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National Insurance Crime Bureau

NICB Centennial - Looking Back. Moving Forward - Part III

Every organization has a person or group of people that may be lovingly referred to as the "seasoned members" of the team. These are the people that have been around long enough to see many sweeping changes within the organization and see many others come and go but somehow manage to weather through it all. If you're cringing right now because this sounds somewhat like a loaded compl

iment, fear not. It's a tribute to three remarkable women, Bev (39 years), Dianne (40 years) and Melitta (37 years), just a few of the NICB's many long-tenured employees who have been with the organization for a significant portion of its history.

As NICB celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, we've been taking a look back at the organization from its early days and looking ahead to the future. As part of this celebration, I've asked people throughout the organization to share their stories about being an employee through the years. I heard a lot about how technology has changed the way that the NICB has been able to better fight fraud. We've come a long way from using index cards to more sophisticated systems. However, I'm not even going to try denying that we still do have a few typewriters here in the office that are still being used today. But beyond that, I wanted to put the spotlight on some of the people that have been part of the NICB's history.

What are some of your fondest moments over the past years?

Dianne: The many long time friendships that developed. The friendships back then consisted of knowing [each other's] families and going to their homes for the many life events through the years. We shared many nights out for happy hour that have made fond memories, as well as the joys of weddings and births and the sorrows of death.

Bev: Camaraderie. I have made some life-long friends. Starting this job a month after graduating high school, I was of course terrified. But, the people that were at the Evergreen Park office where I started were a very close knit group. Everyone worked so well together and got along, from management on down. I remember the time several of us offered to save the company money and stayed after hours to paint the office. This included the Division Manager. There was no overtime pay, but we were compensated with a party afterwards.

Then there were the times the agents came in for their meetings, but a lot of what went on will have to be left to the memories of those who were there at the time! The Christmas parties were always a great time. They were held on a Friday or Saturday night at a nearby restaurant or banquet hall. There are many great memories from those parties, and of course, the summer picnics. These included families with clowns and games for the children. For some reason, seems like someone always wound up in the lake though – none of the children!

It wasn't always fun and games in that office. Management truly cared for the staff. That office was like one big family, and it was really fun to come into work. That's where many of those life-long friendships stem from. I still hear from or see many people who left the company 20-30 years ago. Thankfully, some of us from that office are still here together. You can't put a price on this kind of friendship, and it is something I cherish deeply.

Melitta: Some of my fondest moments I would have to say would be the camaraderie. I have met so many people over the years, and several have become life-long friends. It seemed we always did so much together at work and socially. It helped that most of us were much younger then. I wish I would have kept a diary of the past 37 years. It would be huge now. I remember always looking forward to the Christmas parties and picnics.

Another work related social event that specifically comes to mind is the Annual Corned Beef & Cabbage dinner hosted by the Chicago Police Department's Vehicle Theft Section along with other vehicle theft related law enforcement agencies and organizations. This event was only attended by men at that time which was in the late 70s early 80s. One of my many positions held was an Investigative Clerk, now called Investigative Assistant which by the way was considered a highly sought after position back then. There were only four of us young women. Since we dealt with law enforcement on a daily basis, we were finally approved to attend this annual dinner. As expected, we were a little apprehensive. We sure got the looks – don't know if that was good or bad. But we sure stuck together like ducklings following their mother. A couple of our Chicago area special agents stayed by our side to help us ease in to this male dominated event.

What has been a crowning achievement or one of your greatest successes during your time here?

Diane: Through the years I have maintained numerous positions, and they have all been rewarding.

Bev: [I] don't know if it was a great success for the company, but I remember how proud my father was when I was promoted to Secretary to the NATB President. It was a position I valued for 12 years. He mentioned it to all his co-workers and the neighbors. He's the one that pushed me towards the business classes in high school – guess they paid off. [I] wish he was still here to see the many other opportunities I've been given over the years, especially today. I guess he's still behind me, pushing me on.

Melitta: When I decided to accept the Investigative Clerk position, in my early years. This was a difficult choice for me because I had trouble with my self-confidence, and this position required a lot of communication with member companies and law enforcement. This was the best decision I ever made. It helped my confidence tremendously, and this decision laid the groundwork for my future successes with NATB/NICB.

How would you describe the NICB and its employees to those who aren't familiar with the organization or the work that we do?

Diane: NICB has always given their employees opportunities for growth. i.e., classes and the opportunity for moving within the company.

Bev: NICB is a company that believes in its goals and values. Management is straight forward on what is expected of every employee and keeps us all informed on pertinent information. The mission of fighting fraud is something the public needs to be aware. Technology is getting the word out on NICB. Now, more than ever, I get many calls from people who saw our Web site and ask for someone to talk to about reporting suspected fraud.

Melitta: I would let them know that NICB has been and still is a great place to work. From my own experiences, NICB has always been there for me, like a second family, from the employees to management. I feel that management is straight forward and fair and employees know what is expected of them. The benefits at NICB are one of the best, especially when I hear about other companies. They just don't compare with NICB. I would definitely recommend NICB to anyone. When someone asks me where I work, I'm proud to say at NICB.

What do you think you'll miss most when you retire from the organization?

Diane: It will not be the commute. I would miss the people.

Bev: A sense of purpose. I know everyone is replaceable, but I like to think I've made some accomplishments over the years that have been of a slight value to the organization. I'll definitely miss seeing people I'm close to every day. I know we'll still be together, but it's nice to be able to see and talk to them at least five days a week. When I retire, I'll have to break down and buy a computer so I can communicate with others throughout the company by e-mail! {Spoiler – Bev has one of the typewriters that I mentioned on her desk}.

Melitta: I will miss seeing and working with the people I'm close to every day. I may miss the "project list." Well. Maybe not. But I will miss my purpose at NICB and the sense of accomplishment when I would complete a project and finish up another successful academy.

Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 800.TEL.NICB (800.835.6422) or submitting a form on our website.

About the National Insurance Crime Bureau: Headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., the NICB is the nation's leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to combatting and preventing insurance crime through Intelligence, Analytics, and Operations; Education and Crime Prevention; and Strategy, Policy, and Advocacy. The NICB is supported by more than 1,200 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations. NICB member companies wrote over $530 billion in insurance premiums in 2020, or more than 82% of the nation's property-casualty insurance. That includes more than 95% ($236 billion) of the nation's personal auto insurance. To learn more, visit www.nicb.org.