Our Employee Spotlight series aims to shine a light on the talented individuals behind Oakleaf’s achievements. This edition features an in-depth interview with the Managing Director of Business Development, Michael Ehms, offering insights into his professional journey, daily responsibilities, and the values that shape his work ethic.
Q: How long have you been with Oakleaf and what is your title?
A: I’ve been a proud member of the Oakleaf team for a year, serving as the Managing Director in Business Development. My role includes forging and nurturing business relationships, while also broadening our compliance and risk management services for both new and existing clients.
Q: What does your typical day at work look like?
A: My days are dynamic and engaging, involving prospecting new clients, networking, and cultivating business opportunities. I stay up to date on the latest market trends and actively collaborate with our internal teams. A key part of my role is fostering strong client relationships and tailoring solutions to meet their needs.
Q: Can you tell us about your professional background?
A: My career spans various facets of the industry, including Vendor Management, Title Insurance, Appraisal, Mortgage Insurance, and Third-Party Risk Oversight Sales. I’ve had the opportunity to excel both as an individual contributor and as a Sales Manager.
Q: What inspired you to join Oakleaf, and how has your journey been so far?
A: I was drawn to Oakleaf by the incredible energy, knowledge, and expertise within the team. So far, the journey has been a rich learning experience, constantly challenging me to grow and contribute towards our collective goals.
Q: What’s a significant learning experience you’ve had while working at Oakleaf?
A: My tenure at Oakleaf has been a testament to the idea that learning is a continuous journey. Each day presents new challenges that test my industry knowledge and skills, reminding me that there’s always room for growth and progression.
Q: How do you collaborate with other team members, and what do you enjoy most about working with your team?
A: Our team comprises numerous Subject Matter Experts, making collaboration a daily and enriching experience. Whether through one-on-one calls, team discussions, or seeking advice, the most rewarding aspect is our mutual support and shared commitment to achieving our goals.
Q: How do you maintain a work-life balance, and what activities do you enjoy outside of work?
A: Striking a work-life balance is key for me. I give my all during work hours but also know the importance of unplugging to spend quality time with my family. Outside work, I enjoy playing golf, watching hockey, and trying new restaurants with my wife.
Q: What aspect of our company culture do you appreciate the most?
A: What stands out for me is our clear communication, strong focus on employee well-being, ample growth opportunities, and a collective drive towards achieving well-defined goals.
Q: What’s something most colleagues don’t know about you?
A: A little-known fact about me is that I’m the youngest of nine siblings – I have five sisters and three brothers!
Q: If you weren’t working in this industry, what alternative career path might you have pursued?
A: If I hadn’t gone into this field, I could see myself as a teacher and coach.
Q: What three words would you use to describe Oakleaf?
A: Focused, Professional, Rewarding
Q: What would you say to someone considering a career with Oakleaf?
A: If you’re contemplating a career with Oakleaf, expect to join a talented team, where dedication to both employee and client success is a top priority. It’s a place where your career will not just grow but flourish.
Q: Where is your hometown?
A: Buffalo, NY
Q: What music are you currently listening to?
A: My playlist is a blend of U2, Zac Brown, Jack Johnson, and I’m a big fan of Sinatra’s classics.
Q: What’s your favorite book, movie, or TV show, and why does it resonate with you?
A: I have a couple of favorite books: “A Son of the Game” by James Dodson, a wonderful father-son story, and “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown, an inspiring story about achieving one’s goals, centered around the Olympics.
Q: What’s one thing on your bucket list that you’re most excited about?
A: I’m looking forward to a golf trip to Scotland with my son, who seems to be already planning it, and a European adventure with my wife.
Stay tuned for more spotlights on the people who make Oakleaf a great place to work!
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