That being said, the nation of Dominica is—and when the island’s four Gallagher employees and 250 clients were hit by Hurricane Maria, CGM Gallagher jumped on the first plane to assist them.
“As soon as we had the all clear from the military and government, Tito [Gulstone, SVP of Claims] chartered a flight with other insurance companies and went down,” says Karissa Beharry-Shepherd, SVP of HR for CGM Gallagher. “The conditions were so poor: no electricity, no water for days, no food. He survived on canned foods and protein bars.”
What Tito’s team started was soon joined by Claims Supervisor Neal Shepherd. With claims piling up, Neal opted to take a Coast Guard boat so he could bring barrels of food and water that other offices had collected.
“The aid that’s available is scarce, and people have to wait in line for hours just to get access,” says Karissa. “It’s not anything fancy, but every bit helps.”
In addition to helping Dominica rebuild, Karissa’s CGM Gallagher colleagues Branch Manager Aarion Nicholas, Business Development Manager Sandy Forte and Claims Supervisor Dabian Olto are making trips to Anguilla, Antigua, Barbuda and St. Kitts, all of which also sustained damage this hurricane season.
Each trip is an example of leadership in action—part of Gallagher’s blueprint for corporate responsibility. And for Karissa, seeing managers jump at the opportunity to serve has been inspiring. “It’s really, truly honorable to see the commitment they have to their colleagues, clients and jobs.”
Which brings us to Tenet #20 of the Gallagher Way: “We run to problems—not away from them.”