April 21, 2020

SMW Spotlight: Siobhan Sheils

First things first – how do you actually pronounce your first name?

Sha-Vawn. Although when I’m ordering at Starbucks, I usually just use something easy like Kelly, Bobbi or Sue…

What was the first job you ever had?

My very first job was doing data entry at Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Then I saw an ad from SMW for an administrative assistant job. I interviewed with Paul (Winnick) – Bruce was away handling hurricane claims somewhere. I interviewed with Bruce when he returned, and started working here soon after that. And I’ve been here ever since.

How have your responsibilities at SMW changed since your initial hire?

I’ve taken on a lot more responsibility since I started 27 years ago.  For the first 11 years, I was an admin assistant. Then, in 2004, the company had the need for an additional PA and I was offered the chance to take it.  I started helping Diane because she had multiple large homeowner claims, and needed assistance with personal property claims. Then the company continued giving me chances to do more and elevate my responsibilities. I loved it from the start – being out in the field, doing inventories, as opposed to sitting at a desk and being sedentary. I would much rather do less admin and have more action.

What’s the hardest part of being a public adjuster?

Negotiating and dealing with insurance companies can be really challenging. It’s hard sometimes because you can’t always get what you’re looking for. In certain circumstances, what we feel the client is entitled to get just isn’t achievable. On the client side, there are always sensitivities based on each person’s individual makeup. People who are savers, for example, don’t like to get rid of things.  It’s always hard letting go of personal effects, and sometimes we have to be the voice of reason and help them move forward. We’re hired to do a job, and we want to help them out as much as possible. That can mean communicating the limited practical value of clinging to items that are totally lost or unsalvageable.

What was your most memorable claim?

I handled a big fire in Concord.  When we were done, the adjuster representing the insurance company sent an email saying: “In my 26 years on the job, this is the best-assembled claim I’ve seen.” It’s very rare that an adjuster says a positive remark like that – especially this particular adjuster, who is known for being tight-lipped. That was very gratifying.

What are your hobbies?

I like to go to my kids’ basketball games, as well as hanging out with my sisters and extended family. We like to go out to dinner and get away together. Aruba is always a favorite destination of mine, and next month I’m going to Costa Rica.

What are your favorite sports teams?

The Celtics, and the Bruins.

What’s your favorite food?

Pizza – with black pepper!

What’s your favorite restaurant?

Alba in Quincy. Or Spazio in Braintree.

What’s the worst trend you participated in?

Sad to say, I once wore fluorescent overalls and fluorescent socks. With HUGE hair.  (“And recently her choice in jeans has been questionable. Bedazzled?!? Distressed?!?” – Mindi)

What is your best quality?

My friends say I’m a true friend – very loyal.  My colleagues say I’m a hard worker and entertaining.

What’s always in your purse?

Lip gloss

What was the last concert you attended?

Jason Aldean. And I have Zach Brown coming up.

What’s your favorite daily attire?

A scarf

What’s your favorite TV show?

Friends; and Will and Grace.

What are the 5 most recent photos on your phone?

My daughter’s filthy room; a bathing suit I want to wear; my lottery winnings; and funny memes.

What superpower would you have?

To be able to disappear sometimes.

Who’s your celebrity crush?

Jon Gruden. I love when he gets so angry!

How do you maintain work-life balance?

You just do what you have to do.

What trait are you most proud of in your children?

They are very respectful to others – to teachers and adults — though not to me (!)

What are your 2020 resolutions?

I haven’t made them yet, but I’d like to get more exercise.

What is something that someone wouldn’t know about you?

I like to gamble.

What would you be doing if you weren’t in this industry?

Maybe run a stay-at-home daycare.

What makes your day?

My coffee – Starbucks, black!

Swerling Milton Winnick

Swerling Milton Winnick

If you’ve had a fire, flood or other property loss resulting in an insurance claim, and need a public insurance adjuster in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New England or anywhere in the U.S. or Caribbean, call Swerling Milton Winnick. We are the oldest and largest public adjusting firm in New England, and our team of experts will give you personalized, 24/7 attention to successfully resolve your residential or business insurance claim.
If you’ve had a fire, flood or other property loss resulting in an insurance claim, and need a public insurance adjuster in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New England or anywhere in the U.S. or Caribbean, call Swerling Milton Winnick. We are the oldest and largest public adjusting firm in New England, and our team of experts will give you personalized, 24/7 attention to successfully resolve your residential or business insurance claim.