A.I.M. Mutual: A Look Forward with Daniel Landers
Welcome to the A.I.M. Mutual Insurance Companies’ podcast. I'm Mark Millett, the Senior Manager of Human Resources here at A.I.M. Mutual and I want to welcome all of you listeners and thank you for taking the time to check out our podcast dedicated to the emerging issues in workers' compensation. So I just want start out this episode by saying, I really enjoy hosting these podcasts and having the opportunity to speak to many of my colleagues about all different areas and the impact of workers' compensation. But I have to admit I'm a little extra excited about this podcast. I've had the privilege of working with Dan Landers for many years, and in fact, this is the second podcast we've done. The last one was a little while back. We had a great discussion about our relationship with Gillette Stadium and the Kraft Group, but we also got to talk a little football and we debated on who would be the starting quarterback for the Patriots -Cam Newton or Mac Jones. Well, we all know how that turned out and as it turns out, we didn't even have to have that debate. But the cool thing is this is our first podcast with Dan as our new President and CEO. Dan was elected to the position in May and I'm really psyched to talk to him about what he believes sets our company apart, the milestones and the people that have helped shape this organization and our role as a carrier, broker partner and employer, and we get to take a little peek into Dan's crystal ball and what he sees as we move forward. So Dan welcome and congratulations, really happy to have you with us.
And, I don't, who said, what, who said that Mac was going to be the starter?
I don't know that we, I don't know that we actually picked a starter. We were kind of going on the assumption it was Cam, but if he didn't do well, Mac was going to jump in.
Well, I think we're pretty comfortable this year.
I think so. I think so. Right. So no debate needed. Right.
That's fantastic. Well, listen, thank you very much. I appreciate you continuing to be our host and the voice of A.I.M. Mutual. You do a great job and looking forward to having a conversation.
Thank you. I really appreciate that. So start us off here--talk a little bit about what you see as A.I.M. Mutual's biggest strengths.
So you know, I'll admit, I did have a little peek at the questions and I struggle with this question because A.I.M. Mutual has so many great things, in my opinion, and so many strengths, but you know, it really boils down to one thing for me. And, that's our people, right? Our teammates here at A.I.M. Mutual, their dedication and their commitment to service excellence, to providing the best services and the best experience to all of our partners, the policyholder, the broker, the injured workers, and, everybody else that they deal with--that really is the basis for all of the other excellent things that we provide. And it doesn't, you know, I know a lot of the rah-rah stuff gets focused on the customer-facing people, but it's not just those folks.
There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that adds so much value and makes everyone's job so much better. And the customer experience so much better that I just can't say enough about our teammates. And, as you'll see, one of our themes this year is back to basics, right? So, you know, we're coming out of, hopefully coming out of COVID and we're getting back to not the way we were, but more collaborative and, more focused on teamwork together. And, we're really doing more of the things that got us here. We've had much success based on our teamwork and our mission, vision values and all those things. And, we didn't lose it, but we're really enhancing that now based on our ability to get back together.
Yeah, I love that back- to- basics message. I think that's really, I think that's really great, especially in this new normal world. Right. I think one of our strengths with having you in this new position is that you've been with the company for a while. You've been in other senior roles, but what unique perspective do you think that gives you as the President and CEO of A.I.M. Mutual Insurance Companies?
Yeah. Great question, Mark. You know, having a very diverse experience is very beneficial in this role. And as you know, I've been in sales, marketing, underwriting, actually injury prevention, but, I also was given the opportunity to be the COO. So a lot of operational items were presented to me and I've gained a lot of experience and better perspective there. And as I mentioned before, you know, the glory goes to the sales guy, but that's really not it. It's all the people that are behind that person that allow that person to be successful. So I really think, I think I've been here about 20 years and I've been in the industry, I'll call it over 30. I stopped counting after that. <laugh>, but that experience has given me great perspective that, you know, it's not just the big things that matter. The little things are very, very important and the details matter tremendously in order to make this company successful.
Excellent. So, last October we lost our leader, a great friend and a great guy, Mike Standing. He left big shoes to fill both figuratively and literally. What legacy do you think he's left for us and what work we continue to do?
