Mary A. Keysor, Ph.D., serves as the chief operations officer and oversees the financial and operational activities for Arizona-based AssuredPartners AZ agencies (the recent combined partnership of GBP Risk Solutions, DM Lovitt Insurance and Health InsuranceAZ). AssuredPartners is the 13th-largest insurance broker for U.S. businesses, and manages a large portfolio of corporate and personal insurance packages.
In her role as COO, Keysor translates the larger corporate mission to the local team members. While operations is her purview, her passion lies with the individual team members who are ultimately responsible for the organization’s progress and success.
“My biggest reward comes from helping to create and maintain a wonderful workplace culture,” she said. “It makes all the difference.”
Keysor brings extensive experience in the insurance industry to her role, along with training and education in the field of organizational development and human resources. She has owned her own insurance agency, managed the employee benefits department for GBP Risk Solutions, now part of AssuredPartners AZ, and provided organizational development consulting services to other business owners and leaders. Keysor shared that she worked at a company with a horrific workplace culture and 425 percent turnover, and uses that experience and perspective to drive a better work environment.
Keysor’s transition to the COO position with AssuredPartners AZ reflected a natural transition from prior management experience within the organization, and external experiences as an industry expert and consultant. Her education includes a bachelor’s in psychology, master’s in educational counseling, and a Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology.
Keysor is leading the process of consolidating the firms into the current AssuredPartners AZ agency. Her strategies include regular agency wide communication, staff inclusion in the decision making process, an open door policy for all leadership and employee engagement activities. Mary is actively involved in ensuring a purposeful workplace culture; one that is nurtured regularly through open dialogue, transparency, acceptance and accountability.
Keysor shared valuable tips to help with mergers and acquisitions: Have a key leadership team that is in sync with the business objectives; have a well thought out plan and avoid making hasty decisions; where possible, allow time for planning and logistics; take charge of the brand by developing a good transition plan for all internal and external stakeholders; answer all questions, even when the answers are not yet clear.; make sure there is consistent messaging; assess all staff for best fit, coaching, development, and recruiting (Keysor highly recommends the Predictive Index (PI) suite of assessments); and maintain a positive attitude.
In terms of teamwork: Create a team that represents all the merging businesses to lead fun activities to bring people together. The AssuredPartners “Fun Squad” creates and leads team building and fun activities on a monthly basis; empower internal teams to review and make recommendations for new policies and procedures and include everyone in team meetings. They use video conferencing every Monday for their all staff meeting.
Keysor actively supports her industry and profession, serves as a board member for the Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona, helps facilitate human resource professional learning endeavors through The Society for Human Resource Management of Greater Tucson, and participates in a variety of local, non-profit endeavors.
Inside the Corner Office is an Inside Tucson Business regular feature taking an inside look in the minds and lives of Tucson’s business executives. Theresa Mary Fischer is the senior director of PR and marketing strategy at Bolchalk FReY Marketing.