Clare DeNicola has a passion for helping businesses grow, whether it’s her own company, a client, or through her volunteer work.
She channels that passion through the10company, a strategic communications and consulting firm she co-founded.
“We have a wide variety of Fortune 500 and emerging tech clients,” said DeNicola. “We work on everything from traditional communications—media relations and social media—to employee communications, leadership coaching, new product launches, as well as sales and growth strategies.”
DeNicola get her start in the insurance industry at IVANS.
“I joined IVANS as CMO and working for Dan Carmichael, who was the CEO at the time.” said DeNicola. “Prior to then, I had worked in accounting/consulting for PricewaterhouseCoopers, the PR industry, the pet products industry, and for a financial database company.”
Her time at IVANS made a big impact and she remembers being named CEO of the company as an impactful moment on her career.
“I had been with the company a number of years prior so I knew the business,” said DeNicola. “And that meant I knew the challenges. It was a very interesting time in the industry because our legacy network business in P&C was declining rapidly, and we needed a strategy to replace it quickly.”
She focused on a new opportunity: Growing the company’s presence in healthcare. Meanwhile, she began pivoting their services in insurance and healthcare to higher value software and communications services.
“It was both a stressful and a very exciting time for me,” said DeNicola.
She helped to transform IVANS from an insurance industry network re-seller to an innovative technology solutions provider, resulting in significant revenue growth and increased shareholder value.
DeNicola describes a full life outside the office. She spends time volunteering at her local Humane Society, at AUGIE as the brand and communications advisor, on the parents board for her daughter’s university, and serves as the Chief Marketing Advisor for her son’s former high school.
She and her husband of 25 years live in Rumson, New Jersey. Although their two kids are away at college, their home is not quite an empty nest.
“I still have five rescue pets at home,” said DeNicola. “Three dogs and two cats.”
When asked what she loves most about working in the insurance industry, DeNicola calls out two things: The people and the innovation.
“I really love the people in the industry,” said DeNicola. “Even if they change jobs, many stay in the industry, so it’s great when you see them at meetings and can catch up like you saw them yesterday even if it’s been a couple years.”
And secondly, she loves the innovation taking place in insurance.
“I love the start-ups, the pride the founders have in building their businesses, and their drive to solve problems and really help customers.” said DeNicola.
This is the way Clare DeNicola works.
New York, NY
Principal at the10company, a strategic consulting agency I co-founded.
One word that describes how you like to work.
Sorry – this is two words: Pushing boundaries.
Current mobile device:
iPhone 8 plus
Project(s) you’re currently working on:
We recently introduced VOICES, leadership and communications coaching specifically for women executives, and I’m working to introduce it to a number of organizations for their programs for women leaders.
Accomplishments you’re proud of:
(1.) Being able to hang with my 19-year-old daughter in the Shred class at the gym, (2.) Founding—with a partner—the10company from scratch, (3.) The work we do every day for clients, especially the stuff that helps them grow their businesses, (4.) Leading the team that built IVANS healthcare business into a major health technology player—a big driver of the company’s sale in 2013.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Continue to expand the10company’s business and hiring more people to the team.
What do you like most about your job?
I love that I get to work on so many different things and learn about so many businesses and industries. In the last month, I’ve interviewed independent agents about their hiring practices, worked with insurance technology leaders on the biggest barriers to more technology adoption, helped several cybersecurity experts get prepared for media interviews, and coached a female executive on the best ways to communicate with an all-male board of directors.
What technology, apps or tools can’t you live without?
Instagram. I signed up as a way to connect with my kids, but I’ve found I love the ability to post a picture or story quickly as well as the change to check in quickly.
Describe your workspace.
I actually find I can work anywhere—just need my laptop and I’m good to go. But my office itself is light and bright, some happy modern art prints on the walls, and I always have music or news playing in the office. I love a clean desk so there’s not much else.
How do you manage your to-do list?
It’s never written down, but I keep a pretty extensive running list in my head. I like to finish things, but I also like to make sure they are the best they can be…so while I may be finished with a task, I’m not always done, especially if I am able to apply new information and insights to make it better.
What’s your best time-saving tip or hack?
Filing emails. My inbox only contains about 10 emails at a time—everything else has been dealt with and filed.
What’s the first thing you do when you get in the office?
I read the New York Times.
What do you listen to while working?
I put cable news on in the background or if I’m working on more creative things, it’s music. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bon Jovi or sometimes Eminem.
What are you currently reading?
I just started reading Educated by Tara Westover. The last books I finished were The People of the Book (by Geraldine Brooks) and The Wife (by Meg Wolitzer which is also a movie starring Glenn Close) which were selected by a summer book club and were both excellent.
Favorite social network?
I’m pretty active on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, and a little on Twitter—I check them all multiple times a day, both for work and for play which kind of merges into one. At one time or another they’ve all been the source of a new idea or news item that can be worked into a business opportunity.
Coffee or tea?
Starbucks black iced tea or chai latte
Night owl or morning person?
Definitely a night owl.
What’s your sleep routine like?
I often stay up pretty late but when I close my eyes, I’m out…for 7 hours.
What does a typical day look like for you?
One of the things I like about what I do is that no day is really typical. I work with a variety of clients, both in the insurance space and other industries. In particular I love working with emerging tech companies—helping them craft and tell their stories and figuring out go-to-market strategies. We’ve worked with four that have successful exits, which is the most rewarding. But, if I had to envision a typical day it would include heads down work on a project for a few hours, a conference call that might be a status check in with one of my clients, and then conduct a leadership training or facilitating an industry meeting in the afternoon.
Who are your business idols and why?
I would have to say it’s my mother. She raised two kids on her own, working as an executive secretary. She worked her way up to be the secretary to the President of Sony before she retired. She definitely taught me about the power of hard work.
What is your motto or personal mantra?
I have two. The first is about personal improvement…once you do something, the next time you do it, look for a way to do it better. To do it the same way is boring…there’s always a way to challenge yourself, push the edges to make it better. And the second is about mistakes. There will always be mistakes…the real test is what you do about them once you realize you’ve made one. Handling it directly and openly is always the best path.
Who would you like to see in a future This is the Way post?
Cal Durland, Interface Optimization Director, IVANS; Cecile Locurto, Vice President Communications, Aspen Insurance; Stu Durland, Vice President and Owner, Seely & Durland Insurance; Mike Skeele, President, Skeele Agency Inc.
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