When Donna Yother purchased Sava Insurance Group, she knew her life had changed. As president and agency owner, she was now responsible for the day-to-day operations of the agency and making sure there was money to pay bills and make payroll. She was determined not to fail.
More than 30 years ago, Donna started in the insurance industry as a receptionist. Her responsibilities grew and with it so did her love of the insurance business. She enjoyed forming relationships with her clients and working with them to develop insurance protection plans to protect their assets.
Donna joined Sava in 1995 as a managing partner for one of the satellite locations. After almost four years, the previous owner wanted to focus on other business ventures and offered Donna the opportunity to purchase the agency.
“It’ll be 20 years next year since I purchased my agency, and I still love the insurance business.”
This is the way Donna Yother works.
Working on improving my work/life balance. Free up more time for myself.
One word that describes how you like to work.
Multi-tasker. I have two or three projects going at the same time.
Current mobile device:
Work - Dell HP computer and Surface Pro. Home - Mac Desktop and iPad.
Project(s) you’re currently working on:
We recently moved our phone system over to VOIP technology and now we are in the process of moving our office computers over to Amazon workspace, which is a virtual environment in the cloud.
Accomplishments you’re proud of:
Personally - My family that keeps me grounded and fills my heart with love and joy.
Professionally - My daughters have worked with me for 18 years, and we continue to enjoy working together. Also, I worked very hard to learn this business, and when the previous owner was ready to sell SAVA, I was confident and ready to purchase the agency. At that time there were very few women-owned agencies. The industry was definitely male oriented; however, over the years more women have become agency owners. It will be 20 years next year. I don’t know where the time goes.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Personally - I am very excited that I will be traveling to Europe for the first time.
Professionally - To hit our 2017 agency growth goals and to continue investing in technology to improve our workflows and increase productivity.
What are your biggest professional challenges?
The biggest challenges are recruiting new talent and finding the time to train and mentor them to become an asset to our team.
What do you like most about your job?
Every day is different. You come to work and you never know how your day will go. So many things factor into how your day will go: clients, employees, family, our community commitments and the weather.
What technology , apps or tools can’t you live without?
My cell phone and iPad that has Wi-Fi built in so I am pretty much connected to the internet wherever I go.
What’s the most recent app you’ve downloaded but have yet to use?
Smule. It’s a karaoke app. I love to sing; however, my voice isn’t the best.
Describe your workspace.
My computer is set up with three monitors. My office is decorated in beach décor since boating and being on the water is my happy place. I have a wall in front of my desk with motivational quotes and photos of my family. My favorite plaque says “Begin Each Day with a Grateful Heart.”
How do you manage your to-do list?
I have a to-do list at work and at home. I get great satisfaction in crossing off items as I complete them. I really try to finish my list at the end of the day.
What do you do when you finish a project?
Move on to the next project.
What’s the first thing you do when you get in the office?
I am a morning person and try to tackle the most important project first thing in the morning before I get any interruptions.
What is your best everyday habit?
Kissing my husband good bye when I leave for work.
What do you listen to while working?
Pandora. I change the station depending on my mood.
What are you currently reading?
“Fanatical Prospecting” by Jeb Blount.
Coffee or tea?
Green decaffeinated tea.
What are you watching on Netflix right now?
I just finished catching up on all the episodes of the television show “This Is Us.”
How do you decompress?
I have been practicing yoga for years and I rely on yoga breathing and short mediation sessions. Those deep inhales and exhales really work when I need to decompress.
What’s your sleep routine like?
Some nights are good and other nights I will be on my computer at 2 a.m. because I can’t sleep.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I usually wake up by 6 a.m., at the office by 8 a.m. and try to leave by 6 p.m. However, every day is different if I have a work commitment or go to the gym.
Who are your business idols and why?
Tony Robbins. I love listening to him and admire his humble beginnings and all the people he has helped throughout his career.
What is your motto or personal mantra?
Every day is a gift so enjoy it!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
It’s not what you make; it’s what you spend.
If you could switch jobs with someone, who would it be?
I love to cook and always wanted to work or own a catering business. I love bringing people together with good food and drink.
Who would you like to see in a future This is the Way post?
Victor Ebersole from Sumner & Sumner Insurance
The This is the Way blog series asks ITC employees, agents, carriers and other people in the industry how they work and to share their tips. Is there someone you want to see featured or questions we should ask? Tweet us or leave it in the comments below.
About the Author
As vice president of marketing, Becky Schroeder oversees ITC’s growth through marketing and drives the overall marketing strategy for the company and its products. Her specialties include advertising, social media, email marketing, content marketing and public relations. Becky has a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Emerson College in Boston and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. Becky is a big Texas A&M football fan and enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her husband and their two daughters.Follow on Twitter More Content by Becky Schroeder