This month, we’re celebrating a very special milestone with Erin Ritchie, who joined Network Insurance Group 15 years ago!
Erin has worn many hats since joining and has flourished across multiple roles. We are grateful for her dedication and know that our team wouldn’t be the same without her.
Outside of work, Erin is an entrepreneur – she loves accessorising and has started making and selling polymer clay earrings on Etsy (Turtle &Co). Her favourite motto is also “Knowledge is Power” and we couldn’t agree more.
Tell us a little about yourself – what are your interests/hobbies outside of work?
I have always had a love of accessorising and was looking for a creative outlet after I had my first baby. In 2019, I started making and selling polymer clay earrings on Etsy – Turtle & Co Design (aptly named after my eldest’s favourite toy turtle).
On weekends, you will find my family and I pottering around at home in the Blue Mountains, riding motorbikes at our property in Capertee or relaxing at our families caravan in Gerringong (although can you really call taking two kids to a small caravan relaxing?).
How did you get a start in broking, and who did you work for and what was your role?
I started with IC Frith in Norwest as a Junior Customer Service Representative in the Extended Warranty division in 2007 – my first full time job out of school. The role developed from a junior position to me handling all of the Harvey Norman Extended Warranty Claims for Ireland.
In 2011 I was looking for a new challenge! I transitioned in to the Broking division at the time to be an Assistant Account Broker with James Finucane in the Marine Team (after negotiating 2.5 months off to travel on my second European adventure!) and never looked back.
Since then, I have moved from Assistant Account Broker to Account Executive to Senior Account Executive to Account Broker to Account Manager.
How long have you worked in the Marine team? Tell us a little bit about your current role? What does a normal day look like?
I am part of the greater Schemes & Affinity team, working closely with James & Damian.
I have worked as part of the Marine team with James Finucane for the last 11 years. Although our portfolio hasn’t always just been “Marine” there has traditionally been a heavy focus on the Industry with our experience as Marine Specialist Brokers. Combined, James and I currently service a portfolio of Industry clients (from sole traders, SME’s to larger corporate clients) with assistance from Alex & Sue.
A general day in the “Life of Erin” would involve waking up at the crack of dawn (some days even earlier) to get my boys ready for day care or our their Grandparents for the day. After dropping them off, a coffee on the way home is ALWAYS a must. I then jump on to emails to see what’s come in overnight & prioritise their urgency. I’ll make a list of things I need to do during the day & tick them off as they are completed.
In addition to servicing a portfolio, my other main role within our team is to ensure that operations are running smoothly, including team management. Ensuring renewals, debtors, client enquiries etc are all up to date. I am also responsible for new business which, in recent months has mainly been coming from Australian Sailing & our exclusive Ship Repairers Liability facility.
What has been your greatest achievement in the past 10 years?
Personally, meeting and marrying my husband, Greg and having our two beautiful boys, Jack (4) and Liam (18mths).
Professionally, seeing how my career has progressed from a 20yr old who had never had a full time job to where I am today, it’s really quite humbling.
In more recent times I am proud of how I have managed to navigate the chaos of being a first time Mum, then having two children & returning to full-time work. It’s been challenging at times but with supportive management & flexible working arrangements, it has allowed me to wear both hats & be present with my children whilst still excelling in my career.
What does it mean to work for Network Insurance Group?
All of the major accomplishments in my adult life, personally and professionally have coincided with my career at Network Insurance Group (combining my time with IC Frith & Steadfast IRS). I have made some incredibly special, lifelong friends within the organisation & industry over the last 15 years.
It hasn’t always been easy & there have been some BIG changes with the mergers of businesses, office moves etc. The change at times was scary but if I’ve learnt anything over the years, it is to embrace the change, trust the process & if at the end something doesn’t feel right, speak up because there are plenty of people within the organisation that will listen!
A special mention must go to my colleague & mentor, James Finucane. Without his guidance, knowledge and absolute respect over the years, I wouldn’t be the broker I am today so thank you, James.
What is your favourite motto or personal mantra?
“Knowledge is Power”
Physical power or strength has its own limitations but knowledge will let you do great things that have never been thought of before.