Meet Arrow Benefits Group's Mariah Shields, one of North Bay Business Journal's 2019 Forty Under 40
Mariah Shields, 30, principal for Arrow Benefits Group in Petaluma, is one of North Bay Business Journal's Forty Under 40 notable young professionals for 2019.
Responsibilities with your company: I have three core roles within Arrow Benefits Group:
1) Client Development: I am one of two Arrow Team Members whose core purpose is client development. My goals are based on financial metrics that are created by the leadership team. Those metrics are imperative in allowing Arrow to fulfill our commitment to our annual and long term goals for employee development, geographical expansion and increasing our resources to the clients we serve.
2) Arrow Leadership Team: I am part of our five-member leadership team. This team has a set monthly meeting and additional ad hoc meetings when necessary. Our purpose is to creative innovative ideas that allow for company growth and industry development. Additionally, we set management goals that allow for ongoing accountability and efficiency within the organization. Finally, we deal with any high level issues in terms of financial planning and sustainability. 3) Outreach Committee: I co-founded and lead the Arrow Outreach Committee whose sole purpose is to focus on community outreach Through that committee I developed our Volunteering Time Off program. Some of our VTO program opportunities in 2018 included a yard clean up at COTS, sponsoring a Walk-a-Thon for the American Heart Association, having office wide participation in UCP's StepTember event (where employees raised more that $6,000), planting at Petaluma Bounty, and more! Our outreach committee has also developed a $10,000 operating budget that allows us to donate to fundraisers and other important community events. This has allowed us to sponsor numerous non-profit clients as well as other organizations near and dear to our employees hearts.
In addition to our operating budget, that committee facilitated substantial Arrow donations to: 1)United Cerebral Palsy of the North Bay for their roofing project 2)Novato community hospital for a new piece of equipment 3)North Bay Children's Center for their classroom campaign and 4)A major sponsorship for a Big Brothers Big Sisters event in San Francisco.
How do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty Under 40 professional?:
I believe through hard work and an investment in time and energy, their are no limits to what our generation can do.
Years with company: 8
Length of time in current position: 2
No. companywide employees: 80
No. who report to you: 10
Greatest professional accomplishment: I think my greatest accomplishment at Arrow has been my focus on organizational development (before I moved into client development). In my role on the Leadership Team, it was my idea to create a Managing Partner position to begin a long term succession planning program.
I was thrilled to nominate Stephen McNeil whose companywide leadership has helped our organization reach the next level. We have increased efficiency and improved role clarity company wide. This organizational change allowed me to move into client development where I am able to make a direct impact on our top level company growth and our bottom line.
Greatest professional challenge: In my industry, most of the professionals in my role have been in the business for 25-40+ years. While I continue to focus on developing my industry knowledge (I live by the motto Always Be Learning), competing against seasoned professionals requires that I am also constantly creating new innovative ideas that will increase my value add offer to prospective clients. I actually think this helps, because it allows me and my counterpart to set new standards for our industry.
Best advice received: Always make sure you enjoy what you do, it will make you even better at it.
Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: While I have helped add over $1,000,000 to Arrow Revenue in the past year, I was incredibly honored to have received the NBBJ Philanthropy Award last year. That recognition was appreciated and helped me re-engage with my personal brand.
I love what I do for a living, but I am passionate about philanthropy and I work hard to create the flexibility in my life to do both.
What steps is your company taking to sustain your organization and morale in the current economy?: Our leadership team often reflects on the quote from a janitor that worked at Nasa. When asked what his job was at Nasa, his response was, “To put a man on the moon.” My leadership team believes that in order for our business to be sustainable and, furthermore, continue to grow, we must ensure that everyone at Arrow understands that they play a part in that outcome.