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Manager, Melinda Kachelriess, on creating new and important relationships for Brightway

Sep 7, 2021

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Melinda Kachelriess had worked in many different positions in the insurance industry and was looking to grow her knowledge, so in March 2020, she joined Brightway as a Carrier Research and Development Specialist.

Kachelriess was a quick study and earned a promotion to Carrier Appointment Manager a year later.

In her current role, Kachelriess manages the Carrier Appointment team of six. During a recent interview, she shared that the Department is growing and has openings for the following roles:

Carrier Research and Development Specialist

Carrier Appointment Specialist

She shared helpful insights about each position.

Carrier Research and Development Specialist Having been promoted from the position, Kachelriess explained what the Carrier Research and Development Specialist does.

She said, “They conduct research on the insurance market to identify new carriers that are a good fit for the Brightway model, and they develop and build relationships with new and existing carriers to promote long-term successful partnerships with Brightway.”

When asked what success looks like for someone in this role, she responded, “To me, it was rewarding to know that you onboarded a good carrier that was a good fit for agents. Later you get to see that production and that agents are producing with that new carrier, and it just proves that you have created a new and important relationship for Brightway as a whole.”

She added must-have skills and qualities to be successful in the role are:

  • Attention to detail
  • Research
  • Critical thinking
  • Effective communicator

Carrier Appointment Specialist Kachelriess, who is the hiring manager for the Carrier Appointment Specialist position, also shared insights about that role.

“The Appointment Specialist role is crucial to Brightway’s success,” she said. “We assist with onboarding the new carriers and setting up new appointments for our agents. We also are responsible for setting up new franchise offices in the system and getting them appointments with current carriers that we have.”

She added, “We’re looking for strong candidates who have strong attention to detail, great organization skills, an insurance background is a huge plus and a strong desire to work as a part of a collaborative team. We are very heavily team-oriented.”

Teamwork makes the dream work She shared more about the collaborative nature of her team’s work and how they stay connected.

“We’re working remotely full-time right now. I engage with them (the team) on a daily basis,” she said.

“We use Microsoft teams. We chat. I have constant phone calls with them. We do have once-a-week team meetings, and I have one-on-ones (meetings) with them once or twice a week or every other week. We’re in constant contact.”

She also said it’s her team that keeps her motivated, “I love the people who I work with. I often refer to them as rock stars. They keep us afloat, they keep things interesting and entertaining and they outperform in their roles every day.”

Furthermore, she added why she loves working at Brightway, “I love the positive energy at Brightway. There are a lot of positive vibes, and the people are fun. I enjoy meeting all the new people and working there.”

Words of wisdom For others starting their careers at Brightway, Kachelriess suggested, “Be flexible and always be ready to learn more. There’s a lot to learn.”

She also had these words of wisdom to share, “Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone and always challenge yourself to do more.”

About Brightway Insurance Founded in 2008, Brightway has since grown to 325 locations across 25 states serving customers in all 50 states. In 2021, the Jacksonville Business Journal named the company one of the Best Places to Workand one of the Fastest Growing Companies in Northeast Florida for the past 13 years. Brightway also landed on the Inc. 5000 list for the 10th time in 2021. At Home Office, Brightway employees focus on delivering all-encompassing business support that empowers agents to sell more.

Brightway employees enjoy:

  • Competitive salary
  • Market-leading Paid Time Off—in the first year, you earn 14 paid days off in addition to six paid company holidays and one “floating holiday” that you can take at any time
  • Medical/Dental/Life/Disability Insurance
  • Market-leading 401(k) with 4% match
  • Tuition reimbursement regardless of course of study
  • Comprehensive paid training

Most importantly, they enjoy a family based culture of inclusiveness where they can build positive, supportive relationships with co-workers, customers and agents.

Learn more about open positions at Brightway and starting a career with the company at