8/1/2018
CLM Voices: Getting to Know Penny Wright

CLM Voices: Getting to Know Penny Wright

See how Sunstate Equipment's risk senior claims manager stocks her toolbox to manage the risks for the company’s 1,600 employees.

By Eric Gilkey

Construction equipment and tool rental supplier Sunstate Equipment delivers everything from booms to blowers. See how Penny Wright, risk senior claims manager, stocks her toolbox to manage the risks for the company’s 1,600 employees.

Bon Voyage

Soon after earning a business degree at Southern Illinois University, Wright attended a going-away party for a friend that would change her professional life. A fellow party-goer working for Liberty Mutual asked if anyone was looking for a job, so Wright said yes. Two weeks later, she was on a plane headed to the company’s Massachusetts headquarters for training.

Driving Better Outcomes

“I love to be an advocate for all involved. If our driver damages another party’s vehicle or property, I’m going to take care of the other party just as I would our employee.”

Back to Work

Wright is proud of her return-to-work program, which she says can accommodate almost anyone unless they are on a narcotic. Her goal is to keep her injured workers’ pay going while keeping them engaged, and she says it’s working. Out of an average of 88 claims a year, less than 10 percent have lost time.

Value of Taking Risks

“The quote by Orrin Woodward, ‘Success is on the other side of your comfort zone,’ inspires my family. I thought about it when I made the switch to risk management, and it encourages my daughter, Kennedy, who keeps the saying framed on her desk at college.”

Proactive, Not Reactive

“As an industry, we need to anticipate the challenges of emerging risks like autonomous vehicles, data breaches, and attracting and retaining talent by collaborating early and often to identify solutions.”

Scene to Believe

Wright says that conducting an immediate investigation after an accident is the key to reducing exposures in any line, including workers compensation, auto, and general liability. She says an accident scene can change quickly, but lawsuits can take months or years to file, so getting out to the site to conduct due diligence immediately is essential to protect all involved.

Finding Inspiration

“The first agreement is ‘Be impeccable with your word.’ The second agreement is ‘Don’t take anything personally.’ The third agreement is ‘Don’t make assumptions.’ And the fourth agreement is ‘Always do your best.’” Wright, citing Don Miguel Ruiz’s precepts in The Four Agreements as a major influence on her work philosophy.

 



Eric Gilkey is executive editor of CLM Magazine, a publication of the Claims and Litigation Management (CLM) Alliance. He may be reached at 513-273-8025, eric.gilkey@TheCLM.org.

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