In the next installment of our Meet Our Underwriter series, we meet up with Carlos Caceres, Regional Sales Manager on our Commercial Insurance Solutions team and recent winner of the 2018 Rising Star Award from Salute BC. The Rising Star Award honours an industry up-and-comer whose professional contributions and dedication to excellence have made them a leader and a role model in the world of insurance. Let’s see what he had to say.
How long have you been at Gore Mutual? Can you tell us a little bit about your professional experience before joining Gore Mutual?
I started in June 2010, so I’m well into my ninth year. Before Gore Mutual, I came out of an insurance program at one of the leading technical colleges out here in BC, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). They had this new insurance program called General Insurance and Risk Management. I had already completed my Bachelor of Arts, and I was working for RBC, so I was more in the banking and finance industry before I knew anything about insurance. I hopped into that program, and then I started my career at Gore Mutual.
What made you sign up for BCIT’s insurance program?
Insurance helps people get back on their feet in the face of tragedy. It has this real helping people element whereas a lot of what I saw in banking and finance was more about moneymaking and investments, which is great and definitely for some people. For me, it was the helping people element that drew me into insurance combined with the business and career opportunities that exist within the industry.
What’s your favourite part about your role as a Regional Sales Manager?
I think it’s being able to directly influence a lot of the business. I provide a lot of help to my team with the internal underwriting, but I also get to be out there and drive initiatives on a more broker-facing role. I like that combination of not just being present for technical underwriting questions, but also being able to help our brokers build those relationships. I like having that combined element in the role because part of me is this very introverted, technical person, and then there’s another part of me that’s always curious and excited to learn about new things and meet new people.
What do you want brokers to know about our contractors product?
I want them to know that it’s our bread and butter, and we are very knowledgeable in that space because it is one of our biggest segments of business. We’ve also worked hard to make this business easier to write and as comprehensive as we possibly can so that we can become the go-to-market for their contractor business.
Can you tell us about the 2018 Rising Star Award you were recently awarded?
The award was introduced in 2007. Since 1992, Salute BC has had a gala to recognize the insurance person of the year, someone who has made significant contributions to the industry. Somewhere down the line, they felt that there were also many up-and-comers who are making a difference and even though they haven’t reached the pinnacle of their career yet, it’s worth recognizing that they’ve already established themselves as a leader or role model in the industry.
The Rising Star Award carries a lot of weight in our industry so just being considered for it is a reward unto itself. Being the recipient is a tremendous honour and humbling at the same time considering the company of previous winners I’m in. I’m incredibly proud and thankful to those that helped me get to this point.
How’d your speech go?
I was so nervous, and I can honestly say that it went great. I was expecting a positive reception, but they were laughing, and I got a standing ovation at the end, so I was just blown away. It was much better received than I could’ve ever imagined.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
A great teacher once said, “Do or do not, there is no try.” I never made it as a Jedi, but I still try to live by those words.