You know, Mike was a dear friend to me and was a great mentor to me as well. We had a very close relationship and I miss him dearly. I learned a tremendous amount from him.
Same by the way. Yeah.
Yeah. You know, and that's part of his legacy as you go through the company and as I was preparing to be a candidate for this job and, and ultimately, you know, being successful at obtaining this job, one of the biggest questions and the biggest things that came to me were what type of culture do we want to have here? And, you know, sometimes when you get a question like that, and you're trying to answer it, you think you need to do something different. And, I really didn't. Mike had created a great family culture here, and that meant a lot to me. And it meant a lot to many people here. And my answer to the Board of Directors was, I don't really want to change it. I want to continue this family culture, this family atmosphere.
And, it's not just, you know, everybody's happy family. It's a culture of, you know, success and, and happiness, but it's also accountability and performance and really pushing your teammates and your family members to do the best they can and to support each other. And, Mike had created that and, you know, it made it much easier for me to just continue that and to improve it if I can, and I will, but, but that's really who we are. We stand behind each other and we support each other and we've been successful that way. And, we'll continue to be.
Absolutely, yeah. A great legacy to build on for sure and you've mentioned a couple times already, how it's not just one person, right? It's a team, it's a bunch of people. So you have a new leadership team that's ready to hit the ground running. What do you see as the most immediate goals for the organization?
Right. First of all, the new leadership team is great. It's a group of seven of us and, we call it new. I think the least tenured person has been here eight years. So one of the things that I'm very thankful for is our leadership development training programs that we've had over the past several years, that every member of that team has gone through so they stepped into those roles and had so much momentum, and it's been a very smooth transition. So kudos to everyone who participated and facilitated that leadership development program. As I mentioned, the back to basics things are really important to us right now to make sure that we're guided by our mission, vision, and values to observe, and to practice the things that got us here.
You know, we can't forget that we've been successful by providing the best services to all of our constituents and partners. So, that's really one of the basic things that, and one of the short term things that we're doing, but at the same time, we're not forgetting that part of our success has also been embracing innovation. And, you know, a lot of people when they hear innovation, that just means technology, but looking at different ways of doing business and better ways of doing things like back to a claim service review, right? How do we do those and how can they be more effective and how do we write new business? And what's the best way to structure it?. And, we've had some nice ideas for group strategies and a better way to do a better claim analysis for some of our folks.
And these are ideas that have come from the people that do the jobs and that do the work. So, those are really the things right now that we're focused on operationally, you know, a lot of the other back of the house items, the financial piece and all of our financial ratings and all those things. We are really maintaining that strategy. We've got a very strong team, great support from our Board of Directors and we're just going to maintain all those things so we can keep our stability for the long term. And that's what we're all about. We're going to be here tomorrow..
So I'm glad you brought that up. So bring out that crystal ball, right. And tell us, what do you see long term? What's the long term vision for you?
I really would like to have a number of things happen, but a couple that come to mind, you know when someone thinks of A.I.M. Mutual, I really want them to think of, wow, that that's the premier workers' comp provider in New England--they are the gold standard. And that's really what I want everyone in this marketplace to think, and to perceive us as, you know, as it relates to technology, I'd like to be at the cutting edge of technology, right. I want someone to say, "Hey, A.I.M. Mutual I experienced something through their web portal and it was better than anyone else's. And I interacted with someone from A.I.M. Mutual and they provided the best advice for me that I've ever had." Those are the things that I want. And we will get there. And we're, we're pretty close now. And, we'll improve every day.
I love it-- making an impact. And, we're going to with your leadership. No question, Dan. I want to thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me today and, to our listeners. I want to thank our listeners for tuning in. You're always welcome to reach out anytime with thoughts or questions you might have. Dan's always open to hearing from folks. So please feel free. We hope you tune into our next topic soon. You can check out all of our A.I.M. Mutual podcasts on our website. We're also on Apple podcasts or Spotify. So, Dan, thanks again.
All right. Thank you very much, Mark. I had a lot of fun.
Same- take care.
All right. Bye guys.