Commercial Property/Casualty Sales Executive, Northern Insuring
Education: New York State Property & Casualty License
Community Involvement: For the past 2 years, I’ve been a member of the Plattsburgh Lions. I believe in the Lions Club’s mission to empower volunteers to serve in their communities, to meet humanitarian needs, and to encourage peace. What drew me to the Lion’s Club is that I really enjoy volunteering for an organization where the work benefits the surrounding communities and the proceeds stay local. That’s why it was so easy to say yes when I was asked to be on the Executive Committee for the CVPH Foundation’s Stepping Out for Your Heart Fundraiser. This will be my third year on a committee with a fabulous group of women, working for a cause that helps raise awareness for women’s heart health.
What’s your biggest professional success?
Up to this point, it’s being recognized by Strictly Business in their June 2017 Young Professionals Issue. The fact that I was nominated is amazing and to be recognized alongside a group of wonderful young professionals in our community is, in itself, an honor.
What’s your dream job?
I would say if I had to pick my dream job, I’m already in it. Just kidding! In my past life, I was always in some form of the service industry, whether it was the hotel industry or restaurant management. Because of that, my dream job would be to travel the world as a food/beverage critic. Trying the amazing food would be a major plus; however, traveling all over the world and learning about so many different cultures is extremely intriguing. I’m not sure of anyone who wouldn’t want this job. I smile to myself when I think, “Hey, it could be possible someday.”
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
This is a struggle I feel we all have. With technology making us all so easily available, it’s important to remember to unplug. It’s something I struggle with daily, but I take baby steps to be sure one does not overpower the other. My work life is balanced because I have such a wonderful team, my assistants Susan Walker and Chris Davis are always willing to go above and beyond to make sure they can help in any way possible.
Outside of work I bring balance to my life by doing the things I love: hiking with Boomer (our dog), enjoying a paddle down the Ausable River with my best friend Sarah, gardening at my house, and spending time with my family. I also enjoy working beside my husband, Cary Garcia, at Clare and Carl’s, our locally owned business. I wouldn’t say I get much down time, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
What important lessons have you learned in your career?
The most important lesson I’ve learned up to this point is always to be a resource to your clients and, as cliché as it may sound, treat others the way you would like to be treated. Always remain patient, flexible, generous, and humble. Hard work never goes unnoticed.
What’s the most exciting trend happening in the community right now?
In my opinion, it’s everyone coming together and supporting local businesses. In the last five years, I’ve seen an abundance of local breweries and local farms that are taking off and thriving! Ausable Brewing Co., Valcour Brewing, Plattsburgh Brewing Co., Oval Craft… Do yourself a favor check them out, you’re missing out if you don’t.
Also, how would you not want to be involved in one way or another with all of the local farms that are taking the holistic approach by offering farm-to-table options and keeping the money in our local economy? A few local farms that offer CSA memberships or have a farm store to sell their products are Fledging Crow, Reber Rock Farm, Essex Farm CSA, Mace Chasm Farm, and many more. Oh, and let’s not forget about our own amazing renovated Food Co-op right downtown on Bridge Street.
So really, the trend I would say that just continues to grow is “support local!”
What would make the North Country a more enjoyable place to live and work?
We live in a pretty great area! I’m probably not the best person to ask. The North Country has everything we could want at the tip of our fingers. We have wonderful school systems and it’s a great area to raise a family. Every season offers something different, whether it is skiing, snowmobiling, water sports, hiking, golfing, boating, and really anything that you could think of. If I had to choose one area to continue to improve on, it would be to follow through on extending the Saranac River Walking Trail to make all of downtown foot-friendly for locals and visitors.
Who is your mentor and what have you learned from him/her?
This is a very easy answer. I look up to my father and have learned so much from him throughout my life. He taught me never to settle, always believe in myself, and that hard work always pays off. As a single father, raising a daughter, I may be a bit biased, but I think he did an OK job.
How do you contribute to the culture of your company?
I would have to say that my contribution to Northern Insuring is that I always tend to be a ray of sunshine. I’m always trying to look for the good in any situation or the good in the people around me. I feel that positivity can be contagious.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
The biggest risk I’ve taken was putting everything I had into accepting my current position as a commercial sales executive at Northern Insuring. With almost two years into my career as a licensed real estate agent and still working part-time in the service industry, I was scared of change. It seemed I had just transitioned into real estate and thought to myself, “You can’t change already, rebrand yourself again, and all that comes with accepting a new position.” I didn’t want people to question me or think that I didn’t make it in the real estate industry and was looking for a way out. It was by far my biggest risk and I am so happy that I took the leap. I don’t look back and think, “What if?” I know I am exactly where I belong.
What is something that no one would guess about you?
I had a serious back surgery when I was 15 to correct my scoliosis. I have two Herington Rods and roughly 27 titanium screws and bolts in my back. I never slouch ☺
Write a brief note to your younger self…
Never be scared and have faith in yourself. The biggest investment you can make throughout life is investing in yourself.