It is all possible!

Donna Dykstra – Leading by Example

When Donna embarked on an administration traineeship 28 years ago, she never imagined the fulfilling career it would lead to today. 

Fresh out of school Donna had taken a job in an insurance agency in her hometown of Bowral before the owner was diagnosed with terminal cancer and needed to close the business. He reached out to some colleagues at Macey Insurance brokers and said, ‘I have a bright young lady here interested in the insurance industry – do you have a role for her?’ Which led to the traineeship.  

Soon after Donna began working towards becoming a broker completing the Certificate 3 and later the Diploma in Insurance Broking. 

It was clear she had the potential for more and was soon tapped on the shoulder by one of the founding partners to ask if she was interested in buying into the business. Donna took the leap of faith and has not looked back.  

Today Donna is one of the two Managing Directors in the business. Donna and Brendan divide up the management components of their roles between them with Donna specialising in compliance and human resources. 

She also still maintains an active caseload: 

“I still manage a large customer portfolio and many of my clients have been with me the 28 years I’ve been in the business.” 

“It’s been incredibly rewarding to grow with their businesses and be a trusted advisor along the way.” 

Donna prides herself on being available to her staff to check in with or collaborate on complex cases. She describes herself as a ‘boots on the ground kind of leader.’ 

“I like to lead by example, get in and do the work and if there is a tough situation – just rip off the bandaid.” 

“We participate in regular professional development and that was one piece of advice that stood out to me at a seminar I attended. The presenter said if there is a big pill to swallow – swallow it upfront and then deal with the aftermath.” 

“If there is a tough conversation to have, I get it out of the way so we can find a way past it and be transparent with people,” she added. 

While connecting with clients is a major part of the appeal in her role, Donna loves the supportive, family-like culture at Macey’s. 

“We had an experienced broker reach out to us recently who is moving to the area, read about us and is looking for work. While we didn’t have a position advertised, we spoke to her and invited her to join our team. She is visiting the area this week ahead of the move and asked if she could pop in to say hi to the team. It’s wonderful that she feels comfortable already to do that.” 

“It is one of the most rewarding things about this role, watching the staff grow, develop, work together and succeed,” added Donna. 

To find out more about Macey Insurance Brokers, visit their ‘featured employer’ page.

 

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