Denise Gibson—Remote Joy
Though many of our employees are still operating from home after transitioning to remote work in 2020, a few people have been contributing virtually for much longer.
You may think making an impact is more difficult for those without the luxury of being in the office every day surrounded by colleagues. But with a big personality and an even bigger heart, Denise Gibson—our senior client executive and vice president of Registered Professional Liability Underwriting—has been proving that notion wrong for years.
Apart from a brief stint in Florida, Denise has lived in the Hawkeye State (Iowa) her entire life. Originally hailing from Cedar Rapids, she moved to Clive after having children.
“My kids were young when I moved here. I wanted them to have a better quality of life—including better schools and a better neighborhood to ride bikes around and play in,” she said.
Her two sons—both Marine veterans who are now married with children—have since moved elsewhere. But Denise is happy right where she’s been these past 21 years.
“My kids have since moved on, but I LOVE the interconnected bike trails in Clive. I can ride nearly anywhere without having to go in the street near traffic. And since most trails go under the roads, you don’t even have to break your stride waiting for cars to pass!”
Still, despite loving where she lives, Denise has quite the appetite for exploration.
“During non-pandemic years, I love to travel and am trying to make it to all 50 states. I only have nine left! I also love to give city tours… aka ‘Gibson Tours.’ My favorite city to give a tour of is London… with Washington, D.C. coming in a close second.”
We’d take her up on one of those tours any day!
Fulfilling Her Childhood Dream
So what career path led this bike-riding Iowan to our very own Pearl Insurance?
Here’s one you maybe haven’t heard before: while growing up, Denise wanted to work in international trade. How many people can say that?
But in the late ’80s, she found herself at a retail job and looking for something more. So she took a leap and went to work for a local insurance company… a company that was eventually purchased by a global brokerage firm based in New York. This acquisition opened up new opportunities for Denise—including a way of fulfilling her childhood dream.
“In 1997, I began working with Lloyd’s of London to provide insurance for members of different professional associations,” Denise recalled. “Voila! International trade! I never thought of insurance as being the means to meet my goal, but I find the industry so interesting—there are so many stories!”
After working at the same place for 27 years, she decided to jump over to a different insurance company in 2014: ours.
“I genuinely love my job at Pearl,” said Denise. “I love my coworkers, and I love that the job is never boring. We all work so hard towards a common goal of serving our clients.”
So Near (Despite Being So Far)
Though the pandemic has changed what sort of extracurriculars she can do (like having to put her love of live music—especially KISS concerts—on hold), one adjustment she didn’t have to make was learning the ropes of working from home.
But Denise was impressed with how well her coworkers handled the transition to off-site working in 2020.
“Even though almost all of us are now remote, we still maintain the Pearl culture and family atmosphere. That says a lot about the people who work here. We’re all serious about our jobs, but we still manage to have fun while getting the work done. There is nothing that we can’t achieve together!”
A business is only as good as its people, and remote employees like Denise have been proving for years you can be a crucial company cornerstone… no matter the distance.