If you told Rebecca Post in 1997 that she’d end up running an insurance company and mentoring teenagers and adults – she probably wouldn’t have believed you. Post was a two time graduate of Florida State, taking on the world with a Bachelor‘s in Communications and a Master‘s in Communications and Rhetorical Theory. Her career path started in the Governor’s office and weaved it’s way into politics, teaching and now back to a business her family founded. This is her story.
A Winding Career Path
“My goal in school was to pursue real world experience in a bunch of fields,” she explained. Her motivated spirit landed her an internship in the Florida Govenor’s office in 1994, where she penned press releases, letters to constituents and laid the foundation of her professional life. During former Governor Lawton Chiles time in office, Post was able to assist in planning and attend a fundraising event for Al Gore. “As a junior in college, it was amazing access to that level of leadership.”
Sparked by the political realm, Post went to work for a lobbyist. After finishing another internship in political communication, Post was still pushing for diversified experience in the field and she later went to work for an advertising agency. Encouraged by her mother, Post applied for a scholarship/grant program from the Florida House of Representatives that financed her Master’s degree in exchange for work at the House of Representatives.
“It was such an incredible honor, I was chosen from many other applicants and couldn’t believe it,” she shared. “I made a concious decision to not just learn my coursework, but to marry that with what was happening in the real world.”
Ambition and experience in hand, the new graduate returned home to Port St. Lucie, Fl. to a position as a Marketing Coordinator for Armellini Expresslines. Spread across the state, Post had the opportunity to travel and explore the state. When the local college, Indian River State College, offered Post an adjunct position teaching Communications she followed her passion once again. It was 1998 and Post was teaching eager students the art form of public speaking and general communications. Through her adjunct position, she was offered a job working as a speech writer and legislative liaison for the President’s Office of Indian River State College. Four years and hundreds of speeches later, her career path made another turn.
“If it weren’t for my Master’s degree, I wouldn’t have had an opportunity to teach and eventually join the President’s office. I didn’t know it at the time, but my education set the tone for the rest of my career.”
A Family Affair
When asked about running an insurance company and if she ever imagined this would be her career, Post’s response was simple and quick: there is nothing more important than family. Post Insurance was founded by her father in 1979 and has flourished in St. Lucie County as the largest insurance company and is now one of the oldest businesses in town.
“I grew up around the business – answering phones, filing, a little bit of everything. I always swore I’d never work in the family business, but it was the right time to come in and there truly isn’t anything like family.”
Now at Post Insurance for 12 years, Post has seen the business through the intense hurricanes of 2004 and consequent legislative changes in 2006. While insurance and communications seem worlds away – Post found herself turning back to her education on a daily basis. “I run a communication strategy that is ever changing – diverse populations, the private sector, referral sources, the media, the community – everyday is a new challenge.”
A few years back Post Insurance acquired another company, presenting a new challenge for Post. The industry standard for client retention after an acquisition is 65%. Post set a goal of retaining 85% and employed a communication strategy that allowed the company to retain 92% of acquired customers at the end of the first year. Two years ago, she ran a rebranding campaign where she crowdsourced logo designs and received over 100 submissions from all over the world.
“You go right back to the classroom, the strategy and the theory you learn in the textbook is right! If you analyze, set your goals, make a plan and execute – it really does work!”
Sharing the Love
Most of all, Post’s love for people and the community shines through. “As an employer, I am so proud to provide jobs for people,” she said. “To know that our company enables people to support their families and send their children to school is everything for me.” For the past six years, she has been heavily involved with the Boys and Girls Club teaching high school kids about public speaking, interpersonal skills, interviewing and group skills to compete for the Youth of the Year competition. Last year’s winner, Saleisha Ellis, is now a freshman at Florida State University.
Feeding her love for teaching communication, she has recently started coaching adults as a private Business Coach & Acculturation Expert. “It’s so incredibly rewarding – you’re helping them make a better life for their family and it could impact their families for generations.”
Recently, Post coached a Brazillian couple as they prepared for the US Citizenship test. Post taught history, civics and current events in the America, but particularly enjoys teaching others about the values and ideals of the American Spirit. The couple invited her to attend their citizenship ceremony, pictured on the right.
When she isn’t changing the insurance world, teaching or coaching, Becky is still an involved member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
“If I could give students today advice, it would be to take advantage of all the resources available during college. Meet as many people and get as much experience as possible – you never know where it will lead.”