Featured New York Life Insurance Agent: Kathy Davenport
Kathy Davenport knew she wanted independence and flexibility in her career. As operators of a wholesale seafood business, her parents were their own bosses, as were her grandfather and great-grandfather. She explains, “Our family has a rich tradition of being self-employed. Because they worked from home, Mom and Dad were always available to me growing up, and that was something I wanted to be able to do when I had my own children, ” says Ms. Davenport.
Beginning her career in real estate, it was a move into a new neighborhood and meeting a neighbor - an agent for New York Life Insurance Company - that piqued Ms. Davenport’s interest, making an impact that changed her life forever. “He drove a nice car, worked from home, and — even more importantly — seemed to have a fulfilling career, “ she muses. “I thought, ‘That’s a pretty cool job!’” she says, laughing.
Upon further investigation into the opportunities that New York Life offered, she concluded, “It seemed to be a great growth opportunity, and here was a chance to further my education and really make an impact in others’ lives.”
Learn and Grow
Ms. Davenport jumped in, starting as an agent in her hometown of New Orleans and has turned her practice into a thriving one. Taking advantage of the Company’s NYLIC University has allowed Ms. Davenport to earn her Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), AEP (Accredited Estate Planner), and CASL (Chartered Advisor for Senior Living) certifications, which increases her knowledge as well as her marketability. “New York Life is incredibly supportive of agents expanding their practice through education, ” she says.
Consistently ranking among the Company’s highest achieving agents, Ms. Davenport has attained Lifetime membership in the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT)*. She also served as President of New York Life&s 2009 Agents Advisory Council, having had the honor of serving as its’ first female president.
Touch Lives and Find a Balance
The best part of her work, however, is the being available to her clients, her colleagues and her family. It’s also being able to touch lives and make a difference. “I see myself almost as a caregiver to my clients. I take a very holistic approach in my practice, ” she says. “My clients and their families have trust in me. ” All of those skills and trust were desperately needed when Hurricane Katrina tore through the Gulf area in 2005. “I was proud that, after the storm, only two of my clients needed to go to their portfolios for major money. That means I positioned my clients correctly so that they had access to emergency cash.” Raising two girls, ages 16 and 22, Ms. Davenport‘s home serves as both her office and the epicenter of her family’s life. “My career has allowed me to have the best of both worlds because I work from my home; I am available to my girls at a moment’s notice.”
Ms. Davenport continues, “My husband joined me in my practice several years ago, and my daughter Katie will join as an agent in June of this year, so it’s really become a family affair.”
“I think it’s very important for successful, independent women to serve as role models for future generations,” explains Ms. Davenport. “Through that, they realize they can take care of themselves: set goals and have a career and a family if you want, while helping others at the same time. I think that one of the highest compliments you can pay the company you work for is to encourage the people you love – your children, your family members – to join. For me, it says, ‘I really love what I do, and I want you to find the same happiness in your career.’”
So Why New York Life?
Our company is a top pick among women in the insurance services business. In fact, 32.9% of new hires in 2012 were women. We’re also proud to have more women MDRT members than any other U.S. company — representing 28% of all women MDRT members, based on 2012 membership.
The proof is in our company’s rich history: For nearly two decades, we’ve provided financial security to families and businesses, and supports the success of its employees.
*MDRT is recognized throughout the industry as the standard of excellence in life insurance sales performance.