In honor of Women’s History Month, we sat down with one of our very own to see how our company has grown over the years. Gina Stokes, Senior Director of Underwriting, has a lot of knowledge to offer. In fact, she’s a valued member of the Georgia Farm Bureau team and has served the company for 38 years. She wasn’t always in management and sat down with us to talk about her drive to excel at GFB.
When did you start working at Georgia Farm Bureau?
2/20/1984 – 38 years
Why did you choose a career at GFB?
I knew I wanted to join a company where I could advance. GFB had a good reputation in the early 80’s and continues with that reputation today. The benefits package is an indication of how important employees are to GFB and I knew this was the place I wanted to be.
How has your job duties or title changed over the years?
When I started with GFB as a File Clerk I on Riverside Drive in Macon, we had paper files and movable filing bays. There were set guidelines that you followed. I progressed through various Clerk levels, Policy Analyst and Trainer levels through Management levels of Supervisor, Manager, Associate Director, Director and now Senior Director. I’ve advanced from following pre-set guidelines to establishing guidelines.
What were some of your biggest challenges?
Working in an ever-changing environment. You must stay on top of the insurance world as it can change rapidly. Adjusting to Covid protocols was something no one thought we would ever have to do, but we did it seamlessly.
How has GFB changed over the years?
The core values and roots of GFB have not changed. Honesty, integrity, professionalism is still strong throughout the company. We have evolved from manual processes to a more highly technological organization.
What are some of your standout memories?
First, being a member of a great organization like GFB. The people are phenomenal. My best friends are here! Next would be the move to the building here on Bass Rd. Packing up paper files and physically moving them to a new location was a challenge but it was accomplished. GFB has assisted with many natural disasters over the years dating back to my first memory during Hurricane Hugo. The outpouring of support provided to others during these crises is overwhelming.
What are your proudest accomplishments?
Seeing others grow in their career and hoping I made a difference to them. Success is not only what you do while you are working; it’s what you leave behind. Always helping and supporting others is a large focus for me.
Insurance has historically been a male dominated industry, recently that has changed. As a woman how does it feel to be a part of that shift?
Louise Pettis was the pioneer. I was fortunate to work for her and to be able to learn from her. GFB is a company that recognizes hard work and dedication and will reward you for those work ethics.
Do you have any advice for other women in your field?
Learn as much as you can about the bigger picture within the organization and industry. Do not focus on one just one area. Ask questions, think outside of the box and don’t be afraid to take chances. Gain as much knowledge as you can.
Do you have any advice for young women thinking about starting a career in insurance?
Never settle. Set goals for yourself and go after what you want. Learn from those that came before you. Remain passionate, driven, and ambitious. It’s hard work but always possible.
Thank you, Gina, for all that you’ve done and continue to do for the Georgia Farm Bureau family. Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance has been keeping our promises to members for 62 years, and Gina has been right there with us for over half of that time frame. She continues to help our members make confident plans for their financial futures and enjoys being part of our mission of keeping our promise to our community.
Content provided by Gina Stokes, Senior Director of Underwriting for Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance.