Thank you for an amazing 2019!
2019 was a great year at Continental Underwriters, Inc! We settled in our fabulous new home, gave back to our community, and welcomed new family members to the team.
We want to extend a special thanks to our customers and partners for being the motivation behind what we do each and every day. Of course, we also want to thank the team for working so hard and staying true to our vision, mission, and We proposition.
Reflecting back on the great year we had, here are some of the highlights along with thoughts from the team on lessons learned, and thoughts on how the industry has evolved in 2019.
Top Highlights of 2019
One of the ways we support and give back to the forest products industry is through attending and sponsoring their various trade association shows. Here, we get to shake hands with sawmill owners and learn about the issues and challenges the wood manufacturing and lumber industry are facing. By connecting face-to-face with the association communities, we can better understand how to put together tailored insurance solutions they count on. Here are the events we attended this year:
We Moved to a New Home!
In order to facilitate the growth of our team, we moved to a new home in the Scott’s Addition Historic District of Richmond, VA. The move gave us an opportunity to build out a space best suited for our employees, further our ability to serve customers, and provide a great location for employees walking to lunch and gathering after hours. Our new address is: 3435-A W Leigh Street Richmond, Virginia 23230.
A Day to Connect
Because we care about our employees and their families, we took a break from the office and headed to the river to have fun and celebrate with our annual connect day in August.
It is ingrained in the culture of Continental Underwriters, Inc. to serve our community and give back. Each quarter we accomplish our goals, all employees vote on a non-profit organization to make a donation to.
Below are the organizations we donated to in 2019, as well as other donations made:
- Q1: Wounded Warrior Project
- Q2: Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
- Q3: Greater Richmond SCAN
- Q4: Make-A-Wish Foundation
- Additional contributions included: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Feed More Richmond, The Salvation Army, and Walkerton Volunteer Fire Department.
Pictured below is when our team banded together and collected enough funds to provide four children from The Salvation Army Central Virginia’s Angel Tree with an amazing Christmas.
Finally, we’re proud to have donated 168 pre-assembled backpacks with 20-piece school supply sets to help the VCU Alumni Richmond Chapter in partnership with Communities in Schools of Richmond.
Thanks to the whole team for being so committed to serving our community!
A Very Merry Christmas
We enjoyed the 1st holiday party in our new home by reflecting on 2019, and brainstorming on new tools to guide us into 2020.
Some Words From the Team
Finally, we asked each of our team members to share something they learned, thoughts about the industry, or a highlight from working at Continental in 2019. Just like last year, we received incredible responses showing a great company culture, passion for the industry, and dedication to our customer’s success.
Here’s what they had to say!
“It has been a really wild ride this year with all the disruption in the marketplace. What I love most about 2019 is the way we pulled together as a team internally to tackle some of the challenges we faced. From the phones, to risk assessment, to marketing, to submissions, to claims and underwriting, everyone rolled up their sleeves and got to work. When things get challenging you need tough people in your corner to tackle problems head on and I would put our team up against anyone in the country!”
– Andrew Belcher
“I feel so blessed to have joined Continental Underwriters, Inc. in 2019 and I’m in awe of the team and the culture that we have. Being surrounded by a group of intelligent, devoted individuals on a daily basis makes a significant impact on the work that we’re doing. We take pride in the work product we produce and strive to do things the right way 100% of the time and it shows in every interaction that we have with each other, our insureds, and our business partners. I look forward to all we will accomplish as a team in 2020 and the years to come.”
– Andrea Morrison
“What stands out to me the most in this first year working at Continental Underwriters, Inc. is how all of my teammates respect one another and work together to achieve our common goal of providing superior service to our industry. Everyone here at Continental Underwriters, Inc. is truly passionate about bringing expertise and quality to our clients and partners. The culture we have here at Continental Underwriters, Inc. is second to none; it really is a supportive, hardworking environment that is a pleasure to be part of.”
– Barbara Keller
“I continue to be impressed and proud of our staff as we navigate the ever-changing world of forest products insurance. 2019 has been a wild ride, carriers have come and gone; brokers have consolidated and the market continues to be chaotic. In spite of the disruption, consolidation and hard market pricing and terms, our team continues to stay true to our values of trading with the right people on the right risks and doing it the right way with and for our broker and carrier partners. I’m proud to be a part of our wonderful organization.”
