In our Talent Top 10 series we give readers the chance to get to know the friendly faces behind the Axis Insurance Group agencies. This week we asked 10 questions to our talented staff member Laurel Miller – Senior Account Executive.


1) What’s your title and involved in your current role at Axis Insurance Managers? Did you start in this role or take a specific career path to get here?
As a Senior Account Executive, I am highly engaged with customers in my sales and advisor role, so much so that I might as well have my phone permanently affixed to my ear. That’s okay though because I love working with clients, I really enjoy problem solving, and I want to provide them with exceptional service. Another area I put a lot of energy into is marketing on accounts. This aspect of my job is a lot of fun and involves, surprisingly, creativity. I particularly enjoy it when I have the opportunity to mentor our staff and share my ideas and knowledge of insurance products with them in a way that helps them to communicate with clients in more impactful ways.

I started my career in insurance at the age of 15 when I began working for my father who owned an agency. After working with my dad for several years, my husband and I eventually bought into one of his agencies. Later we brought in a friend as co-owner and then successfully sold the agency to CMW in 1997. As part of the arrangement, we worked with them to retain the business we sold them but then ended up staying a full 10 years. I came to Axis in 2007 and became a shareholder in 2015 before it was purchased by Shaw Sabey. Sometimes my path felt like I was doing the bunny hop – two hops back and three hops forward, but really feel like I’ve landed in a great spot – right here, doing what I love.

2) What skills (technical and soft) would make someone successful in your role? 
When you work in insurance as long as I have you learn a lot about the many insurers and their products. So many clients, so many policies! That gives me a lot of confidence, especially when I’m trying to win new business or address a particular problem or concern a client has. But I would say my approachability brings me the most success. I can relate to my clients and the people I work with, and I think they feel the same way about me.

3) If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
Breakfast consisting of Eggs Benny – sourdough toast, avocado, and shredded hash browns with a nice mug of coffee! Oh and if it’s the weekend, you can add a Caesar to the menu!

4) What three career lessons have you learned thus far?

  1. Always be honest. Clients learn that they can trust you, and trust is the foundation of every strong client relationship and ultimately of your success.
  2. Share your knowledge with people who are learning. Helping them get to where they need to be to enjoy their jobs and succeed in this industry is a win-win.
  3. Have fun! Make sure you are enjoying your job and the people you work with so all that hard work feels worth the effort you put into it.

5) What do you like most about Axis?
It’s always the people, right? I like the people. There’s an environment of trust at Axis that means that everyone knows they have people they can go to who can help, including our management team. It’s a breath of fresh air coming to work at Axis as a result. In my own case I know the management trust me – they know I can do my job and that I will do whatever it takes to get the job done. Not every agency is like that.

6) What have you always wanted to try/do but never have?
I’ve always secretly dreamed of owning something like a café, small restaurant, bed & breakfast, or a pub. I love feeding people and think I would enjoy doing that on a small scale while making some money doing it. Plus I love to sing so obviously there would be karaoke every Saturday night!

7) If you could go back to when you first started at Axis, what’s one piece of advice you’d give to your past self? 
I would tell myself, “be confident. You got this sister!” I did know that with patience, commitment and continued learning, one day I would be successful. But I’m a fairly modest person so even on days when I think I have succeeded, that I am there, I never take that for granted. That makes me keep working like I did 35 years ago. I guess my parents had a lot to do with that. My mom and dad were both independent business people while they raised nine children. They worked very hard for what they had, and were highly regarded and involved in our community. 

8) What did you want to be when you were growing up and why? 
I wanted to be a PE teacher. I was very involved in sports and thought I would make a good teacher. My problem was I couldn’t get past Biology in college so I gave up. I just didn’t get what dissecting a pig had to do with being a PE teacher and playing basketball or volleyball. I’m still very active in sports though, mainly hockey!

9) What do you think makes Axis stand out in the insurance industry? 
Axis is an employer of choice in our industry. Anyone who comes to work here will have support in their roles, personal benefits, and most importantly a good balance of work and home life. Because we are a growing company there is also a lot of room to advance. It’s comforting to know that your hard work today will pay off not just now but also in the years to come.

10) You’ve been granted three wishes from a genie, what do you ask for? 
This is a tough question because I have a lot in my life now that I am very grateful for but I’ll play along:

  1. I’d start with a beautiful condo in Hawaii with a view of the ocean – I just love that place!
  2. I would wish for success and happiness for my two boys. That’s number two because they’re already doing quite well for themselves.
  3. And lastly, I think I’ll go with that café or bed and breakfast.

Interested in joining the Axis Group team? Take a look at our current job openings!