Posted By Mary K. Krambeer,
Monday, July 31, 2017
Updated: Thursday, July 27, 2017
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Meet a SILA Member!
Not a new name but a new role, meet Linda Brunette, SILA Editor
When we heard that Linda Brunette was retiring from the Alaska Division of Insurance as their Program Coordinator of the Producer Licensing Section (position held since 1987), we knew that we didn’t want Linda’s expertise to get too far away. When there was an immediate opening to fill the Editor role, Linda was contacted by SILA at her new home in Spokane, Washington and fortunately for SILA, she accepted the Editor role for updating and maintaining the SILA Best Practices Handbook as well as chair certain Task Groups.
To get to know Linda a little better, we asked her a few interview questions. Read Linda's responses:
- As you think about your career, what was your dream job?
The job I had… The continuous and numerous issues and ever-evolving industry changes constantly challenged me. Because Alaska is a small state and there were a limited number of employees within the division, I was involved with or became aware of numerous issues outside of the scope of producer licensing, which provided me the hindsight and vision to see the many facets of insurance business and regulation. My position required constant review, input, and analysis to be successful. Knowing about the various other issues provided me insight on what other aspects producer licensing touched on (market conduct exams, consumer complaints, form and rate review, fraud and misconduct investigations are just some of the issues) to recommend changes or identify problematic areas. Meeting and working with other regulators, industry representatives, and interested parties to discuss the issues and propose recommendations became an invaluable tool. The struggles that the producer community went through beginning in the early 90s with the implementation of federal law (Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA) ) resulted in the creation of the Producer Licensing Model Act, streamlined application forms and requirements, automated systems (PDB), GLBA reciprocity framework, Uniform Licensing Standards (ULS) and the ongoing push and goal to achieve a more uniform license environment is something that we all can be extremely proud of as well as the various other accomplishments that transpired throughout the years. In conjunction with the changes that occurred on a national basis, each state, including Alaska, was required to make the necessary changes to create the producer licensing environment that exists today.
Additionally, the friendships established throughout the years will be something I cherish and am extremely thankful for. The producer licensing group was a tight knit group that provided support and encouragement to each other. I’ll never forget the networking and after hours stress relievers that provided the necessary balance between work and relaxation, injecting perspective and humor after hours of meetings that discussed the big picture of uniformity in producer and adjuster licensing. I am forever thankful and grateful that my former Directors allowed me to participate in working groups at the national level, allowing me every opportunity to network with my peers, educate myself on the various issues and support my recommendations on the numerous changes that occurred as a result of the national efforts to create a uniform, streamlined license environment.
- Name one thing most people may not know about you?
I started playing the violin in the 3rd grade (I’m not as proficient as I was earlier in life). I played throughout my school years and was second chair in the Spokane Junior Symphony for 4 years prior to heading to college (Eastern Washington University), where I continued playing until I left for my new, exciting venture to Alaska.
- What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Gardening, reading, playing cards (Pinochle) and getting together with friends and family. I also have been known to spend time at a casino.
- Share one thing from your bucket list.
I would love to go to Norway, where my maternal grandparents grew up and view their homesteads as well as meet my distant relatives who still live there.
- What is the best advice you’ve received and how do you incorporate it into your life?
When I first began working, my parents would stress to me to save money. Additionally, my first boss within state government also encouraged me to save (401K). Taking their advice, I was able to begin saving money early in my career, which has now allowed me the luxury to retire at a relatively early age. Throughout the years, I encouraged all my employees to participate in a 401K plan as it will help you later in life to have the financial freedom and independence that allows you enjoy life after retirement.
SILA is thankful for Linda’s involvement and for the quality service she provides to SILA members. Linda will be attending the September conference so be sure to stop and introduce yourself .