Sally Hicks of Huntingdon, a senior personal lines underwriter with Mutual Benefit Group, retired March 29, completing a 56-year career in insurance.
Hicks joined Mutual Benefit just two days after her graduation from Huntingdon Area High School in 1963 and remained with the firm throughout her career. One of her high school teachers recognized her business acumen and personally called Mutual Benefit to request an interview for Hicks.
“I’ve always been grateful to that teacher,” said Hicks. “At that time, Mutual Benefit was one of the best places to work in the Huntingdon area … and it still is!”
Starting as a file clerk who opened the daily mail, Hicks soon advanced to policy, endorsement and cancellation typist. Her drive and technical knowledge earned her a promotion to personal lines underwriter in 1969. She was subsequently promoted to personal lines senior underwriter in 1992. In that position, she was responsible for underwriting complex insurance applications, renewals and endorsements for personal lines of insurance, such as home and auto.
Hicks said technological advancements have been the most significant changes she’s seen during her career.
“When I started, I used an adding machine and a manual typewriter,” she laughed.
What advice would she give to someone just starting out in insurance?
“The best way to build a career is ‘hands-on’ learning. The journey can be bumpy, but there’s plenty to enjoy along the way,” she said.
She plans to spend her retirement spending time with her son, Paul, of Huntingdon; further spoiling her Shih Tzu, Nicky; tackling some remodeling projects; and cheering on the Philadelphia Eagles and the Penn State Nittany Lions.