Meet the Team – Product Strategy
Vice President, Product Strategy & General Manager Ancillary Markets, Janae Sorenson joined BCS a few months back, amid a pandemic and the years-long strategy to roll out new ancillary/voluntary benefit products. Janae, who lives in Portland, Oregon, is a remote BCS employee, regardless of our current COVID environment. Here, she shares her first impressions of BCS, her typical day as a remote employee in a different time zone, and the projects she’s focused on to lead our ancillary/voluntary lines of business.
Q: What does a typical day look like for you at BCS?
A: I am on Pacific Standard Time so I have to take into account the two-hour time difference. Some days I may have a 6:30 am call so don’t expect to see me “camera ready” on those days! I set my West Coast calls for later in the day so most of you have gone home and I have a few hours to focus on business development for the West Coast. My role is a blend of product development, strategy and sales. My main focus is growing our ancillary/voluntary lines of business.
Q: Tell us about a project you are working on.
A: I am working on the Ancillary Sales Strategy for 2021. We work through different distribution channels, and each of these channels has unique characteristics so we are trying to modify our plans to make sure we are differentiated and efficient in each channel. Unlike national carriers that have a large sales force all over the country, we are getting creative about how we market, sell and enroll voluntary products.
Q: What about a project you’ve got on the horizon?
A: We are developing some co-branded product opportunities for ancillary/voluntary products, and marketing our suite of products to current customers and broker partners.
Q: What was your first impression of BCS?
A: Because my interview and hiring process were done during COVID, I have only gotten to know people virtually. I have been surprised at how welcomed I have felt even though I haven’t met people in person yet. Everyone has been so helpful, thoughtful, collaborative and creative. The talent is so strong. I am continually amazed at everything we are involved in – especially given the number of employees we have. The “can do” attitude has been inspiring.
Q: Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?
A: My resolution is to be better at fitting in my workouts on days that I start my meetings before my “normal” work hours. I just can’t seem to wake up, exercise and shower in time for 6:30 meetings! Walking at lunch would be ideal but the winters in Portland are so rainy so I am exploring online workouts and trying to use my elliptical machine for actually working out vs as a clothes rack.