Triple-I Weblog | Nationwide Black Enterprise Month – Dale Sharpe Jenkins, M.S., CIC, AINS, Proprietor, The Jenkins Company Included, Celebrates 25 Years in Enterprise

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By Kris Maccini, Head of Digital Distribution, Triple-I

Dale Sharpe Jenkins, M.S., CIC, AINS, principal/proprietor, The Jenkins Company Included, is fast to level out that she didn’t select a profession in insurance coverage – insurance coverage selected her. A primary-generation faculty graduate, Jenkins sought a occupation that would offer her and her household with alternatives. She started her profession in life insurance coverage at a small firm in Columbus, Ohio earlier than transferring on to Progressive Insurance coverage and opening its first claims workplace in Phoenix, Arizona. 

“Insurance coverage performs an vital function in our lives. The insurance coverage trade has allowed me to make an incredible residing and assist folks with their wants on the similar time.” 

Finally, Jenkins moved right into a senior development underwriter place at St. Paul Insurance coverage Corporations (now Vacationers) and made the shift from claims to underwriting. Whereas it was a rewarding place, Jenkins began a household and wished extra flexibility in her profession. In 1998, she leveraged her expertise in development to construct The Jenkins Company Included, an unbiased company primarily based in Arlington, Texas, specializing in business underwriting for development, spiritual organizations, and different non-profits. 

“We write property/casualty, life, well being, and group advantages. Most of our prospects are small Black-owned companies, and we’re minority licensed. I’m happy with what our company has been capable of do for the Black enterprise group. Their success is our success.” 

Range has been on the epicenter of Jenkins’ profession. The Dallas Black Chamber has acknowledged the company for its work within the Black group; the Dallas-Fort Price (DFW) Airport named The Jenkins Company Included as its Range Champion of 2023 on the SOAR Awards this yr; and Enterprise Insurance coverage Journal has additionally acknowledged the company for its variety efforts.  

In 2008, Jenkins joined the Nationwide African American Insurance coverage Affiliation (NAAIA), the place she was a member of the founding Board of Administrators and served as president of the Dallas chapter for 3 years. Since 2011, the NAAIA DFW Scholarship Basis has supplied monetary awards to highschool and faculty college students excited by careers in insurance coverage, finance, and advertising and marketing. 

“I’m very centered on offering [insurance] trade consciousness to younger folks beginning out or attempting to find a profession for themselves. I used to be on the receiving finish early in my profession, and it’s good to provide again now.” 

The Jenkins Company Included celebrates its 25th anniversary this yr. Reflecting on the previous 20 years, Jenkins feels blessed to be in her present place. She based her firm on her personal and not using a ebook of enterprise and constructed it from the bottom up, counting on referrals. Her husband, Jeff, joined the enterprise in 2000. 

“Within the early years, we have been in survival mode. We realized if we might make it to 5 years, we might make it to 10. Hiring our first workers was a spotlight, and most of them have been with us for over a decade.” 

Like each small enterprise, The Jenkins Company skilled challenges in its preliminary years. Jenkins remembers the troublesome transition from working in a big firm to operating her personal enterprise and sustaining a piece/life stability. 

“Whether or not working for your self or others, flexibility is essential if you end up working and elevating a household. Having my very own enterprise granted me that flexibility. I used to be capable of work round my daughters’ schedules and nonetheless handle duties on the workplace. Having your individual enterprise doesn’t imply you’re employed much less; in my expertise, you’re employed extra however with the benefit is having the ability to handle your day.” 

To at the present time, Jenkins cites her two daughters as inspiration, together with different up-and-coming professionals. Each of her daughters have profitable careers–her youngest daughter as a danger supervisor for a municipality in Texas and her oldest daughter as a enterprise proprietor in California and a school professor. Entrepreneurship runs within the household. Jenkins’ father was additionally a enterprise proprietor.  

Jenkins, who teaches danger administration on the College of Texas in Arlington, can also be motivated by her college students. “My inspiration comes from the youthful era and the way they embrace variety and stability work and residential. I’m additionally impressed with their expertise.” 

Concerning the continuing efforts to push for variety, fairness, and inclusion within the trade, Jenkins is cheering on this era and asks younger Black professionals to not lose floor.  

“My era needed to maneuver another way. We tried to slot in in any approach we might–from hair to speech. This era has a voice, and they don’t seem to be afraid to be heard. To them I say…Hold your expertise sharp so there is no such thing as a query whether or not you are able to do the job and be happy with who you’re.” 

Trying to take part in discussions round addressing disparities and dealing in the direction of a extra inclusive and equitable insurance coverage panorama? Join Empowering the Group: The Significance of Insurance coverage within the Black Group, hosted on September 12 by The Black Insurance coverage Trade Collective (BIIC).

Dale Sharpe Jenkins, M.S., CIC, AINS is an educational member of the Insurance coverage Data Institute via her affiliation with the College of Texas at Arlington. 

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