When Kathy Sogah, Velocity’s Director of Operations, wanted to change a process at a former company, a co-worker pushed back, as she pulled out a four-inch binder and pointed to a 10-year old process. “That’s the way it’s always been done” was the response. That didn’t work for Kathy then and doesn’t work for her today.
Kathy’s insurance career began as a young mom, when she was looking for a better way to spend more time with her infant son. What began as way to stop working weekends and holidays turned into a passion and desire to learn, innovate and help her employers meet their goals and objectives.
Kathy’s first insurance job was preparing personal lines files for underwriters, meaning she had first access to viewing paper policy files before the underwriters reviewed and made decisions on whether to accept or decline the application. This process was before customers could purchase insurance online. At the same time, Kathy had the opportunity to work in a local agent’s office where she had the unique view of the policy from agent to customer to underwriter and gained an uncommon understanding of the life cycle of agent. Even after leaving the agency, she took that knowledge and empathy with her in all roles she’s held throughout her career.
Kathy’s experience continued to grow with jobs that included business insurance analyst, project coordinator, operations manager, product analyst and even executive assistant to a senior leader, where she felt like she earned a master’s degree thanks to a massive amount of learning that occurred while supporting and taking notes during key leadership meetings. She also took advantage of her former employer’s education program and earned her bachelor’s degree.
Kathy joined Velocity in 2018 after calling a friend and former co-worker about her sister who was moving to Nashville and looking for a job. After providing some insight about the Nashville market, Jake Rothfuss, Velocity’s President, asked Kathy if she would be interested in moving to Nashville. “I’ve known Kathy for a number of years,” Jake explained, “and have watched her career with enthusiasm. She has a passion for doing the right thing for customers, agents, and everyone she works with. Her skills and continuous improvement mindset are great fits for Velocity!”
When Jake and Kathy first discussed her moving to Nashville, Velocity Risk Underwriters was still a young company that had reached a critical stage that could benefit from someone with project and change management experience and who understood the needs of the end customer as well as the corporation. Kathy knew she would regret not taking the job and moved to Nashville in November 2018.
It took Kathy a few months to learn that Velocity was very different from her former environment and the uphill battles she often faced. At Velocity, she could be creative, she could fail and learn from those mistakes and she could make real, meaningful change. It wasn’t long before she started making improvements in processes to align with Velocity’s growth. She asked lots of questions and made new connections with the service center, helping them better interact with agents and brokers.
Praveen Reddy, Velocity’s Chief Operations Officer, knows that Kathy has a mindset for customer service and process improvements. “She is a great fit for the Operations team. Her dedication and focus on customer experience helped us drive superior customer satisfaction and net promoter scores. I look forward to her expanded leadership and contributions as we continue to deliver our growth and efficiency plans.”
As an agency employee in her early career, the agency owner impressed on her to never sell on price, sell on coverage and service. She continues to use that philosophy today in how she works with and trains anyone that communicates directly with agents and customers, helping them feel valued and heard. She knows those core values will build loyalty and positive feedback.
Jose deDiego, Director of Independent Agencies couldn’t agree more: “I believe Kathy’s work ethic and tenacity demonstrate our core values. From the moment she walked in the door, she was trying to help and find way for us to work more efficiently. Frankly, just her work with our customer service team and how that unit has improved over time is a testament to her dedication.”
When Kathy is not changing the world at work, she strives to make improvements in her personal life, including a serious fitness routine, Peloton milestones and a happy dog. She is proud of her family and continues to take calculated risks that she rarely regrets.