Meet Simone B.

"The more I saw, the more I liked about what they stood for — and wanted to be a part of all of it."

Underwriting Manager Simone B. shares how her career at NIA allows her the flexibility to serve nonprofits and spend time with her son.

Simone sky background

Simone B. enjoys a sweeping view from a hot air balloon.

Meet Simone:

I am one of the Underwriting Managers at NIA in our Insurance Operations department.

I have both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Insurance Management, so I tell people I plan on being in the insurance industry for a very long time.

I am the mom of an almost-14-year-old boy who is my heart and keeps me busy.

Where are you from? Where do you live now?

I was born and raised in the Caribbean, the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago to be exact.

I attended college in Philadelphia and lived there for almost 13 years, before I had the opportunity to relocate to sunny California. I now live in Roseville, CA.

What are some of your hobbies, interests, or passions?

I absolutely love to travel. There is so much of the world to see and experience, and I enjoy being able to share those trips with my son.

I come from a family that makes our own homemade wines for the holidays, so moving close to wine country has been great. I enjoy visiting different wineries and seeing how they make their wines and cask them, too.

Simone meets NIA:

How long have you worked at NIA?

I have been with NIA for 2 ½ years. I started on March 29, 2021.

What did you do before that?

I have been in the nonprofit underwriting space for over 20 years. Prior to starting at NIA, I was a Nonprofit Underwriting Specialist for an insurance carrier.

Simone B. and her son enjoy a bike ride together.

Simone B. and her son enjoy a bike ride together.

How did you come to work at NIA? What interested you?

Working in the nonprofit space, I heard about NIA all the time. Their coverages were competitive, their pricing was competitive, and many of my brokers spoke highly of them as a whole.

As such, when I was researching new job opportunities, NIA was one of the first companies I checked out. The more I saw, the more I liked about what they stood for — and wanted to be a part of all of it.

How did your job interview go?

My interview was unlike any other I had before.

What impressed me most was interviewing with the hiring committee and the Senior Leadership team. The hiring committee provided the opportunity for both parties to interview each other and make sure I would be a good fit with the company.

It also gave me a chance to chat with many of the associates to get an idea of the everyday life at NIA for a typical employee.

Meeting with the Senior Leadership team was different because, in my 20+ years of working at insurance companies, no one from the C-Suite has ever taken the time to meet with a prospective employee and answer any questions they may have.

I remember talking to a few friends after the interview and saying, “I can’t believe the CEO interviewed me!”

Simone’s NIA Career:

Do you like working remotely? How often do you go into the office?

I like working remotely. I have been working remotely for over 10 years.

As a mom, it was important for me to be a present mom to my son. Working remotely allows me to be able to drop my son off at school, pick him up after, talk about how his day went, and still get my job done.

The office is a four-hour drive away, so I do not go into the office. However, this year I was able to visit the office twice due to meetings.

Do you feel you have a good work/life balance?

I do. There are times when I must put in a few extra hours, especially during our busy season, but there are also times where I need to leave early for an appointment. Balance is important. Taking my PTO is encouraged and welcomed.

Do you feel supported and respected by the people you work with?

Early on, I realized teamwork was a huge pillar at NIA.

I am part of a great team: Everyone is always ready to stop what they are doing to assist when needed.

It’s refreshing to get “how can I help” from management and peers on a regular basis.

Simone sitting in large chair

Simone B. takes a seat on a comically large chair while on vacation.

Are your ideas heard and acted on? Can you provide a short example/story?

Our Insurance Ops team works so very hard during our busy season and I wanted to let them know how much we appreciated the early mornings and late evenings they worked as we made sure our nonprofits had their quotes in hand.

Being remote, usually you have to be a little more creative. I remember when I was a remote employee in a previous underwriting job, my management team would host a virtual brunch to say “thank you.”

I suggested this to our management team here at NIA — and I still hear from a few of our staff who enjoyed and appreciated our virtual “thank you” brunches!

Have you taken advantage of any of the continuing education opportunities that NIA offers?

When I started at NIA, I had been out of a managerial role for a few years. One of the first goals I had for myself was to take a few refresher courses that would allow me to succeed in my role.

How is working here different from other jobs you’ve had?

After working for almost 20 years in the nonprofit insurance space, I thought it would be the same here at NIA. It’s not.

NIA lives up to its “heart for nonprofits” tagline. At NIA, our focus is on what’s best for the nonprofits we insure, rather than how much premium we can get.

What is your favorite thing about working at NIA?

Hands down, the people. When I interviewed, everyone was so very kind and welcoming — I thought it was because I was interviewing.

Then, when I started, and they were still very kind and welcoming, I thought it was because I was new.

I think it was after the second year, I realized that it’s just who the people of NIA are — kind and welcoming.

Simone’s Impact:

Can you tell us about some of your favorite/memorable nonprofits that we work with?

Volunteering has always been important to me even before I started at NIA.

Placer Food Bank and Stand Up Placer are two nonprofits that hold a special place in my heart.

How has your work at NIA affected your life and/or community involvement?

I have become so much more aware of nonprofits and their needs.

Recently, a friend of mine started acting in our local theater. A portion of the profits from every production is donated to other nonprofits that benefit women in need.

I have been to all of their shows this season. I got to see a great show and I know that I helped those who needed it in even a little way.

Do you have any advice for others thinking about applying to work at NIA?

It’s always been said that, if you enjoy what you do, you will never work a day in your life.

Working at NIA is a great place to be around like-minded people where, at the end of the day, you feel fulfilled knowing you have made a difference.