For over a decade, nearly every event, CE, conference, summit, and meeting for IndyAHU members had a little of Amanda “Mandy” Petty’s touch. Today, she recalls her time with Health Underwriters fondly, as if she were a longtime member who recently retired. But Petty is still a member and stays active in her work and career. Her involvement is lower than it was in the past, but that’s thanks in part to much of the work she did for Health Underwriters.
Petty is a Senior Operations Support Specialist for Renaissance Dental. On any normal day, she’d commute Downtown to their South Street offices and work on reconciling agent commissions, retroactive transactions, and market analysis and research in the individual and PPA markets. “It’s a busy, fast-paced time,” she says from her home office. Like most office workers, COVID-19 has kept her away from colleagues.
Her time at Renaissance almost came to a close several years ago. Her career started in retail over thirty years ago when the company was bought and closed by the new owners. “A friend of mine said she needed a secretary at a Maxicare HMO” recalls Petty. That’s when her career in insurance began.
“I went from Maxicare of Indiana to Sagamore PPO in 2001, and that’s when I started in Health Underwriters.” For the last nineteen years, Petty has been a member active in volunteering and leadership. As the Special Events Chair, she planned everything from golf outings to Christmas parties for IndyAHU. Then, she moved into a new role at Renaissance Dental and things changed for the better, the worse, and then back to better again.
“When I started [at Renaissance], I was the Executive Assistant to the Director of Marketing,” Petty remembers. “Back then I was the Assistant Manager of Sales and Support before becoming a manager.” The sequence of promotions would stall there as Renaissance downsized. The staff of fifteen became a team of four—just enough people you could feed with a large pizza. Competition and corporate changes led to the decline of the Renaissance office in Indiana, with brisk consequences. Petty was among the four who survived the shift in 2010 and remains today among a now larger and growing team.
It was an undoubtedly scary time. “Thinking back about Renaissance, I was part of the management level: In that tiered space where people were let go, but I wasn’t,” she says with a contemplative pause. “I could do lots of different things and had knowledge of multiple positions. I was a licensed agent and I was part of Health Underwriters.” Her membership in a professional association might sound superfluous, but she credits it with helping her stand out.
“I think they looked at me and said, ‘This is someone we need to keep.’”
Her work in Health Underwriters hadn’t gone unnoticed. She was awarded Community Member of the Year in 2004-2005 by IndyAHU. The Indiana State Association of Health Underwriters awarded her Volunteer Committee Member of the Year ten years later in 2014-2015. “Both were surprises to me because I was just doing what I was supposed to,” she says.
Her humility is contagious. She clearly cares about the work she does and the people she’s met. She counts membership with bringing her together with close friends like Nicole Fairbairn and Anita Strauss. Plus, her standout performance in Health Underwriters helped create a network she can lean on today. “If there was a time I wanted to move jobs (which I don’t right now), I could go within Health Underwriters and they would be there to give me good references about a job. That’s why I keep in it as much as I can.”
She says “as much as she can” because as her work has changed, so has her commute direction and workload. Together, they just make it challenging for her to be involved as much as she used to be. She and everyone at Renaissance are living up to their company’s name as the teams are growing rapidly again. “Every once in a while I get an email from someone I don’t know asking for a report. So I look them up and find they’re a new person.”
Despite the changes for the better in her professional career, she misses being as involved as she used to be. “I feel kinda bad that I haven’t been as active in Health Underwriters as I wish I could be. I do try to keep my fingers in the pie to let everyone know I’m still here.”
She has no plans to retire completely from Health Underwriters or her work, “but I’m getting close,” she says with a laugh. Her husband, Michael, now works as a warehouse supervisor after spending thirty years in the Indianapolis Police Department and Marion County Sheriff’s Office. They live with their two boxers and enjoy spending time with their two grandsons.