Jilriale “Jill” Lyle, Small Commercial Lines Underwriter II, began her career with Velocity Risk during the pandemic. She joined the team in October 2020, and quickly advanced to her current position because of her focus, desire to learn and excellence in her work.
Before Jill joined Velocity Risk, she gained insurance experience at another Nashville insurance company, but unlike many who “fall into” insurance, Jill was recruited due to her positive attitude and excellent people skills, thanks to years of managing a retail store. A friend recognized her sales potential and suggested she try auto insurance sales. Jill was a natural; she quickly passed her licensing exams and immediately began building relationships with customers, potential customers, and her insurance network.
As she learned more about insurance and underwriting, Jill was inspired move away from sales and instead, analyze accounts from the inside. She continued to use her skills to grow revenue, but as an underwriter, she felt more connected to both the company and the customer. Her passion for learning and the company’s tuition reimbursement program also motivated Jill to finish her bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University. Velocity Risk recognized her talent and reached out to Jill through a recruiter. After interviews with multiple team members, it was an easy decision to offer her a position as an underwriter in small commercial.
After joining Velocity Risk, Joe Meyers, Velocity Risk Sr. Underwriter, began to train and mentor Jill as a member of his team. Joe was impressed with Jill’s desire to learn. “Jill has consistently displayed grit and determination in making the small commercial team as strong a unit as possible,” according to Joe. “Never deterred, her peers admire the energy she brings to our team and positive spirit that conveys to the entirety of our company. She brings a smile and a can-do attitude to the office each day. That resiliency will keep Jill on the path to success for many years to come.”
Jill’s pursuit of excellence helped bring on her first account with a six-digit premium, requiring officer-level approval. She did research and after due diligence, presented a proposal to Emily Henderson, VP Systematized Risk – Personal Lines a Small Business. “Jill has a confident attitude despite any potential obstacles,” According to Emily. “She is willing to get involved and connect with individuals inside and outside the organization. After asking a few questions, I had no concerns approving Jill’s first of many large accounts.”
After landing her first large account, Jill’s second proudest moment at Velocity Risk was helping launch the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee. Jill was a member of the DEI committee at her former company and wanted to participate at Velocity Risk. She reached out to Doris Dunn, VP of Marketing and Training, who also manages the company’s community engagement efforts. Jill asked if she could join the committee and was encouraged to lead the initiative.
Jill enjoyed being part of the beginning of the movement at the small company with a start-up spirit. She is impressed with a company that welcomes change and new ideas. She was surprised how much interest there was and how quickly the committee grew. Even the COO, Praveen Reddy, became a member, adding “I stand behind you on this and will help you expand and make a difference in whatever way I can.”
Since helping to launch the committee earlier this year, the committee’s focus is on education and activities that make a positive difference for employees and the community. In June, several employees volunteered in their local communities to commemorate Juneteenth. During an All Hands meeting later in June, which also celebrates Pride Month, two employees shared their personal stories about feeling welcome and included at Velocity. In July, Jill hosted a book club after encouraging all employees to read “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man,” by Emmanuel Acho. The conversations at the book club were raw and honest, with Jill asking challenging questions of the group. Jill is excited to see what the future holds for the committee and making a deeper impact on DEI at Velocity Risk.
When Jill is not writing large accounts or bringing greater unity at work, she is heavily involved at her church, where she hosts Bible study every Wednesday, teaches Sunday School and helps the pastor whenever she asks. Jill knows that her faith and trust in God is what has helped her succeed in life. She also enjoys home décor, crafts and spending time with her family, significant other, and her chihuahua, Rocky.