinity insurance model,
2. Been in existence since 1951
3. Managed by only a small group of distinguished individuals over the years.
However, Bianca Odom is ready and eager to make this role one to remember, “I couldn’t be more excited for this new opportunity!”
We thought now would be a great time to formally introduce you – and your fellow CTA Leaders/Members – to Bianca, who became the Strategic Account Manager for our valued California Teachers Association as of March 2022.
Here’s a little detail about her California Casualty career; appreciation for CTA and CTA members, and other contributing factors that we know make her well-rounded and the perfect person for the job.
Bianca has been with California Casualty for 22 Years – since January 2000. Given the employee tenure at the company, it’s not surprising. And as she describes in the following interview, the roles that she has held throughout that time have truly prepared her for this new position.
Describe the breadth of your career with CalCas. I began my California Casualty career in the Sales Dept., which truly helped me to learn the foundation of what we do and who we serve. In order to be a successful Sales Representative at California Casualty, you really have to understand our affinity group partners, how long we’ve held a relationship with them, and what we have to offer our group members.
I moved over to our Customer Service Department, as a Customer Service Team Manager in December 2010. Working in Customer Service provided me the opportunity to fully understand the customer experience after onboarding and I gained more extensive knowledge of our policy contracts.
Two years later, I was promoted to a unique role of a Senior Customer Service Team Manager, which also included the responsibility of managing the entire operations of our in-house Agency Services Department. During the close to 9 years of managing the Agency, I learned so much about the insurance products that California Casualty does not underwrite i.e. umbrella, earthquake, flood insurance etc., and had the opportunity to regularly work with our business partners outside of California Casualty.
What was your previous connection with CTA and its members throughout your career? I’ve had the pleasure of speaking directly with CTA members for the entire 22 years that I’ve worked for California Casualty. I’ve heard their challenges and their fun success stories. I’ll never forget the teacher who was so happy with my service, they sent me a letter and a cute book of stickers, which meant a lot to me. I still have them!
What would you define as your strengths and growth opportunities in correlation to your new role? I really believe that my collective experience of working in Sales, Customer Service, and Agency Services, while also needing to understand our Underwriting guidelines and some Claims coverage questions, has really helped prepare me for this new role. My exposure to all of these areas has given me a well-rounded understanding of the full customer experience, from the time they start a policy, to having been insured with us for many years.
I also have a great deal of insurance knowledge as I obtained my P&C insurance license in 1999 and my Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation in 2018. I continue to take at least 20 hours of continuing insurance education every year.
Now I’m really looking forward to obtaining new knowledge while working in our Partner Relations Department. I am currently learning how to coordinate school site visits, to include the process of getting in front of our members in order to share the great things that California Casualty has to offer them, as part of their CTA benefits. This process is completely new to me and provides an opportunity for me to broaden my experience around the different aspects of marketing, as this is truly where it all starts.
What do you do outside of “work” – what are some of your favorite ways to spend your time? My husband and I have been married for 23 years and we’re still best friends. We genuinely enjoy spending time together, whether it’s going on vacation or just watching our favorite TV shows and movies. I also really enjoy doing creative-type things, such as decorating or scrapbooking, etc. Although I wouldn’t consider myself outdoorsy, I do enjoy spending time outside going for a walk or just enjoying the Colorado air in my backyard.
What three traits describe your character best? Honest, Loyal, Compassionate Why? Honesty – I’ve always been that person that likes to follow rules and to be someone others can trust to tell you the truth, no matter how big or small. I think it’s my honesty that also lends itself to being a hard worker – I want to do right by everyone. Loyalty – Not only have I shown loyalty by having one employer for 22 years and one husband for 23 years, I have also maintained the same friendships since elementary school and we still communicate regularly. My friends are my chosen family and I plan to keep it that way forever. Compassion – Those who know me, know I care a great deal for people and I’m easily affected by things that someone else is going through. I’ve also been told that these three attributes combined have helped me to be a leader that others can depend on and that really warms my heart.
What makes you most excited about your new role? Where do I start?! I’ve always had so much respect for teachers and everything they do; as they say – “there’s no position that isn’t first created from teachers”.
As I started preparing for this role, I have done a lot of research on CTA specifically, and I was so moved by how much they’ve done in their communities and their fight for the rights of others. I truly feel honored to work so closely with them and help ensure that we, at California Casualty, are going to do everything we can to support them and their membership engagement.
Like with our other departments, I also have so much respect for the people in our Partner Relations Department. It’s just a different challenge to go into the schools and generate interest in California Casualty when teachers are busy and needing to focus on other things. We wouldn’t have customers to serve if we didn’t have the people in the field telling them about California Casualty.
Anything else that you would like to add? I would like to add that California Casualty has been so great to me over the years. While it hasn’t always been easy, just like with any job, the experience has only made me stronger. I think my story is an example of all of the great things California Casualty has to offer. You don’t have to stay confined to one area. If you want to grow – go for it!
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.