Coryn Thalmann: All in the Family

Coryn Thalmann on balancing old with new, integrity with fun, and work with family

Coryn Thalmann: All in the Family



Coryn ThalmannCoryn Thalmann on balancing old with new, integrity with fun, and work with family

Coryn Thalmann is an accomplished businesswoman, having worked in surplus lines for 20 years and currently serving as co-CEO and COO of Jimcor Agencies. While her entrepreneurial acumen and insights are unparalleled, she makes it clear that enterprising leaders in insurance do not need to be dictatorial to succeed. On the contrary, Thalmann has become an industry leader by prioritizing such virtues as family, balance and altruistic endeavors.

Alongside her brother, she runs the business founded by her father Frank Mastowski back in 1986. The firm now operates in seven offices across the Northeast, and specializes in writing property/casualty risk using admitted and non-admitted markets.

“I feel that we are very blessed to have a family business where my brother Jim and I have really been allowed to take over the company and move forward with it,” Thalmann said.

“I think the trust you have when working with your family and the communication helps us excel.”

She admits it can be difficult to juggle the balance between family life and business life, but working on those communication skills has helped build a foundation for the siblings to work together and create long-lasting results.

“Because we work hard on that – getting along well and working together well – I really rely on my brother, who is definitely my business partner. I feel safe sharing my thoughts – whether it’s ideas, or suggestions, or anything like that; we honestly work together and I never think ‘maybe I shouldn’t be saying this or doing that’.”

Thalmann admits this family-based approach to Jimcor’s business model can be hard to maintain as it grows in size and scale, but insists that certain traditional values will always have a role in their operations. “We pride ourselves on doing the right thing, being trustworthy, creating an atmosphere where people feel valued and want to be part of a team and something larger than ‘we’re employees who have to come here every day,’ having integrity, and a warm reputation,” Thalmann said.

It is this balance between personality and professionalism that Thalmann insists helps her firm to thrive.

“We’ve created a professional atmosphere where people know there’s an expectation of hard work and dedication, but we also like to have fun. We want people to want to come in every day – if they’re unhappy and don’t enjoy coming to work, they should work somewhere else.”

This is not the only aspect of her career where Thalmann seeks a healthy equilibrium.

After she graduated from American University, she spent time in the UK working in the Lloyd’s of London marketplace. While there, she made personal connections and fostered professional relationships that she would still rely on decades later in New Jersey. Although she understands the importance of embracing new technology and innovative ways of conducting business, she knows old-fashioned skills like networking will always prove invaluable.

“I think our industry, like all industries, is going on a technology voyage. Everyone is focused on technology and what it can do for you. We are here at Jimcor as well – technology continues to be a tool to help get the job done more effectively and efficiently,” she said.

“Surplus lines will always have a certain place, though, in relationships and knowledge and expertise. You’re never going to be able to take complicated accounts and put them online.”

In addition to her full workload, Thalmann also volunteers time to a host of charitable causes. She has served in leadership positions for such organizations as the Young Insurance Professionals of New Jersey, Professional Insurance Agents of New Jersey, and the Under Forty Organization of AAMGA. While she enjoys being active in the profession and using her years of experience to mentor young, upcoming talent, she isn’t afraid to put limits on work life in order to spend time with her husband and children.

“The obstacles early on in my career prior to having a career were: you had to prove yourself, you had to work hard at what you do by putting in extra hours, involvement with associations – whatever it was, you had to go the extra mile, get involved with things and follow through to prove yourself,” Thalmann said.

This changed when she realized she couldn’t maintain that level of professional commitment with raising children and spending quality time with them at home.

“You have to make good decisions, learn how to say no, and when you do make a decision, stick with it and get rid of the associated guilt. If I need to be at a work event, I’ll be in the moment with that and not worry about my kids,” she said.

“Conversely, when I’m with my children, I won’t constantly be on email and the phone, taking time away from them. I’m not always good at it, it’s definitely easier said than done, but it’s all about making good decisions and choices, and being able to say no.

“You can’t say no all the time, but pick and choose wisely, and don’t overextend yourself into areas where you’re going to sit there getting ready for a long-distance trip and think ‘Why did I do this? I shouldn’t have done this.’”

“Right now, my main hobby is playing with my kids,” she said. “In about 10 years, my kids are going to be out of the house – if not sooner than that – and I want to take advantage of every moment I can where they want to climb in my lap and give me a hug.”

This feature is from Insurance Business Magazine's July / August Issue 2.03

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