Jennifer McWhinnie, CIC, PIAM, CPIA, CPIW, is the 2012–2013 chair-elect of the Young Agents Council. A graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University and the Florida's Future Insurance Leaders program, Jennifer lives with her husband Mac and their Beagles in Tampa, where she is a Premier Client Manager with Willis of Florida.
Q. What attracted you to this business?
A. The obstacles that we overcome as agents. I love a challenge. I stay in this business because it evolves. Every. Single. Day. I get excited when underwriting changes are announced and new legislation is drafted that will affect our industry. It's great to be able to educate clients, and they genuinely appreciate our guidance.
Q. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A. Chairing the FAIA board while working in a larger capacity for the Willis Private Client division. I've enjoyed collaborating with other Willis Client Managers across the country to assist their clients who have interests in Florida, and would like to expand that role.
Q. If you weren’t an insurance agent, what would be?
A. A lobbyist.
Q. What would people be surprised to know about you?
A. I could live on a meal of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, goldfish crackers, and Mint Milano cookies.
Q. What is your guilty pleasure?
A. "The Newsroom" and other Aaron Sorkin dramas. I've asked for the entire "West Wing" series DVDs for Christmas. Three times…
Q. What is the No. 1 thing on your bucket list?
A. Meet Dave Matthews.
Q. What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the insurance business?
A. To be patient and understand that it is okay to learn from your mistakes. Just be sure to learn from them, and not repeat them.
Q. What is the best professional advice you’ve ever received?
A. You get more bees with honey. This industry is based on relationships and your reputation will follow you through your career.
Q. What is your customer service pet peeve?
A. Billing issues. Math is not my forte. I was a communications major, so I don't have a ton of patience for accounting stuff. I love the connections that we have with our clients though. We celebrate their new home, new boat, when their children get their license, go to college, etc. I'm just not the person to explain the payment plans, pro-rated additional premiums, or installment fees that follow all of those wonderful events.
Q. What are you reading?
A. "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn.