Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog

Celebrating Women’s History Month: A Profile in Leadership

As we near the end of Women’s History Month – a time to celebrate the social, cultural, economic, and political contributions of women around the world – we wanted to take a moment to highlight, recognize, and celebrate the growing number of female leaders in professional emergency management and here at Hagerty. As an organization, we remain committed to parity and helping break down barriers that will pave the way for the next generation of leaders within our firm and the emergency management profession.

Today, in the spirit of celebration and professional growth, the female members of our leadership team offer words of advice, encouragement, and wisdom they have gained throughout their careers.

Amelia Muccio, Director of Mitigation: Emergency management provides us with the opportunity to work with communities at their most vulnerable. As a leader, I never forget that responsibility.

Cris McCombs, Regional Client Services Director: As a female leader, my experience has shown that obstacles, challenges, and even perceived failures can be your greatest assets. The key is to choose to approach them with the proper attitude.

Judy Hynes, Resource Manager: Persistence, perseverance, and patience – hallmark nouns that define a leader, no matter the crisis.

Katie Grasty, Deputy Director of Mitigation: “It’s time to cheer on girls and women who want to sit at the table.” – Sheryl Sandberg

Katie Freeman, Director of Operations: As a young person, I learned the value of servant leadership and have carried that model forward into my career. As I apply this to the growing Hagerty team, my continued success is rooted in investing in our people and their development, expanding our team and building trust, and supporting those teams to ensure they achieve results. 

Gisele Parry, Regional Client Services Director: One of our greatest freedoms is how we react to things.

Meghan Tosto, Deputy Director of Recovery: During my career, I have appreciated the incredible value of mentorship. Knowing when to ask for guidance, help, or just to have a sounding board from the right person can be so critical to navigating through pivotal decision points or forks in the road.

Nicole Morales, Deputy Director of Preparedness and Response Programs: “As long as you’re living, you should try to grow, try to raise yourself up, and as importantly, raise someone else up with you.” – Chef Leah Chase, New Orleans

April Geruso, Director of Resilience: There are no easy answers in this field, critical thinking is essential — in my career it has been rewarding to build teams passionate about solving complex problems together.

Jessi Nalepa, Communications Director: As a female leader, I have learned that comfort and growth do not often coexist. Push past your perceived limits — you will eventually achieve something you once thought was impossible.

Tanya Shannon, Deputy Director of Recovery: Ultimately, my motto has been “just keep swimming.” In this field we do not have time to second guess, be indirect, or leave anyone behind. With any misstep, we learn from it but then move on, striving to be the calm during and after the storm, supporting those around us to get through the disaster of the day, week, month, or year.

Today, and always, we appreciate these valiant leaders, and their female colleagues, who collectively bring immeasurable talent and value to our firm and our clients daily.