Hi, I’m Barb! I’ve been with APEXA since 2018 as Director of Training.
My journey to APEXA
Most of my career has been in the insurance industry. I worked my way from clerk to project manager and then decided to go into training. I spent five years in an InsurTech startup, which in hindsight prepared me for APEXA. While on the hunt for a new opportunity, the opening at APEXA came up. I was contacted by a recruiter who was excited by my experience within an InsurTech startup.
My interviews with APEXA were probably the most interesting I’ve ever had. First of all, with my previous experience as the only woman in an InsurTech company, I was amazed by the number of women in APEXA. On top of that, I instantly hit it off with each interviewer—Tonya, Dylan, and Kelsi were quick to put me at ease. Their presentation and approach to the interview was a combination of gravity—out of respect for the job and clients—and levity, when I got a peek into APEXA’s fun culture. My experience working at APEXA has matched my expectations. To summarize, it has been focused on working hard, being proactive, and resolving challenges. All with a dash of good fun!
What I do in APEXA
My role within APEXA centers on training and offering customer support. I consider myself an extrovert who loves helping people. Therefore, I derive pleasure from interacting with clients and taking them on a journey through the APEXA system. I also enjoy assisting them post-training by reinforcing their knowledge and helping them through any challenges they may face while using the system. When I first started working at APEXA, I attended a few conferences for Advisors in the industry. At those events, APEXA had booths set up to inform event attendees about the software and answer any questions that they might have. There, I rapidly gained insight into our clients’ issues within the industry and how APEXA was positioned to resolve them. Combining that knowledge with my training experience has enabled me to create and flesh out live training and manage the online manuals available to our clients.
I am excited by the possibilities surrounding innovative ways to help our clients manage their businesses with ease, and training is no exception. While live training will always remain the springboard for helping users understand APEXA software, one day I envision it being complemented by an online library of on-demand, e-learning content and process-driven support tools for Insurers, MGAs, and Advisors. All of this will allow our clients more flexibility and enable us to explore more advanced levels of training and, in turn, contribute to the industry’s adoption of APEXA.
My go-to productivity trick
To manage my daily tasks while also being available to my team members, I either start early or finish late. Sometimes, I do both! I find that when I start early or finish late, I usually have fewer requests from team members early in the morning or toward the close of business. In spite of my extroverted nature, I enjoy the serenity that early mornings and evenings bring. My best creative work is produced during those hours, and they set the tone for the rest of the day or the next day. The middle of my days tends to be spent collaborating with the team on any challenges that may arise. I enjoy both the creative and troubleshooting periods of each day, as the successes of each one can be carried into the other.
My dream skill
Once upon a time, I was a licensed baccarat, blackjack, and roulette dealer in a casino. I got there by taking classes for certification. After getting certified, I immediately put my skills to work and dealt cards for two weeks at the night shift of the casino during my vacation. It was so much fun! With my uniform of a tuxedo shirt and bowtie, I definitely looked the part. Besides the technical stuff, I learned how to handle and stack chips, fan cards in a semi-circle, flip the cards over by picking up only one, and so many other tricks that I have pulled out of my sleeve whenever I’m called to do so.
However, if I could wake up with any skills in the world, I would wish for two. One is the ability to speak any language in the world. I love to travel and have been to several countries across continents. Understanding people through their languages offers a view into other cultures. Plus, I would get to experience so much more so much more easily if I spoke the language of my destination. Two is the ability to cook like a renowned chef. In this current reality, it is a skill that would have me tasting the world without traveling.
Away from work, you can find me here
I will be traveling and experiencing new cuisine when the time is right. I am passionate about seeing the world, which means that I go through passports quickly. I have been across Canada, North America, Europe, and Asia, and I intend to keep exploring in the future. Regardless of my desire to keep exploring, my heart currently resides in Portugal, and I plan to retire there eventually.
My love for global cuisine is equally strong. I am part of a few clubs that experience cuisine through wine. We frequently go to a few restaurants that cater to pairing the wines we bring—with their permission—with a menu created specifically for the flavors we choose. It is enthralling being surrounded by friends, great food, and excellent wine.
Right now, you can find me with a good book. Reading has always been an inexpensive way for me to travel to other dimensions or back in time through fantasy and Jane Austen novels.
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