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People You Should Know

People You Should Know

Shelly DeVore

Administrative Supervisor, Columbia Insurance Group

AGE: 35 ORIGINAL HOMETOWN: Columbia JOB DESCRIPTION: I am responsible for overseeing the daily activities of the clerical staff in the Columbia branch commercial lines department. I am also the project manager for our corporate initiatives to improve workflow and operational efficiencies.
YEARS LIVED IN COLUMBIA: 30 (I spent five years away while my husband served in the military in San Diego and the northern Virginia/Washington area.)
EDUCATION: I am a product of the Columbia Public School system and began my college studies at the University of Missouri. That was interrupted when a handsome young Marine asked for my hand in marriage, and I readily accepted and moved to San Diego where he was stationed (Looking back, I’m not sure what compelled my “yes” answer more: the man, the uniform or living in San Diego). After attending several colleges and universities and moving across the country, I graduated magna cum laude with my bachelor of science in business administration from Strayer University in Arlington, Va. After returning to Columbia and getting into the insurance industry, I completed my Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: I am currently the co-chair for the Leadership Columbia 2010 class, co-chair for the Women’s Network Membership Development Committee, member of the Central Missouri Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter Society, liaison for Columbia Insurance Group’s Partner in Education (Mill Creek Elementary), a volunteer at Mill Creek Elementary and a volunteer with Daniel Boone Little League. I have also been involved as a board member for the Central Missouri Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter Society, a school-based mentor for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the steering committee for the Women’s Network Leadership Series and a mentor with honor business students at the Robert J Trulaske Sr. College of Business at MU. And, every now and again, I spend time working at Columbia Insurance Group.
PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: I began my insurance career in 1997 as a temporary transcriptionist at State Farm Insurance. Later, I became a full-time employee there as an underwriting service assistant in auto underwriting. In 2000, I moved to Columbia Insurance Group as the policy services supervisor in our personal lines department. In 2007, I transferred into the commercial lines department in the same job capacity.
A COLUMBIA BUSINESSPERSON I ADMIRE AND WHY: I truly admire Michele Spry, president/owner of Midway Electric. I have yet to see Michele without a smile on her face and something positive to say. When she sets a goal, you better not try to get in her way; she will do whatever it takes to reach that goal. Michele is compassionate, kind and smart. She knows how to run a business and always treats people the way they want to be treated.
WHY I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT MY JOB: Many would wonder if you could actually be passionate about insurance. I say “yes!” I find this industry to be incredibly challenging and immeasurably rewarding. In my current position, I get downright giddy about improving work processes and tinkering with issues until we come up with a great solution.
IF I WEREN’T DOING THIS FOR A LIVING, I WOULD: be Goofy — actually donning the costume and entertaining guests at Walt Disney World (Some I work with say I do a fine job of this here at home without any costume).
BIGGEST CAREER OBSTACLE I’VE OVERCOME AND HOW: As a wife and mother of two young children, finding balance between career and family is always an issue. I work for a fantastic company with whom I share a common value of family always coming first, so I’ve been fortunate to be able to be there for my kids any time they need me.
WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS PROFESSION: Insurance companies get a bad name and are considered evil moneymakers out to take money from innocent people. The fact is we are one of the few industries to be thrilled when we can make 4 cents profit on every dollar we take in. We are a critical industry for a thriving financial market, and we put the pieces back together in times of disaster. We spend our days hoping for no disasters, big or small, but preparing for them anyway and making sure we are there when our customers need us most.
WHAT I DO FOR FUN: I love to travel! My favorite destinations are Disney World and the Caribbean.
FAMILY: I have been married for 17 years to a wonderful, patient man with selective hearing, Gene. Together we have two amazing blessings: Camryn, 8, and Carter, 4. You might also know me as the proud daughter of Bob and Brenda Wagner, sister of Mike and Angie Wagner or aunt of William Wagner.
FAVORITE PLACE IN COLUMBIA: I love all that Columbia has to offer in way of entertainment, dining choices and cultural activities, but my absolute favorite place to be is simply in my home with my family close by.
ACCOMPLISHMENT I’M MOST PROUD OF: Although this isn’t an accomplishment I will ever just check off a list, I am most proud of my two children, who are absolutely amazing and surprise me every day. I can’t wait to watch them grow up and be responsible, contributing adults.
MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THAT I: suffer from coulrophobia (an extreme fear of clowns) and think that the jack-in-the-box toy is the most depraved thing ever invented.

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