Member Highlight – Underwriter: Michele Calvert
Michele Calvert describes her entry into the title insurance industry as “completely accidental.” After earning her bachelor’s degree in leadership studies from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, she worked in project management and process improvement at a pharmaceutical distributor for eight years. “While the role was team-based, it was also rather solitary,” she recalls. “The end results were always satisfying, but the process itself was not fulfilling my professional and educational goals.” When her position was eliminated in 2018, Michele was excited to have the “opportunity to hit the reset button.”
Michele had interviews for positions in several different industries but found the right fit as an Agency Support Coordinator for Stewart Title Guaranty Company, where she was soon promoted to Agency Sales. The attraction at Stewart is the culture of being successful by investing in and supporting colleagues. “From onboarding on my first day,” Michele says, “I have been placed in an environment where I have been given the tools, the support, and encouragement to outgrow my current position.” Similarly, the company looks for agents who understand not just how but why they do what they do and has a mission “to equip and inspire agency partners through innovation and ideas.”
At Stewart, Michele has the pleasure of working with over 350 independent agency partners across three states. She provides services from technological advisement to business development coaching and sees solving challenges that her agents encounter as the highlight of her job. Because most of these agents are small businesses, Michele makes every effort to truly partner with them and knows that the help she is able to provide can and will make an impact. “If we do not follow through on a request, it could mean a lost deal for that agent,” she says. “That really hits home for me.” She finds satisfaction in interacting personally with her agency partners and playing a small part in helping them grow their share of the market.
Michele has been married to her husband, Doug, for almost 22 years. They have two girls – Mina, 12, and Norah, 10 – who they hoped would be “strong, inquisitive and know what they wanted.” Now, she warns, “Be careful what you wish for!” She enjoys spending time with extended family, cooking out, reading a great book, or working on home projects. One of Michele’s favorite things to do around the holidays is to make a fun, vintage dish from the 1940s or 50s with ingredients that really shouldn’t go together like meat or fish and gelatin. Last year, she made a “bologna cake,” which was “heavy on presentation and low on desirability!” Her fall weekends are devoted to Alabama football, and Alabama softball is her sport of choice to watch in the spring. Roll Tide!