"I was impressed by the transparency, structure of the organization, and leadership."
NIA Senior Underwriter Tiffany V. shares her experience of being part of the Nonprofits Insurance Alliance team — and how it’s enabled her to grow, both professionally and personally.
I’m a Senior Underwriter at NIA and enjoy living with my husband and two cats under a canopy of redwoods.
Where are you from, and where do you live now?
I am from Santa Cruz County, CA, and live and work here today, but have enjoyed living in other parts of the world: Paris, New York, and San Francisco!
Do you have any hobbies, interests or passions that you’d like to talk about?
Playing violin and tennis, both of which I started at a young age, remain two of my favorite hobbies. They reunite me with family, friends, and the community.
Some recent highlights include playing for a friend’s wedding, and playing in a recital at the same venue I did my last recital in about 35 years ago.
How did you come to find NIA?
Something clicked for me immediately with NIA: I was impressed by the transparency, structure of the organization, and leadership, to name a few, all of which translated to executing the mission well.
I also sensed they were interested in fostering long-term relationships with their employees.
How did your job interview go?
To this day, I remember sitting in the President’s office as part of my job interview.
The job interview was thorough and gave me a window into the company as a whole and helped me feel invested in the company.
Tiffany’s NIA Career:
Tell us about the growth of your career at NIA.
I joined NIA without a background in insurance, but with a strong work ethic and desire to learn, and with a background that was well suited to my work here.
Through supplemental education, direction, and encouragement from peers, I was able to eventually progress to the position of Senior Underwriter.
My growth has also been complimented by committee work, serving as a mentor, and collaborating with other departments on projects over the years, creating opportunities for teamwork and awareness of the interrelatedness of the departments.
Do you like working remotely? How often do you go into the office?
Working remotely is great! It caters to heightened concentration, the ability to work longer, and I appreciate the positive environmental impacts as well. I enjoy being able to go into the office for special occasions.
Do you feel you have a good work/life balance?
NIA has allowed me to have an excellent work/life balance.
On a weekly/daily basis, I find time for healthy activities outside of work: Volunteerism, board duties, exercise, music, and enjoying family and friends among other things.
I believe this balance will improve my work experience, and will allow me to thrive long term, not just in the short term.
Are your ideas heard and acted on? Can you provide a short example/story?
NIA is receptive to new ideas, and even has a formal process in place to receive new ideas.
I’ve had new ideas incorporated both in underwriting, and within the Product Development Committee.
The idea that stands out the most pertains to Fiscal Sponsors.
Have you taken advantage of any of the continuing education opportunities that NIA offers?
Yes! Management is highly supportive of continuing education, and this is coupled by a generous reimbursement program.
I obtained my CPCU and AIS designations while employed with NIA, and continue to enjoy both in-house and external continuing education related to risk management and other topics.
How is working here different from other jobs you’ve had?
NIA is the full package: Leadership, people, technology, and well-rounded resources in place that allow us to do our jobs well to further the mission. NIA recognizes hard work and promotes from within when able.
What is your favorite thing about working at NIA?
The mission, which, at the end of the day, reunites us all.
Can you tell us about some of your favorite/memorable nonprofits that we work with?
It is impossible to single out one as they all serve a critical role. But, I recently heard a spellbinding performance by the San Francisco Girls Chorus at the Carmel Bach Festival — I hope that becomes an annual tradition.
How has your work at NIA affected your life and/or community involvement?
It has heightened my commitment to nonprofits both during, and outside of the work day, and allowed me to increase my contributions through the experience I have gained.
I now sit on the board of nonprofits, and every day, whether I’m doing board work, volunteering, or the patron or participant of an event, I’m involved with nonprofits in some way.
Do you have any advice for others thinking about applying to work at NIA?
Be prepared for a great adventure into getting to know more about nonprofits and how you can understand them and be part of the solution to help them — all while working for a unique nonprofit that strives to stay abreast of the latest trends and innovations to further our mission and provide solutions to a critical sector.
Is there anything else you’d like to talk about personally or about NIA?
NIA reinvigorated my passion for running when I participated in my first 10K with them.
I was a competitive trail runner for several years and won the Lake Tahoe Trifecta: Three half-marathons in three days — my idea of a vacation — hard work of a different kind.
Also, I’m a member of Omega Nu, a philanthropic group founded in 1904 in Santa Cruz.