No matter the profession, when you start a career on the bottom level and advance to the top rung, it is extremely rewarding.
Cindi Gresham has seen her hard work, customer focus and teamwork recognized as she was recently named president of Memphis’ Boyle Insurance Agency. She is the first woman to hold the position in the company’s 77-year history.
"Being named president is a dream come true, but it would have never happened without the great people who helped me along the way," said Gresham, who began her insurance career in 1973 as a summer intern.
"I worked my way up the ladder from a customer service representative to president. I am honored to help lead this firm and also proud to be the first woman president."
Gresham succeeded W. Patton Steele, who retired after a successful 42-year career, where he most recently served as president for the past 11 years.
"The success of Boyle Insurance Agency can be attributed to the dedicated service that Pat provided over his remarkable tenure," Gresham said. "He is an icon in this industry and has been my mentor and role model. Now, I am going to work hard to fill his shoes."
In 1979, Gresham gained a wealth of experience by working at a small local insurance agency, where she developed a strong background in contracting risks with bonding needs. In 1987, Gresham joined Boyle as a commercial lines customer service representative. She assisted Boyle’s agents with commercial property and casualty clients, including marketing, processing and servicing. She also initiated the process of computerizing the firm’s day-to-day operations.
Gresham was promoted to assistant vice president in 1994, vice president in 2001 and senior vice president in 2003.
Gresham said her keys to success are having a strong work ethic, treating customers well, working as a team and volunteering for new roles and projects.
"By starting on the ground level in the firm, I have been able to learn every facet of our business," Gresham said. "I encourage people to think outside of the box, be creative, embrace change, and volunteer for projects. Looking for new ways to improve the efficiency of the business will set you apart."
Gresham is a leader in the national, regional, and local insurance industries. She is past president and a current member of the Insurers of Memphis; a member and executive board member of the Insurers of Tennessee; and past chairperson of the Customer Service Council of CNA Insurance Company. She is an active member of several additional professional associations, including the Professional Insurance Agents, the Independent Agents of America, the National Association of Casualty & Surety Agents, the National Association of Professional Women and the Council of Agents & Brokers.
"Throughout her 23-year career, Cindi has demonstrated a strong leadership role in the industry and has done a tremendous job overseeing the operations, including production, marketing, and personnel," said Bayard Boyle Jr., chairman, Boyle Investment Company. "We look forward to working with Cindi and the team in bringing about further growth and continuing to provide a wide range of services to our more than 6,000 clients."
Boyle Insurance Agency provides commercial property and casualty insurance. In addition, Boyle provides insurance for properties owned by Boyle Investment Company and its related entities. Professional services include risk management, claim supervision, employee benefit planning and replacement cost appraisal. The agency serves a wide variety of commercial clients in fields ranging from construction to nursing homes to licensed professionals.
Boyle is a subsidiary of Boyle Investment Company, which provides real estate development, management, sales and leasing for commercial and residential properties
"Besides the field of insurance, my biggest passion is my family," said Gresham, a mother of two and grandmother of six. "If you work hard, treat others well, have a positive attitude and learn every part of the business, good things will happen."