E.J. is a talented, rising employee who joined Quaker Special Risk at the ground level over seven years ago. He’s now an Assistant VP handling commercial lines and environmental coverage.

What brought you to Quaker Special Risk?
I knew Jim Andreoli, one of the vice presidents here. When I graduated from college in 2013, he talked me into joining the Quaker team.

Who has been your biggest influence and how has that person impacted your life?
I would say my biggest influence has been Jim Hawkins, one of our senior vice presidents. He’s mentored me since I started in 2013 and taught me everything from underwriting knowledge to client relationships. He’s really been instrumental in my success.

What are some of your outside interests? More importantly, what are you watching or streaming right now?
My biggest hobby outside of work is probably basketball. I’ve played my entire life, all the way from four years old through college. I also did a little coaching after college, and it’s definitely something I still love to do in my spare time. Go Celtics! Right now, I’m streaming the BBC show, Peaky Blinders. It’s about a major crime boss in Birmingham, England just after World War I.

What do you love most about your work?
In this ever-changing market, there’s always something new and you’re learning something new every day. I’m constantly using critical thinking skills, dealing with different variables for every account.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?
It’s the fast-paced nature of everything and how quickly you need to get everything out. It’s all about speed. Almost everything needed from us is on a last-minute or a rush basis. There’s pressure to meet those expectations.

Where do you feel you’ve made the greatest impact and why?
I started around the time of the IT boom, as all of our carriers were going online. Being a little younger and more adept at technology at that time really allowed me to catch on and progress quickly in terms of the accounts I was able to write.

How do you keep up with news and trends in the industry? What are some of your go-to resources?
I subscribe to Insurance Business America (they send updates and email blasts), as well as the monthly Insurance Standard Journal. They’re both good ways to keep track of what’s going on.

How do you think the industry will change in the next couple years, and how do you see Quaker Special Risk shaping that change?
I think we’re still heading toward the direction of a hard market, and we’ll still be there at that point. We’re staffing up to meet the new demands that will inevitably come our way.

What do you think makes your workplace special?
I think its continuity and camaraderie. Most people have been here a long time; we’re all invested in each other and the company. I think it helps for anybody new and young coming on to see people like Jim Andreoli who’s been here for thirty-something years, or Jim Hawkins who’s been here for 35 years. You can really see your career and life unfold through them, and it’s a good feeling.