Taylor Elrod, Sales Operations Manager at Velocity Risk Underwriters, was looking for opportunities to grow outside her Fortune 500 administrative job when a recruiter called her in early 2016. She had considered several options that better suited her degree in communications. Working for an insurance company was not on the radar, but she decided to move forward with the interview.
Taylor did not expect to meet the nicest, down-to-earth, passionate group of people at this insurance start up. She interviewed with nearly every one of the 17 employees in the company. They told her the position would be a unique opportunity and required no formal insurance training. There would be plenty of opportunity for growth, she could lead her own path, develop processes, and bring ideas forward to help the company grow.
Before the interview, Taylor was hesitant about the company and the job. She decided to take a chance, and as employee #18 in the company, she quickly learned that the passionate group she met during the interview process would help her advance her career so quickly, she lost count of all the job changes and growth opportunities over the past five years.
Taylor, like others in the company, is passionate about the success of Velocity, and she enjoys seeing the growth, knowing she added to its success. When she first started, she jokes that the Velocity office was a “closet” she shared with three other employees. She can hardly believe the Nashville headquarters recently moved to a 20,000 square foot office to handle the company’s incredible growth.
Siddharth Virkud, Sr. Data Analyst, joined the company a few months after Taylor and remembers the small office well. “When I started at Velocity, Tay not only showed me the ropes around the office, but also took it upon herself to introduce me to the city and her friends. Few people have made more of an impact on the company culture or contributed to our success in so many different ways. Tay embodies all the best things about Velocity. She’s tenacious, meticulous, versatile and accountable, but most of all she’s a great ally.”
Today, Taylor works to bridge the gap with product, sales and personal lines. She is the project coordinator for multiple projects, not only ensuring that everyone involved meets deadlines, but adding ideas and suggestions to the project to help it and the organization succeed. She enjoys building processes and that mistakes are never considered failure, but a chance to learn and grow. Her belief is that “Velocity moves so fast, there is no time for dwelling on mistakes.” She also manages the licensing process for new agent appointments.
Taylor admires the company for personal reasons too. She and her fiancée, John, had been traveling long distances to see each other every weekend for two years when Taylor presented a proposal to her boss about becoming a remote employee. Emily Henderson, VP Systematized Risk, believes that work/life balance is extremely important, and she had faith that Taylor could get the job done without being in the office every day. “Taylor is always willing to jump in on a project and brings a positive attitude while driving it forward,” stated Henderson. “She is flexible to adjust priorities and willing to do all that is necessary for the team to succeed. She is receptive to feedback and challenges herself to get uncomfortable, enabling more growth. Truly a Rockstar and a pleasure to work alongside.”
Jose de Diego, Director of Independent Agencies, echoes the others’ sentiments: “I have a hard time thinking of someone that embodies and personifies each one of Velocity’s core values, more than Taylor. I look forward to watching her continued growth.”