Mentor Relationship Leads to Customer Service Legacy

Mentor Relationship Leads to Customer Service Legacy

For three of the last four years an Ollis/ Akers/Arney Insurance & Business Advisors commercial risk account manager has won the National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research Outstanding Customer Service Award. Robin Talty (2017), Beth Kensinger (2019), and Ashlae Cook (2020) were each recognized for demonstrating outstanding service and professionalism within the insurance community as the sole recipients for Missouri in their respective years. Cook has the chance to advance to the national level in 2020.

“This is a remarkable thing,” says Richard Ollis, Ollis/Akers/Arney CEO. “Their specific level of experience and expertise is critical in serving the types of clients we have. The type of knowledge that is necessary is vast and the ability to strategically apply it is crucial to clients’ continued success.”

“It really does speak for the type of staff that we have at the agency, not just for one season but for multiple seasons, and knowing the value of that award to the clients,” says Ashlae Cook.

Talty, who has been with Ollis/Akers/Arney since 2000, and a mentor to Cook and Kensinger, is retiring at the end of this year. Figuring out how to transition her clients to other managers was a long process and not something anyone at Ollis/ Akers/Arney took lightly.

The process began 18 months ago and Talty, Cook and Kensinger have been working together and with clients to prepare for the transition, ensuring everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Kensinger and Cook will be taking over Robin’s accounts when she leaves, and Cook says the transition of Robin’s retirement has given her even more opportunity to come under Robin’s wing. “She’s training us on accounts that she’s worked on for 15 or 20 years,” says Cook.

Talty began mentoring Kensinger when she joined the firm in 2018. “She’s just a wonderful teacher,” says Kensinger. “She is so patient and kind and an amazing resource.” Both Kensinger and Cook mention that Talty has a natural aptitude for teaching.

Cook, who’s been with Ollis/Akers/Arney for 13 years, says the mentor/mentee relationship she has with Talty came about organically, “Robin is very much a teacher by nature. She loves to share her wisdom and train up.” She notes that Talty is one of the primary people who trains new staff in the commercial department. “She’s incredibly details oriented, which is a big help in the insurance industry, and she’s great at recalling historical information.”

“We just have a great working relationship,” Talty says of Cook and Kensinger. “Ashlae is a fast learner and I’ve come to respect her knowledge and ability and she enjoys what she does.”

“Beth is also super smart and loves to learn.” Talty says Kensinger has taken extra continuing education classes and earned her Chartered Property Casual Underwriter (CPCU). “I never did that so I really admire that.”

“Both of them have such warm and inviting personalities and I have no doubt the clients will enjoy working with them. I’m proud that they’re both my co-employees,” adds Talty.