The "University of Farmers" is more than a national TV campaign from Farmers Insurance Group. It's a 120,000-square-foot training facility in Agoura Hills, Calif., where 15,000 Farmers agents gather for training. Angela Hoy, marketing manager for the Billings Farmers Insurance District Office, says viewers will continue to see more of the popular University of Farmers campaign, featuring actor J.K. Simmons as Prof. Nathaniel Burke. "The whole idea around it is that we're training agents to take are of their clients," Hoy said. "It's kind of fun, and a little quirky." As marketing manager, Hoy coordinates the advertising budget allotted by the corporation to the Billings offices. "I handle what's divided up and help get ads approved, and organize all of the district's advertising efforts. I'm here to assist the agents," she said.
Describe how you got where you are in your career: I began my career in the insurance industry working for an independent insurance office as a file clerk in high school. I was so impressed with the way the women in the office loved their work and how they were able to genuinely help their clients, that at age 18 I individually obtained my Property and Casualty license. I began working for a Farmers agent as a contact manager in 2002 and have been working with Farmers Insurance Co. since. I was able to advance from a contact manager, making in-house telemarketing calls, to working as the marketing and recruitment manager for the Billings District office. I pride myself on being able connect with people and help them professionally as well as personally. I enjoy troubleshooting problems and helping to create successful marketing plans for the local Farmers Agents. I am also in charge of recruiting for new agents in our Billings community.
What's the toughest challenge in your business? Learning how to properly educate the public on the need for insurance coverage and learning how to sell an intangible product. While purchasing insurance is never as fun as picking out a nice new shiny car to drive home, it is of superior importance. Without proper coverage, a small accident or loss can turn into a lifetime of grief and financial hardship. I learned that continued education on products and ever changing state and federal laws is imperative.
If you could make one positive change in Billings, what would it be? The Billings community could really benefit from an organized and funded youth community center. Billings has few places for children and young adults to socialize outside of school hours.
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Which living person do you most admire? Kimberly Cummins - district manager of Farmers. She gave me the opportunity of a lifetime.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Graduating from Montana State University-Billings with my bachelor's degree in marketing. I worked as the marketing manager for the Billings district throughout the entirety of my education and proved to myself that I could manage both priority tasks and be successful.
I'm happiest when...I'm helping others achieve their personal and professional goals.