Meet Sharon Winters, VP, Insurance Operations Services
What is your backstory? Tell us about your path to Sompo International.
I graduated from college with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and earned my CPA soon after. I started out as an auditor at Price Waterhouse in Milwaukee where two of my clients were Insurance companies. This experience exposed me to a lot of different fields and industries, such as Oil and Gas, Consumer Products, Advertising, and Insurance. Early on in my career I was focused on roles in accounting and FP&A. However, once I completed graduate school at Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Business, I shifted my focus to IT roles.
One of my favorite jobs was working for The Revere Group, a regional management and IT consulting firm. There, I played a variety of roles including Business Analyst, Project Manager, Engagement Manager, and PMO Practice Group Leader. My clients spanned multiple industries, including Insurance.
After several years of commuting between NYC and Chicago while I worked for The Revere Group, I moved to Connecticut to live with my husband and began to look for a new opportunity. My past Insurance experience led me to a PM role with Swiss Re’s Life & Health Business PMO.
In 2006, when Endurance was still a very young company, I was recruited to start up Reinsurance IT’s Business Analysis team. That role allowed me to work on a lot of diverse projects, including one focused on business process re-engineering for the Underwriting teams.
After several years in Reinsurance IT, I had the opportunity to join the Insurance Operations team when the Insurance segment was still relatively small. Since that time, I’ve built a team that provides Training, Process Improvement, and Metrics & Analytics services to the Insurance Underwriting teams. Our main focus has been on the support for their migration to Guidewire Policy Center. I’ve also supported the Insurance segment expansion by leading the Operations team work for multiple new SBU/BU onboarding projects.
Give us three words to describe Sompo International.
Fast paced, dynamic, growing.
What is a trend you feel is impacting the industry and more specifically, your role at the moment?
A couple of things come to mind: 1) The Pandemic and “new normal” are having a big impact on everyone. My team is scattered around the New York metro area and has recently expanded to include people working remotely from further outside that area so we are really focused on how best to stay connected and engage as a team. 2) The combination of digitalization of the business and the need to scale operations to support ongoing growth is driving a lot of demand for the types of services my team has to offer.
What advice do you have for prospective Sompo International candidates?
Fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the ride! Seriously, be open to change, learn as much as you can, and focus on the important opportunities that come your way.
Think back to your college graduation day. What is one thing you would tell yourself then?
Time goes by so quickly: embrace the challenging and life changing events that you can’t plan for. As stress-inducing as they can be at the time, you’ll look back and realize that those are the times you grew the most, made the biggest impact and will represent some of your proudest achievements.
What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this?
I started out studying to be a teacher before I shifted to the CPA track and would probably do some sort of teaching and working with young people.
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.
One of my favorite Revere Group clients was the Idaho Department of Fish and Game where we implemented a licensing system. They invited me to participate in several events with them, including stocking Steelhead Salmon in the Boise River. The experience was cold and slimy, but they made it a lot of fun!