Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about Clark & Associates and the duties of your position.
Melissa Davies: Clark & Associates is a benefits/insurance brokerage firm that has been here locally for the past 21 years. We specialize in putting together competitive employee benefit packages for companies of all sizes as well as offering HR and payroll services and property and casualty insurance through our family of companies that includes Solutions at Work and Altus Insurance. I specialize in health and life insurance for employers. I’ve been a licensed insurance broker for the past seven years.
NNBW: How did you get into this profession?
Davies: By accident, but I’m so glad I did! I wanted to do something where I could help people understand our confusing healthcare system. Being able to help people protect themselves from devastating provider bills and educating them on how to use their insurance plans has been very rewarding — especially right now with all the changes.
NNBW: What’s the most important thing you have learned in your career?
Davies: Never take no for an answer. If you keep asking the right questions to carriers, providers, etc., eventually you will get the answer you need.
NNBW: How did the recession change the way you do business?
Davies: I work with businesses of all sizes and industries that have been affected by the recession but want to still offer their employees benefits. By thinking outside of the box and getting creative with plan designs, I’m able to keep the cost of the benefit packages in the employer’s budget and keep the employees happy with their coverage.
NNBW: What was your first job?
Davies: Working at TCBY Yogurt.
NNBW: Tell us about your dream job and why you aren’t working it?
Davies: My dream job is to be a mom of two wonderful kids while still working and being a part of this great community. I’m working it as we speak!
NNBW: Have any advice for someone who wants to enter your profession?
Davies: They may need a psych evaluation first :-). I would tell them to work hard to stay on top of all the ever-changing regulations so that they give their clients the best advice possible to help them stay compliant.
NNBW: What’s the most fun you have had on the job?
Davies: Getting denied claims appealed for my clients!
NNBW: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Davies: Don’t get caught up in what your competitors may or may not being doing. If you are working as hard as you can for your clients and being true to who you are and what you believe in, that is all you need to be successful.
NNBW: How do you spend your time away from work?
Davies: Spending time with my family. We love to go to Tahoe for the beach or bike rides. I also recently have been learning to golf, although it’s hard to find time to do it with two little kids and a full-time job.
NNBW: If you could live your life over again, what one thing would you change?
Davies: I would take college a little more seriously academically.
NNBW: What has been your biggest professional disappointment? How about your best professional accomplishment?
Davies: Trying to get politicians to listen before they pass healthcare reform laws that hurt employers is probably my biggest disappointment. Currently I’m the chair of The Chamber’s Healthcare Committee that is putting on the annual Healthcare Forum on October 16th, so I’m hoping the event will be a success and become one of my newest accomplishments!
NNBW: What did you dream of becoming when you were a kid?
Davies: I wanted to be a pediatrician.
NNBW: What can you do that someone else can’t?
Davies: Get my 11-month-old to eat peas.
NNBW: If you had enough money to retire right now, would you? Why or why not?
Davies: I wouldn’t want to retire yet, but I would cut down my hours so I could spend more time with my fabulous kiddos.
NNBW: What’s the last concert or sporting event you attended?
Davies: Dodger Game at Dodger Stadium — Go Dodgers!
NNBW: Where’s your perfect vacation spot?
Davies: Puerto Rico.
NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada and what do you like most about working/living here?
Davies: I wasn’t born in Nevada, but I grew up most of my life here and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I love our community, the weather and all the outdoor activities we can do here year-round!
To suggest a candidate for NNBW’s weekly question and answer column, look at our editorial calendar (http://apps.nnbw.com/utils/pdfs/9683736R.pdf and contact reporter Rob Sabo at email@example.com or call 775-850-2146.