“I wear a lot of hats in my department,” says Christi, “but I take den mother and chief optimist seriously!” Among her coworkers, Christi is the one who makes sure your desk is decorated for your birthday, you get an invite to the monthly potluck, and you have a friend to have lunch with. “I also get requests for favorite dishes,” she jokes. “Everybody loves my biscuits and gravy.”
Lest you think this deal is one-sided…
“I love the people I work with,” says Christi. “They are a great group and I know if I was ever sick or needed something they would be at my door with dinner or a ride.”
If you’re looking to get on that gravy train…
You’ll need to visit the retention department where Christi is an account representative. She is responsible for identifying coverage options for customers who don’t fit in Pearl’s standard professional liability program. We do that? “Yes, we do,” says Christi. “It’s a challenge, but I like to solve problems and, of course, I have that care-taker gene, too.” She spends a good portion of her day on the phone finding workable solutions for customers. “I might be following up on an application, sending a quote, finding coverage options, or reviewing finance contracts,” she explains. “I like the variety, but it can also be very stressful.” It often takes time to identify the best options and Christi’s people-personality helps keep the process on a positive footing. “I want to find the right solution for a customer at the best price,” she says. “That’s what success looks like to me.”
Taking a much-needed break…
By her own admission, she is less successful painting ceramics! “I love Fired Up in the Heights,” she says, “but my creations sometime provide a good laugh.” Christi may not excel at painting, but her long list of volunteer hours speak for themselves. Christi has been involved with the Theresa Tracy Strive to Survive organization for many years. “I went to high school with Theresa and several of us got involved after she died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 44,” she says. The Theresa Tracy Trot is a signature event each year and Christi has helped with theme baskets, cookie decorating, race day registration, and other integral tasks. “I’ve brought five or six people from the department to help and we all used our VTO hours,” she says. “Volunteer time off is a great perk at Pearl.” Christi was also a long-time, hands-on volunteer for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. “My son was diagnosed when he was 4 and we were very involved for over 10 years,” she says. She continues to donate and also participates in their annual walk.
Above and beyond…
Christi also sponsors two families who live in Lagos, Nigeria and Accra, Ghana. “I signed on as a sponsor after I hosted a couple of children from the Asante Group who performed at my church,” she explains. “The two girls I hosted in my home had so little but were so incredibly happy.” She still has photos of their memorable day out at Chuck E. Cheese. She has travelled to Africa four times to visit both of her sponsored families. “It’s a different world and everyone should experience it,” says Christi. “It puts things in perspective very quickly.” She brings an extra suitcase whenever she goes that is filled with clothes, food, and sundries that are much needed. These families live with no electricity, gas, or hot water and get by on very little. “I know some people I talk with think I’m a little crazy to be traveling to areas of such political and social unrest, but it lifts me up and rejuvenates my spirit.”
Christi lives in Tremont and has two grown sons and a 17-year-old rescue mix from the pound named Zoe. “She’s basically a tall weenie dog with a howl like a hound,” says Christi, “and I love her dearly.”
Christi certainly has more than enough room in her heart for everyone or everything that needs a little help.
If you could do anything on a day off, what would it be?
It depends. During the summer I would be lazing on a float in a pool. In the winter, I would be watching a movie and having lunch with a friend.
What’s your dream vacation?
I would like to lay on the beach with friends. Oh, and massages would be great too.
What’s your favorite local restaurant?
Alexander’s Steakhouse, Peoria – their marinated steak or chicken is the best.
Chanticleer, Eureka – I love their prime rib and au gratin potatoes.
Personal Motto: Everything is figureoutable!