Chapter Volunteer Profile:

Carolyn Schaeffer, Nationwide Insurance, Consultant--Analysis Services, Ohio Chapter, Chair of Vendor Relations
By Chuck Gunkel, Rainmaker, Swift Print Communications LLC and Vice President Chapters – IASA

eInterpreter: What was the first IASA Chapter event you attended and what inspired you to go?
Schaeffer: I first attended a MI Chapter conference back in the early 90’s.  I worked at Citizens Insurance Company back then and they were a big supporter of IASA.  My supervisor, John Parsons, sent his entire team every year.  I remember during the first meeting thinking I wanted to be a part of this organization because I was inspired by the board members and their involvement in the industry.  

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After the meeting, I approached the president at the time, Steve Clark from Accident Fund, and asked how I could become more involved in the industry.  It turned out, it wasn’t that hard!  Next thing I knew, I was planning my first meeting.   That was over 20 years ago, and the individuals I worked alongside are life long friends.


eInterpreter: What is the biggest benefit of having access to insurance education locally to you and your company?
Schaeffer: My company really takes advantage of the Ohio IASA annual conference.  We send about 170 accountants to the local conference for insurance education.  Sending that number of associates to educational meetings outside of our area would be tough on a company’s budget.   The Ohio Chapter meeting offers 20 different sessions, which enables several different areas within the Company to attend and stay current on industry topics.  The biggest benefit for me, aside from the educational value, is the networking.  I enjoy meeting and re-connecting with my peers within the industry.  I also get a chance to stay in touch with some of the exhibiting companies, many of whom we have partnered with over the years.

eInterpreter: If money was no object...what would you love to do for a living?
Schaeffer: I would volunteer at an animal shelter.  I have a great deal of love for animals.  I know I would want to take each and every one of the sheltered animals home.  Luckily, I have a husband that would stop me at the door!  One of the reasons I wanted to move to Ohio was that I wanted to buy a farm and have tons of animals.  When I figured out I’d actually have to get up early every morning and take care of and feed all of them, reality set in.  So I stopped at three.

eInterpreter: Do you have any hobbies that could affect your personal insurance premiums?
Schaeffer: I have three 20 year old boys that affect my personal insurance premium!!  Yikes!  But we also have a boat, which is a huge hobby of ours, and that impacts our premium.  Love paying that premium in the winter months while the boat sits in storage.

eInterpreter: Do you volunteer for any other organization other than IASA?  If so, which organization and why?
Schaeffer: Not at the moment.  While my kids were in school, I volunteered for all of the sporting activities they were in, which with three boys in high school at the same time, that kept me pretty busy.  I wanted to stay involved in their lives and be there for both the wins and the losses.  The wins were much more fun.

eInterpreter: Besides family and friends, what 3 things could you NOT live without?
Schaeffer: 1. My Faith
2. My pets (Zeus, Greta and Timi)
3. Ice Cream

eInterpreter: How did you first get started in the insurance industry?
Schaeffer: My first job out of college was working for DWG Corp on Miami Beach, which was self insured and owned a couple of captives.  (The owner of the company was known as the pioneer of hostile takeovers).  It was my first experience with insurance; the good ole days when you typed the yellow books on a typewriter on huge paper and had to do cross checks manually.  Remember the premium wheel for calculating returned premium!  Thank heavens for technology!

eInterpreter: What would you say to a colleague, or even a peer at another company, who has never attended an IASA Chapter event about getting involved?
Schaeffer: I once encouraged a colleague to join a chapter event because there would be beer and good looking women at the meeting.  We still laugh about that every time we see each other.  That colleague's name is Chuck Gunkel and he’s been involved in IASA chapters ever since.  The knowledge base of the industry participants in IASA is unmatched.  We are able to turn to industry experts for advice.  We are able to educate and share our knowledge and experience within the organization.  But for me, being involved in the IASA has been an outstanding way to meet life long friends.

eInterpreter: What is your current job and what aspect of your position do you find most rewarding?
Schaeffer: My current position is a consultant on the statutory reporting team at Nationwide Insurance Company in Columbus, Ohio.  My team is responsible for 39 P&C companies, 3 Life Companies and 1 Separate Accounts company.  I enjoy the complexity of the organization and working with our business partners on a multitude of projects.  What I admire most about Nationwide is its generosity in the community and how they encourage all of us to do our part.  There isn’t a day that goes by that we are not involved in helping our community.

eInterpreter: So after a tough day…is your release a good work out, a certain food, or something over ice? 
Schaeffer:
Every day we are above ground is a good day! But when the going gets tough, the tough plop down in front of a good action flick with a bowl of ice cream!




Pictured from Left to Right: Andrea, Carolyn, Maya

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