by CIO Staff

The Softer Side of Jan Franklin

Oct 01, 20031 min

When Jan Franklin got called back to the home office to become CIO of Farmers Insurance (as well as the local CIO for the North American consumer business of Farmers’ parent company, Zurich Financial Services), her direct reports at the Los Angeles Service Center (LASC) made up “I Survived Jan” T-shirts. But they also gave her roses and attached a lesson she’d taught them to each flower. “She was the hardest person I ever worked for,” says Mary Monesi, accounting manager at LASC. “But she taught us. She made us look for results.” Franklin carves out time to mentor her employees, holding regular leadership meetings to discuss the latest management theory or walk through a financial statement. Attendance is optional, but the meetings are always packed. Morale is also important to Franklin, who gamely sat in the dunking booth at a carnival she organized for agents and threw an employee appreciation picnic for 500 in the LASC parking lot. Monesi says of working for Franklin: “She made me a better person.”