– C. Preston Herrington, III
“2019 saw the most challenging marketplace in insurance that I have been a part of since entering the industry a little over four years ago. Beyond just the general insurance market seeing it, the wood products niche was hit especially hard with a large amount of capacity exiting the marketplace. In a marketplace like that, taking the extra time to do things the right way and with the right people becomes essential to success. At Continental Underwriters, Inc., our team’s ability to focus on the right risk and opportunities with the right partners, both carriers and agents, was essential in the immense amount of success that we saw as a company. That is what I was most proud of to see us excel with, and I’m looking forward to more of that in a continued challenging marketplace through 2020.”
– Woody Stanchina
“Cheers to 2020, and my family at Continental Underwriters, Inc. In 2019 we showed up with passion, we worked hard for our clients, we pushed each other out of our comfort zones, and supported each other by aspiring to inspire. Being surrounded by such kind, driven individuals that pour their hearts into finding the right solution for everything that comes their way is truly an honor every day.”
– Melissa Berry
“In the couple of months I have been here, one word comes to mind… Passion! What an amazing group to work with that is passionate about what they do, passionate about excellence and passionate about their WE proposition which clearly separates Continental Underwriters, Inc. from all others!”
– Stacy McPherson
“2019 presented a lot of challenges to the industries we operate in – insurance and wood products alike. It was incredibly eye-opening to work as part of a team to address these disruptions, thinking critically and creatively to meet our client’s needs. Everyone at Continental Underwriters, Inc. worked hard to maintain standards and exceed expectations. I’m looking forward to another year of problem solving with our incredible team!”
– Olivia Guthrow
“If I had one word to express how I feel about working at Continental Underwriters, Inc. it would be “grateful”. Not only did I get to see myself grow as an individual this year, but it was an honor to see my colleagues make great strides as well. It has truly been a blast being able to work with such talented individuals, and can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store for Continental Underwriters, Inc.!”
– Carmen Justice
“2019 was a challenging year in our industry, but we stayed true to our values and saw great success. This would not have been possible without the hard work of each individual here at Continental Underwriters, Inc.! We take great pride in what we do and the industry we serve. I am excited to see where 2020 will take us!”
– Kristie Smith
“2019 was a year of market changes. We welcome 2020 and the opportunity to show how 2019 made us better.”
– Bernie Kurtzweil
“2019 has been exciting in all sorts of ways. I’m impressed with how well each of us owns their role, is willing to adapt, and continually strives to improve. I’m excited to roll up my sleeves and bring in the new year with this group of dedicated professionals. “If my uniform doesn’t get dirty, I haven’t done anything in the game.” – 10-time American League All-Star Rickey Henderson
– Taylor Overton
“The individuals at Continental Underwriters, Inc. have welcomed me with open arms. It is a great experience being able to learn about our wood products niche and the industry in general from such consummate professionals every day. I look forward to growing here in my personal career and assisting the company at large to serve the industry and community.”
– Alex Ray
“2019! Wow! What a year it has been! I’m continually surprised by the quality of people that I have the opportunity to work with inside our company and with our customers across the USA. I’m a true believer in people and I cannot say enough. It has been the busiest year of my 17+ years in the sawmill insurance business and it has been the most rewarding. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2020 has in store and the new people that I will meet.”
– Corey Bounds
“We continued to see additional changes and hardening of the markets in the Forest Products niche during 2019. But with great agent and carrier partnerships, we’ve been able to stay the course, and are looking for positive outcomes in 2020.”
– Dale Schmincke
“Just when I think there is no way we will find another superstar to join our team and raise us to another level, I’m proven wrong. In 2019, I was proven wrong six times! This team is hungry, humble, and smart, and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it!”
– Amanda Huang
“Everyone at Continental Underwriters, Inc. welcomed me from the first time I stepped through the doors in May, and have made the office feel like a second home since. It is an absolutely great place to be a part of.”
– Will Moore