Mentor: Someone whose hindsight can become your foresight.
Mentoring others is one of the most valuable things we can do and being mentored is a gift to
Throughout my career there have been people to whom I owe a great debt of gratitude. One of these, Leroy Holiday
pictured here, was one of my first influences in the insurancebusiness when he was my supervisor at Crawford and
Company in Chicago many years ago. It was wonderful to catch up with Leroy and his charming wife in San Antonio
while I was there attending the PLRB conference. Long ago Leroy taught me how to brush the hay out of my hair and
behave in the big city. He and I had a great relationship based on mutual respect and his willingness to mentor me
throughout my time in Chicago. I learned much from him and the examples of his experience were invaluable.
"We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give." Winston Churchill
Vernon Neufeld shared his skills relating to sales with me, this was a man who never met a stranger- the
consummate salesman who really cared about people and it showed. Vern was adept at turning client relationships
into solid friendships. Ted Brown, who became my boss for many years, was a firm believer in giving back to the
community and was the epitome of benevolence toward his employees. I have tried to emulate his caring and concern
for others through my career. Jack Dennis was vice-president at CSAA, now known as AAA Insurance who inspired me
with his total commitment to customer service and served as an admirable role model for my business life.
More recently, Sams & Associates regional manager Jerry Wells was a mentor to two contractors who wanted to
learn adjusting. Brian Bertke and John Weber became two of our most valued and competent property adjusters under
Jerry's tutelage. Nurturing and growth are the basis for helping another prepare to lead and by sharing his skills
and knowledge; Jerry was able to provide the groundwork for Brian and John to become superior claims people.
In my opinion there should never be a time when one is beyond the mentoring experience, either by becoming one to
another or being mentored oneself. To stop being coachable is to stop learning and that is a pitiable
by Don Sams -