Barrier-crushing young producer pays it forward

Barrier-crushing young producer pays it forward

Barrier-crushing young producer pays it forward  31-year-old producer Jordan Bryan once read an article in which the author described the insurance industry as “pale, male and stale” – a depiction she, often the youngest and only female in a room of business associates, found to be pretty accurate.

Yet the vice president and partner of Mississippi-based Ross & Yerger has already done much to change that.

Just last year, Bryan was named the firm’s youngest and only female partner – she was also the first female producer to become a company shareholder. An alum of Insurance Business America’s “Young Guns” and “Elite Women” program, she’s active in her local insurance community and is about to become a mentor to a new 23-year-old female producer in the agency.

“I don’t come across many women in the production role and the younger demographic definitely isn’t jumping up and down to join either,” Bryan told Insurance Business America. “But I think there’s a lot mentorship can do to push you, give you confidence and help you see the opportunities are endless.”

When Bryan joined Ross & Yerger after receiving her MBA from Millsaps in Jackson, she had her own mentor – now-CEO Dudley Wooley. Bryan had an interest in working in business and financial services, but no experience with insurance, and Wooley helped fill those gaps, she said.

“I instinctively relied on him, whether it was for the big picture mindset, or to fine-tune the work we were doing in our new personal lines division,” said Bryan.

Bryan has worked in and overseen much of the personal lines production at Ross & Yerger since she joined the firm in 2010, working to find what she calls her “niche within the niche” – high net worth clients. Beginning with executive-level individuals who already had commercial accounts with Ross & Yerger, Bryan managed to grow her division by 40% since 2011. By her fourth year, she had a book of business in excess of $300,000.

In 2015, she was promoted to vice president and was eventually appointed to Ross & Yerger’s board of directors. She was also made a shareholder – a first in her company for women, female producers and young insurance professionals.

“I was very honored and excited,” Bryan said. “I’m still waiting to wake up.”

When asked how companies can support similar career development for young women in insurance, she pushed mentorship and involvement in organizations such as the Big “I”’s young agent associations.

“Going to conventions and having roundtable discussions on best practices, getting the big picture of young agents – that really gives you the encouragement and structure to develop your career,” she said. “It just comes from your internal agency culture. Had [Ross & Yerger] not had the confidence in me that they did, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

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