“For this game you need, above all things, to be in a tranquil frame of mind.”
“Achievements on the golf course are not what matters, decency and honesty are what matter.”
“The more I work and practice, the luckier I seem to get.”
Betsy Mitchell, Co-Vice Chair of AIRROC and Reinsurance Manager, A.G. Risk Management Inc., took time on a recent day off after a round of golf to chat with us about her views on the industry, her career, AIRROC and the weather.
Avid golfers share some characteristics, which are exemplified by the quotes above and seem to be true of Betsy. When we asked her what she liked best about her work, she said it was the variety of people and companies she works with. When you play golf, you meet like-minded people on a quest to hole a little white ball despite it ending up in places that are only partially due to the swing you put on it. When we pressed her to tell us her pet peeves about her work, she could not think of anything that bothered her so much it was worth talking about. In golf, one bad hole may not stop you from getting in a good round —as Justin Thomas will tell you after winning the PGA championship this year despite being seven strokes off the lead going into the final round. You must weather the ups and downs that go with any game of golf with perseverance and a resilient attitude. That is what makes it golf.
When she reflects on her career, she is grateful that she came into the industry when she did; she has been exposed to a lot of different aspects of insurance and reinsurance, had great mentors who trained her and took an interest in her career; and in her current job, she likes to see how every company does things differently. Today, from an industry perspective, she wonders where it is going and whether we as an industry are positioning ourselves in the right place to get things done. Bringing in new employees and educating them is a challenge. One trend she sees in the industry today is the need for companies to invest in people, training and mentorship and the need to persuade young people about the rewards of a career in insurance/reinsurance. She sees a larger trend in the industry –– the entire claims handler population, indeed the industry workforce, is aging out. One solution she proffered is to hold claims camps to educate the younger generation. This is a critical area for AIRROC to focus its efforts, and a core goal for serving the members is to design education and networking that bridges the gap between the “old guard” and the next generation.
Betsy has been going to AIRROC events since the beginning of AIRROC and sees it as a venue “where things get done.” She enjoys the educational sessions about claims trends, reinsurance-related topics, recaps of decisions that affect the industry and the recent sessions with regulators.
She believes that as an organization AIRROC has been flexible enough to change with the industry and stay close to the needs of its members, for example going virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic and displaying a depth of understanding of the industry and responding to changes. She envisions AIRROC continuing to deliver on its stated purposes and carrying out its mission by staying aligned with the changing needs of the industry. Betsy will continue to support AIRROC and use the forum to engage with members and counterparties as she has done since the day AIRROC was established.
One of the most unique things we learned about Betsy is that she can always tell you when the next full moon will appear. Perhaps as a result of growing up on the coast and being able to see the horizon, she is a dedicated weather watcher. She loves the patterns and vicissitudes of weather changes. No one knowing Betsy would be surprised to learn that she is captivated by meteorology and oceanography and enjoys gazing at the stars and the moon, especially on a cold winter night.
Please join us in supporting Betsy in her vice-chair quest to drive AIRROC’s objectives straight and long, and to do so despite the inevitable weather changes in the industry.