Mary Beth Walls, Underwriter, knows that she’s conscientious, accurate, precise and detail-oriented, and she has the results to prove it. Not only does she love personality assessments, she knows the results of her co-workers’ assessments and uses that knowledge to help guide her to be a better partner in her role as underwriter at Velocity Risk Underwriters.
Before joining Velocity, Mary Beth was doing project management and business consulting work and followed her husband through several moves before the couple ended in Birmingham, Alabama. She took advantage of a break from work to raise her daughter before reconnecting with old friends who worked for Velocity and were looking for new underwriters.
“Mary Beth and I were students together from elementary to high school,” according to Carolyn Parker, Chief Underwriting Officer at Velocity. “Mary Beth is competitive while also caring and kindhearted. She is true to herself in everything she does and is someone you want on your team every time! She’ll be your biggest cheerleader and is never in it for herself.”
Mary Beth’s husband knew she would enjoy underwriting, and after spending a day at Velocity, shadowing a few underwriters, she was hooked. Velocity checked all her boxes as a potential employer: variety of work, problem solving, analytics, independent work environment, a great culture and work environment and an opportunity to build relationships inside and outside the firm.
When Mary Beth joined the company in September 2017, her prior insurance knowledge came from her husband who was a risk management major at the University of Georgia where they first met, and he remains in the industry today. Her first day on the job was shortly after Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas and shortly before Hurricane Irma struck Florida. She learned quickly what it meant to be in the catastrophe insurance business as the small team of this new company managed through its first real hurricane season.
As hurricane season wound down in 2017, Mary Beth gained more understanding about her true role at Velocity, and she continues to enjoy how her work as an underwriter directly impacts the company’s success. Her opinion is that “people at Velocity don’t need to be motivated. They have a sense of ownership; they love what they do.” Mary Beth enjoys digging into accounts, learning and analyzing the details, and the relationships those conversations build along the way.
Patrick Carey, Vice President, Large Commercial helped train Mary Beth from her first day on the job. “Mary Beth holds herself accountable to the very highest standards and takes unbelievable pride in her work. Her energy and positivity are contagious with the impact felt internally and extended to our broker partners.”
Mary Beth attributes some of her success to working abroad on a project in Lima, Peru during her consulting career. She qualified for the opportunity to write business requirements for a telecom client due to her knowledge and bi-lingual skills. What she learned during that experience remains with her today. She worked with people from all over the world and discovered how to bring varied ideas together to solve the problem with individuals whose cultures and experiences were vastly different than her own. She helped break down silos and gained tremendous confidence, and the project was a success.
When Mary Beth is not working, she loves spending time with her daughters, Margaret, 5, and Greer, 1, and her husband, Holland, who is thrilled to have someone at home who understands insurance jargon. She also enjoys cooking, reading and outdoor activities.