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Thursday, May 9, 2013

I am Remi! Featuring Tommy Beecher

Get to know a different employee every quarter.

Spring 2013

Tommy Beecher, Director of Pricing at Remi

You were originally hired as a Business Development Manager but was quickly promoted to Director of Pricing, which is in line with your degree from the University of South Carolina in Columbia. What led you to major in Mathematics with an Actuarial emphasis, and receive minors in Statistics and Risk Management? 
I always knew that mathematics was the route I wanted to take when I got to college. For whatever reason, I typically had a pretty easy time understanding numbers and liked that there was usually only one correct answer to a question. When I got to college, I really enjoyed my entry level business/insurance classes and it just so happened that the Actuarial emphasis required a heavy workload in the areas I liked – mathematics, statistics, business and insurance.

What do you like most about being Director of Pricing? 
My favorite part of being the Director of Pricing, is working with the high quality team I have around me.  Fortunately, managing my team is a relatively small percentage of my workload because I trust their quality of work and their passion for profitability.

In 2011 you won Employee of the Year, an award every employee hopes to win during their career at Remi. You didn’t get to give a speech; but if you could thank the people who helped you achieve such an award, what would you say?

I’d say that it’s easy to work hard for a company you believe in and for people that you respect. Except for a couple mornings a year :), I honestly enjoy coming into work and contributing. In particular, it’s been a privilege to work under and learn from Mike Van Derveer, Brent Howison, and Dan Schuster (my bosses).  Their work ethic and passion for the company are qualities I strive to match.

To quote Bob Burg, an author and public speaker, “All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like, and trust.” What should people know about you or Remi?
People should know that Remi has made it a priority to take our client’s best interest to heart. Even though I’ve been here a short time in comparison to the life of the company, I’ve seen how flexible our program is to meet the needs of our clients. Sometimes, I’m even amazed at how far outside the scope of our standard product we’re willing to go to make our client’s experience on the program a desirable one.  I think there’s great value in that.  

Since moving to a managerial position, who has been your role model or mentor? 
I lean heavily on the experience of the entire management staff at Remi, so I feel a little bad mentioning one or two. But, since you forced me to single a couple people out, Mike Van Derveer and Brent Howison are the two guys I approach, on a consistent basis, when I’m unsure on a business decision and looking for some direction. Tapping into their product/business knowledge and seeing how hard they work for the well-being of the company has been great for a guy that’s only been in the business for 3 ½ years.

As the youngest executive at Remi, what advice would you give to the next generation of business leaders?  
Just that there’s no substitute for a good attitude and hard work. There are tons of people capable of being successful in this very competitive business world. Are you doing the little things to separate yourself from the rest?

While at the University of South Carolina, you lettered in football for 4 years (Go Gamecocks!). How has playing organized sports prepared you for the business world? 
College athletics have been an important part of my family for years. My grandfather (Hall of Fame member) and two uncles played football at Duke, my mom played tennis at Duke and Wheaton College, and another uncle played football at the Naval Academy. Growing up, they were very vocal about the beneficial life lessons one could learn from sports. More than anything, college football taught me that attitude, work ethic, competitiveness, and discipline are a few of a very limited number of things we can control in life. That lesson applies to the business world as well. Just about everyone has the capacity to be successful in the business world and in a competitive environment; people want to work with people with a drive to be the best at the things they can control. 

If you were given an opportunity to play professional football, what team would you want to draft you? 
Although I’ve spent most of my life in North Carolina, I was born in Chicago and raised by two devout Bears fans. The answer to your question is, da Bears!

If you were to be drafted by any pro sports team, what team would it be? Leave a comment and tell us why?