It’s with exceptional privilege that we announce the appointment of Penny Malouf as Vice President, Employee Benefits as a Consultant at Burnham. Penny joined our team backed by 25+ years in the industry and holds extensive expertise in executing benefit program strategies for mid to large complex groups. Her committed advocacy for her clients paired with her breadth of experience leave no doubt that she will be a vital asset to our continued growth and success.
Regional President, Kristen Allison, spoke on her confidence in Penny’s ability to lead Burnham in her new role, stating: “I’ve been working to recruit Penny over to Burnham 10+ years, and have always been impressed with her experience, and solid relationships with her clients, colleagues, and carrier partners. I know she’ll be an asset to all that work with her in supporting our growing opportunities for key client leadership.”
We are not only confident in the decision to have Penny at the helm of Burnham as Vice President, but we are equally excited to have her as a part of our growing team. As Burnham continues to experience unprecedented growth in support of its various clients, Penny’s innate and natural leadership will prove invaluable to our team.
“For me it’s very important to be genuine with my clients and to put their interests in front of my own, a value I know is shared and practiced among my colleagues at Burnham,” Penny writes. “I look forward to helping our colleagues and clients succeed in their goals, manage benefit concerns, mitigate costs, and make sure they’re compliant.”
We sat down with Penny Malouf and Regional President Kris Allison to talk about her past experience, why Burnham, and just to get to know her more. A transcript of our interview can be found below:
Tell us a little bit about your past experience and how you got into the benefits industry.
Penny: Oh wow…I think when I began my career in benefits paying claims with computers was just becoming a thing! I started out on the Customer Service side, which I loved because I really felt like I was helping people by solving problems strategically. That experience informed and inspired what I do to this day. Following that role, I worked in Account Management under a Consultant, where I helped with the day to day of benefit plans and then as an Account Executive, where I was responsible for developing and implementing innovative benefits strategies. After that, I moved into an Executive Consultant role, always focused on our clients’ needs and striving to advocate for those needs whatever they were – big or small.
Kris: I think that’s the most striking thing about Penny – her reputation is her loyalty. There’s a sincerity she embodies to always protect clients and employees.
Penny: For me it’s very important to be genuine with my clients and to put their interests in front of my own, a value I know is shared and practiced among my colleagues at Burnham. I look forward to helping our colleagues and clients look good, succeed in their goals, manage benefit concerns, mitigate costs, and make sure they’re compliant.
Kris: Exactly! There’s such a great sense of security for the HR and benefits team. That sense of security is highly apparent in the longevity Penny keeps with all of her professional relationships – and why I’ve been pursuing her for almost 20 years! She’s loyal to employers and clients and they’ve maintained consistent relationships with her because of that.
What are some noteworthy accomplishments from your career?
Penny: When I look back at my career, I think the biggest success I’ve had has been the success of my clients. It’s fun watching your clients grow. This job and industry can be tough – you’re constantly learning and adapting to a changing world. So when I see clients continue to grow over the years, it makes it all worth it.
Kris: I think Penny has earned a Master’s degree in her experience! It’s amazing to see how she has retained and grown clients over her tenure and as she said, in an industry that is never stagnant!
What aspects of Burnham’s culture were appealing to you and how did you hear about Burnham?
Penny: One of my former colleagues came to me and told me so much about Burnham’s world class reputation. Not that I wasn’t already aware, but hearing that from a colleague really solidified my decision because I wanted to be a part of that reputation. I also want to be at a place where people actually love going to work and where the work environment is fun, too! I wanted to be somewhere where people laugh, talk, brainstorm and go to lunch together. Lastly, I’ve seen Burnham’s success in retaining employees and the longevity of the employees who have stayed here. I think that speaks volumes in and of itself about Burnham’s culture.
Tell us a bit about your leadership philosophy. What do you think is the key to professional success?
Penny: Integrity is everything. It should always be your first priority. Make sure you’re doing right by all audiences and understand that you must be able to accept change and be adaptable. In this industry, you can’t just do the same thing over and over again. You have to look at what’s right around the corner and stay two steps ahead. If a client comes to you with a question, don’t just answer the question. Look at why they’re asking that question and strategize solutions for them based on the “why”.
What do you look most forward to or what are you most excited about in your new role at Burnham?
Penny: Working with quality people. No one person can know everything in this industry. There are many different approaches to the same position or job. For me, I most look forward to learning from the people that are here and the breadth of experience they have. The more diversified people there are in a workplace, the more diversified information there is to be shared and to learn from. I can’t wait to collaborate with the Burnham team and learn from their fresh ideas and experiences!
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Penny: When I’m not working, I love spending time with my family (which of course includes our dog) and friends. They are the center of our universe! I also enjoy a bit of gardening, reading and entertaining.
About Burnham Benefits Insurance Services, LLC:
Burnham, a BRP Group, Inc. partner, consults with clients on employee benefits, property and casualty, and retirement and wealth management solutions. Burnham is a national full-service strategic consulting and brokerage firm based in Irvine, California. The company easily adapts to today’s rapidly changing business climate, investing in cutting-edge technology, tools, and resources, and creates customized programs to fit clients’ best interests. A cadre of highly skilled industry professionals and strategic partnerships provide unmatched personal service. Burnham is a Certified B Corporation (B Corp), holds national recognition as one of the Best Places to Work in Insurance by Business Insurance magazine for the ninth year and counting, and over the last decade consistently ranks as one of the Best Places to Work by the Orange County Business Journal, North Bay Business Journal, and Los Angeles Business Journal. For more information, visit BurnhamBenefits.com.