After I thought I would finally retire, I joined WAHVE in April 2016 as Sr. Vice President of Marketing. My career has been quite a journey, but looking back, it now all makes sense. Each step along the way has prepared me for my next adventure.
After college, Insurance was not even on my radar. Actually, I had no idea what I wanted to do but I needed to get a job. It was an employment agency that sent me for an interview with Aetna Life and Casualty in Denver. I accepted a job as an underwriter and my career in insurance was launched. I bet most ended up in insurance the same way, looking for a job either after high school or college.
Aetna gave me the training and foundation for my move into agency ownership Boulder Colorado. Then Aetna’s deployment of the Gemini agency management system, which they convinced me to purchase, launched me into the world of agency automation. I was picked as one of 10 agents to sit on the Gemini advisory board. We formed the Gemini users group and I served as its second president. It was through this experience that I began to understand that the power of technology is not about the technology itself but rather the social and cultural change it ushers in. And to take advantage of the technology requires a new way of working. Thus, the concept of transactional filing was born as was my speaking and consulting career, The Automated Agency Report (TAAR), Hi Tecc, and SilverPlume.
My involvement with marketing began when we launched TAAR and became my responsibility with SilverPlume. Much of my consulting, besides helping agencies pick agency management systems, was also focused on developing marketing and PR strategies.
Along the way I served as Sr. VP or Marketing of Delphi (now Ebix) and worked alongside big consulting firms like Sapient. My consulting clients included firms like Gallagher, Lockton, and Alexander & Alexander. During the Dot Com boom, I worked with ConfirmNet.
My next move was to Applied Systems as Sr. Vice President of Marketing. In 2007, I retired, so I thought.
Then two things happened. First, ASCNet the Applied Systems users group was looking for an interim CEO and I agreed to serve in this capacity for one year. Secondly, social media happened. I was sure this was going to have a huge impact not only on marketing but on society in general. So, I approached Jeff Yates who was running the Agents Council for Technology (ACT) and suggested we form a Strategic Future Issues Group, in part, to deal with the changes I saw coming as a result of social media.
So, I continued to work instead of retire, but I worked remotely and from home. Many of my consulting gigs were long term – over a year or two. Yet, I continued to live in Colorado. Thanks to technology being a remote worker is much easier today than back when there was no internet let alone email.
In 2010, Sharon Emek was starting WAHVE and I began serving on her advisory board. Not surprisingly, with our careers in insurance and technology, my path with both Bill Hunt and Sharon had crossed many times over the years, and in 2016, I joined the WAHVE team. My move to WAHVE made perfect sense, as I realized I was not ready to fully retire, but as we say at WAHVE, I want to stay pretired! I am now part of an amazing team and having fun helping reinvent staffing and redefine retirement in the insurance industry.
For 7-9 months out of the year, working from home means working from wherever our RV is parked. Thanks to technology I get to travel the US with my wife JoAnne and our rescue dog MJ.
This is not the end of my journey but for now I know I am right where I am supposed to be. And I think all our wahves feel the same: they are still on their journey and enjoying the freedom and flexibility of working from home. – Rick Morgan
This post is part of our Making Wahves series that highlights members of the WAHVE team.