Author Archives: Rick Parks, Society Insurance President and Chief Executive Officer

About Rick Parks, Society Insurance President and Chief Executive Officer

Rick facilitates setting the culture, mission and vision of Society Insurance, and works with the management team and employees to achieve the organizations goals. Rick is heavily involved with a number of local trade groups and charities.

Public Policy Advocacy

With politicians at all levels seemingly out of touch with many of us, it’s only natural to develop an attitude of “does it matter what I think?” Politicians are going to do what they like no matter what I think or say.

While this may have more truth today than was the case in the past, I would suggest that individuals and advocacy groups can still make a difference, and affect the direction of public policy.

I’ve been involved in a number of organizations or supported causes over the years that had a need for political engagement. I’ve testified at committee hearings in the state legislature and sat down with my United States Senator. In meeting and communicating with state legislators, members of congress or other political leaders I’ve noticed some common things: (more…)

Honor the Past, Embrace the Present, Celebrate the Future

As Society Insurance enters its 100th year, our approach to 2015 is simple: Honor the Past, Embrace the Present and Celebrate the Future. Most people don’t get the chance to work for a company that has been around for 100 years, and even fewer have the opportunity to be on the job when the big event occurs.

We’ll take this year to reflect a bit on the people and events that shaped who we are today, but we certainly won’t become lost in nostalgia. Too many exciting things are going on right now to put all of our attention to history. Today is a gift … that’s why they call it the present. Embracing the present and celebrating where we’re headed in the future will be a big part of this year, as well.

Anyone who has led a group or an organization knows how hard it is to keep it going, yet alone to move it forward. When we consider the people who have led our company over nearly 100 years, it’s impossible to not be humbled and impressed by their contributions. Trying new things and innovating wasn’t simply a matter of incrementally improving results in the early days; it was a matter of survival. Imagine leading the Brotherhood of Thresherman’s Mutual Insurance Company — founded for the purpose of providing workers compensation insurance to grain threshing crews — when there were no longer grain threshing operations. You had a name, a product line and a business plan that was suddenly obsolete. Now what? (more…)

Career Crossroads

About twenty years ago I was presented with a career crossroads decision. I was with a fine company, working with people I respected and liked and had a fair understanding where my career was going. But this comfortable existence was interrupted by the opportunity to lead the entrance of a company into the state where I had lived and worked for the past twelve years. I was to be given a huge amount of latitude to do this the way I saw fit and it involved leading many disciplines in our business that I had not directly been involved with to that point and perhaps never would be with my current employer.

This required me to do some deep introspection about what made me tick. (more…)

Supporting our Communities

My parents were role models to me in supporting the community. While they were of modest means, they were tireless in giving their time when it was needed in the small Indiana town where I grew up. They ran my Cub Scout Pack when no one else stepped up; my father served as Pack Leader and my mother ran three different groups of boys as a Den Mother out of our home. When something needed to be fixed, painted or otherwise kept in good order at our little country church, my father always volunteered. My mother taught a Sunday school class for years and helped run Vacation Bible School. Outside of formal groups doing good work in the community, my mother spent many years making weekly visits to elderly friends who couldn’t take care of themselves but wanted to stay in their homes. She organized her friends to step in and help, too.

It seemed natural to me to get involved in community service work due to the example my parents set. (more…)