I help insurance and financial services industry leaders think differently and embrace new ways of engaging today’s evolving consumers to achieve better results.
How do you inspire and empower clients to find “what’s next” for their organizations?
What I do is START the process of thinking differently about a business and the leaders’ roles in it. I’ve always been frustrated by the gap between consumer perception and the industry’s intentions. It is only getting worse over time. The industry is complaining about the same things over and over, pressing the old buttons, making it harder to get results, and it is not moving the needle. My job is to empower industry leaders to look at things in a new way and flip the paradigms in their minds to open them up to possibilities. After they do, my colleagues—the innovation gurus—take over, and I assist by helping the nonindustry people understand the industry people and vice versa.
What’s your story?
I’m fortunate enough to have grown up in the business but never totally grown up. Grownups are not good innovators. You always have to stay in the mindset of a child, or at least know how to put yourself in it to imagine new possibilities. Writing the book Flirting With the Uninterested—Innovating in a “Sold, Not Bought” Category with Mike Maddock was a cathartic experience. It allowed me to free my mind to imagine possibilities that don’t yet exist, without limits of worrying about legacy systems, regulation, channel conflict, etc. It’s helped to express the things that industry leaders now agree needed to be said.
VP marketing, Prudential; CMO, Guardian; MBA, Hofstra University; LOL, Manhattan Comedy School; chosen as one of the 20 Most Creative People in Insurance by National Underwriter in 2015
Maria in 30 seconds: black INTJ wine cheese mel brooks music comedy pink floyd dark side of the moon floral arranging spa travel freakonomics flute slippers hofstra university manhattan comedy school singing backups gilda radner creative introspective thoughtful kind sports illiterate caring humor friends godchildren making music baby creativity is the ultimate solution to discomfort “M”
Maria’s Speaker Kit
Maria Ferrante Schepis’ Speaker Kit
Maria Ferrante-Schepis, MBA, CLU, is managing principal of Insurance and Financial Services Innovation at Maddock Douglas, Inc., an internationally recognized innovation consulting firm focused on helping large brands bring new ideas to market. Prior to Maddock Douglas, Maria was vice president and chief marketing officer at Guardian in New York City since 2007, and vice president of marketing at Prudential in Newark, New Jersey from 1999 – 2007. Maria holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing and a Master of Business Administration in management from Hofstra University. She also holds a Chartered Life Underwriter designation from The American College. Maria was also chosen as one of the “20 Most Creative People in Insurance” by National Underwriter in 2015.
“It was a pleasure to feature Maria at LIMRA. Maria never disappoints, and clearly the audience agrees! Thank you to Maria for providing such a valuable session at the Marketing & Research Conference. I look forward to working with her in the future.”
— Donna Ericson, Director, Conferences, LIMRA