Lisa Brown is the Senior Director, Market Conduct and Counsel for the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA), based in Washington, DC. APCIA was created by the merger of the American Insurance Association and the Property Casualty Insurance Association of America. Brown started with the AIA in 1994 when she was hired as a health insurance analyst for the P & C trade association. That role for the organization was off budget and in response to some members desire for additional information and representation during the Clinton administration’s health care effort. Brown impressed enough that her boss at the time asked if she wanted to stay for a P & C Analyst position. She’s been with the organization ever since. She is a self-proclaimed “snark” (an accurate description) and loves those cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies.
Guiding Star: We have to recognize there are too many things in life we cannot change. Not everything can be an emergency. Calm down, take a breath and it will work out. It is what it is.
Formal Education: I graduated from the University of Richmond with a business degree. I went to work as a campaign coordinator for our local congressional seat. We won, and I went to Washington with our Congressman. I was working for AIA and after years of talking to me about it, I was finally convinced by our General Counsel to go to law school. I went part time at night to George Mason School of Law which was near our office and worked full time during the day. When I was in 7th grade, I told my mother I was going to be a lawyer and live in Georgetown. I’m really close to that prediction – but how did I know in 7th grade?
How Did You Fall Into Insurance ? I did not want to go back to the district for six months to run another campaign and wanted to stay in Washington. Needing a job, I went to what was a fixture in DC for public policy, government affairs and public affairs jobs, the Trover Book Store. It’s gone now but in the days before the internet, this was Job Central to find out what was available. In the congressional office, I had been assigned to Military Affairs and the Health Committees. With the Clinton Administration proposal for health care coming down the pike, the P & C insurance association was looking for a health insurance analyst to help them figure out Clinton’s proposal. When that ended, I was encouraged to take one of the P & C Analyst positions that was open. I feel like I’ve been doing this since infancy.
What Does AICP Mean to You? AICP has given me the opportunity to build relationships with people I would not otherwise have had the opportunity to know, let alone work with. I have built relationships with people from various carriers, members and non-members alike, and across lines, and I can honestly say they are now some of my true personal friends. They started with introductions made at AICP. It gives you the opportunity to connect with regulators in a different way as well. Most of the time, when you get a call from a regulator, it is because of a not-such-a-good thing. Here, you get to know regulators and neither of you have that not-such-a-good thing hanging over your head. Don’t discount the education sessions, they are wonderful and help keep you up on the latest issues, but AICP creates the potential for deep personal relationships that differentiates it from other associations.
Most Important Life Lessons, So Far… There are two. While in college, I had a job in retail. That cemented the idea that you cannot judge a book by its cover. I was into the arts and punk rock culture in high school. I was hired to be a math tutor for one of our tennis team’s players. When we first started meeting for math, his reaction was, “Wait, you’re smart??” In retail the more experienced staff taught me the worst dressed customers were often the biggest buyers. Don’t judge! Don’t sugar coat or form an opinion solely based on how someone looks.
Finally, can you ever be in Paris too much? (The correct answer is No.) I am there as much as I can be. I go to Paris twice in good years and only once in poor years. Next year, we will celebrate my Mom’s birthday there during the Christmas Holidays. Our whole family, small in number but mighty, will be there.
What Else Do You Do? You mean besides be snarky? I am a beach kid at heart and I am there a lot. I grew up at Virginia Beach and when other people take beach vacations, I’m just going home for the weekend. My furry brother, my parents’ dog Quincy, makes me happier than any other living thing – his unconditional love is exactly what I need sometimes and going down to the beach and hanging out with him is just what the doctor ordered. And, this is my favorite season – all the cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies are coming on. Of course you know the plot, you know the characters, you know the story, but I have to watch anyway. I love watching them and have even gotten my dad bitten by the cheesy Hallmark movie bug.