Demolition isn't found in the job descriptions of Holly Meidl (BBA '83) or Chelley Schaper (BBA '94). But at a luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, they were recognized for doing their part to raze the glass ceiling of a once male-dominated insurance industry. Meidl and Schaper, both alumnae of Terry's Risk Management and Insurance program, were selected as two of Business Insurance magazine's 2008 Women to Watch, a distinction honoring 25 women in client-facing roles who excel in the fields of commercial insurance, risk management, and employee benefits worldwide.
Meidl is the managing director at Marsh Inc. in Nashville, where she is responsible for 1,900 healthcare clients, of which 60 percent are hospitals across the U.S. She uses her 20 years of brokerage experience to help Marsh win new business, retain current business, and communicate healthcare industry trends important to her clientele.
Schaper, a senior vice president at Lockton Cos. LLC in Denver, where she earned the distinction of being one of the youngest employees ever promoted to a senior executive position at Lockton. She leads the global property practice and risk management groups and works with complex domestic and international insurance accounts. Both Meidl and Schaper credit Terry for their career direction and job placement in the industry.
Meidl came to Terry as a finance major, but an elective course on insurance with legendary professor E.J. Leverett sold her on risk management.
"He showed how it married contract law with finance and that the industry was changing every day — and that really hooked me," says Meidl, who got a taste of life at a brokerage firm when she and several Terry students did an internship with J.H. Minets while participating in a study abroad program in London. "We got to broker business into Lloyd's and in the company's market. We were working all day, going to class at night — just a tremendous experience for us, and that was really where I decided I wanted to go into brokerage."
Schaper grew up in South Florida and New Jersey and came to Georgia with a law career in mind. Like Meidl, it took just one class to convert her to the RMI track.
"There were two things I thought were interesting: it was contract driven which I thought would be very helpful when I went to law school and I saw at the time there was a 98 percent placement rate out of the Risk Management department. I thought if I didn't want to go to law school I would be able to get a job. So I started the program and I loved it."
Both Meidl and Schaper noted that their Terry education was a valuable asset when they entered the risk management and insurance industry, and that is still the case today.
"Georgia has been a great source of talented associates that we've hired at Lockton," says Schaper. "We recruit very seriously from Terry and have found Terry students to be prepared, hard working, and a great source for up-and-coming associates at our company."
Rob Hoyt, who heads Terry's RMI program, echoes their sentiments.
"Our program has always valued the close relationship that it has with the business world," says Hoyt. "Chelley and Holly are excellent ambassadors for our program by their accomplishments. Their firms regularly recruit new graduates from our program, and they tell us that they're back to hire more high-caliber talent like Holly and Chelley. We are very proud of them!"