Who are the people that our clients talk to, trust, and work with year after year? Get to know more about our agency by getting to know the people through our Employee Spotlight Series.
How long have you worked at Wells?
ASHLEY: I’ve worked with wells for almost three years.
What brought you to Wells?
ASHLEY: I came from the storage industry. I was looking for a family owned environment and quite frankly I interviewed them because I knew what I was looking for in a company. I wanted to make sure that the longevity would be there because I didn’t want something temporary anymore. I wanted something that I could call a home now that I have my daughter. And I wanted to make sure that they were going to be there for me just as much as I needed them to be there for my family.
Why Wells? What do you like most about working here?
ASHLEY: I love that it’s family owned and operated. I’m a big supporter of the local industry here in Wilmington. We’ve been here for 100 years, so that’s big to me because I don’t want to work for somebody that’s got a corporate office in New York City. I wanted to work for somebody that was here and having Hal and Steve walk the halls where you work at and come and say, “Hey Ashley, how’s it going?” That’s super important.
What is your expertise?
ASHLEY: I work at the Marine Office. I am a client advisor and I work with your everyday recreational boats, but we also do charter businesses such as your fishing guides and fishing tours for the local waters.
What does your job look like on a day-to-day basis?
ASHLEY: I work with more of the small boats. I work with the Charter captains to make sure that they know what they’ve got, their navigation limits, their recreational policy, and windstorm deductible terms. I make sure the insured knows what they’re getting into when they come into their luxury policies. It isn’t like your auto policy. Navigation limits open up so they can go back to Florida for the season. A lot of policies don’t allow you to go because of hurricane season, where your risk is a lot higher. So as you can see, the Intracoastal waterway gets really busy this time of year because people are allowed to go back to Florida until June. So we want to make sure that you’re understanding what you’re getting into when you get these policies.
What do you like most about your job?
ASHLEY: I really just love helping people. I love getting to know people and build relationships with them. I’ve began here working with a book of business as an assistant where all I was doing was providing evidence for the insureds, and now I’m helping them insure their boats and get to walk them through their policy. I just I really do enjoy helping people in general. I always pride myself on my customer service skills so it’s just really enjoying getting to know people…it’s awesome.
What is the best career lesson you’ve learned over the years?
ASHLEY: Don’t judge a person because of a bad attitude, even if they’re in front of you and they’re being mean to you. You never know what just happened or what they’re going through. So say you’ve got somebody calling to make a payment, but they’re really rude to you. It could be that that phone call before you was a terrible one and you’re just on the back end of that. They’re taking out their anger, not even realizing it, so always just provide a smile and say I’m here for you. Their negativity might be that life is really weighing down on them today.
What’s the most memorable moment of your career?
ASHLEY: So when I worked in the storage industry I had the firearms, explosives and alcohol division show up at my job and tell me “you need to leave right now, we’re beginning a sting operation. We’ve been renting units here for quite a few months, and it’s about to go down. We’re having some people meet us here and they’re not good people, so you need to leave for the day. We’re just going to tell your clients that It’s a gas leak.”
So I had to pack up and leave. I lived upstairs, my dogs were upstairs and they wouldn’t let me get him…so yeah, that was pretty memorable when the when they came through with 30 Dodge caravans and were setting up that entire place to for their sting operation.
How have you used your experience to solve a client’s problem?
ASHLEY: My sister in law recently bought a house in Mississippi and as you know they just had a huge hurricane in Louisiana and she lives right on the border. So I was just making sure she had all of her right insurance, because before I worked in insurance, I wouldn’t have known whether or not you need wind and hail coverage. That’s not something that people really know their first time buying a home, and what if their bank didn’t tell them what all they were getting into?
Favorite TV show…I’ll go with “Friends” and “Gilmore Girls” on that one. I can rewatch them 100 times.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
ASHLEY: I love spending time with my family. My family is super important to me, and that’s one of the reasons why I chose wells. We like going out kayaking and spend a lot of time with my husband’s family. They’re 30 of them here locally and every weekend is somebody’s birthday or anniversary so I have to have open availability.
How do you define success?
ASHLEY: Success is being happy in all aspects of life: financially, work, and home. You don’t have to have the most money, you just have to be happy with the life you’re living, because that’s ultimately being successful for your own peace of mind.
My favorite book that I ever read was probably “Girl Wash Your Face”. I just like the frankness of it, to know that life is OK, and you don’t have to be perfect.
What’s the best advice you have been given in life?
ASHLEY: It’s not so much advice as it is something that used to hang on my mentor’s wall. It was two little pictures. They were each of a guy on a bike. One’s at the starting line and it’s straight to the finish line. That’s it. The other was the reality of life where there are valleys, there’s mountains, there’s peaks, and there’s lakes you will have to go across. So his start was really messy to the finish, and that right there stays in my head, because on my down days I just say, “Hey, listen, I’m in the valley and I’m going to start climbing up soon.”
How has working at Wells positively impacted your life?
ASHLEY: I just love being local and having people know where I work. They’re like, “Oh, I have insurance through Wells!” and you know that means that they’re helping support something local. I also love that we do a lot in the local community with our charities. They’ve brought in a sense of community and family for me. I didn’t have that in my previous jobs, so I love the sense of community. I don’t shed tears from work anymore. And that’s a big thing for me because I’m not wearing my work home. That’s a big change for my family and I can’t thank them enough. Being able to come back after maternity leave and not have a ton of stress…that was great.
Favorite volunteer activity or nonprofit that you support?
ASHLEY: My favorite nonprofit to donate to is Merit Pitbull Foundation. They’re a North Carolina based Pitbull rescue and I have worked with them before. When I rescued a dog off of Facebook, they sponsored her for me so I didn’t have to cover her medical bills and they were able to get her adopted after we got her fixed. I also love Nourish NC, because I want to make sure that everybody is fed. Nobody deserves to be hungry. I love them and they’re opening a new place to volunteer at right down the road from me.