Bringing a genuine sense of caring to the demographic she serves, Kathy Godwin, New England team manager at Anthem BlueCross BlueShield, oversees a group of 17 in the Medicare division. Through client interactions, community outreach and presentations, her group keeps the public informed of the services and products available to seniors and those living with disabilities, and helps eligible clients to make the best choices.
“Some people may see older folks as just sitting in a chair, but they are so much more than that. If you’ll listen, they have the time to talk, and share their stories,” she said. It’s those stories that she relishes.
“There is no better teacher than experience, and these people have the wisdom of experience. I’ve talked with people who are close to 100 years old. They’re true historians.”
Colleague Traci O’Brien said this quality is one of the things that inspired her to nominate Godwin for a Women of FIRE award. “She’s able to connect with all ages, but has the patience of a saint when it comes to working with seniors,” O’Brien said. “She can hold a conversation with anyone, making them feel comfortable, that they’re in good hands with her.”
Godwin began her career in the insurance industry. After graduating from Pace University with a degree in business administration, she worked as an actuary in the financial planning division of Connecticut General, soon to become Cigna.
After a brief pause to raise her family, she re-entered the industry at Kaiser Permanente in Medicare sales, and later moved over to Anthem BlueCross BlueShield. Now with BCBS for the past 11 years, she recently was promoted to group manager.
“Kathy was committed to leading the New England team even before she was our manager,” O’Brien said. “She is a natural born leader, never makes excuses and is there for us, no matter what.”
Outside of work, Godwin enjoys downtime at home, appreciating simple pleasures, such as spending time with family and her three now-grown children.
Having raised a family and, more recently, cared for her ailing father, she’s no stranger to the work/life balance faced by many young women. She encourages women not to hesitate to set expectations and establish routines, and not to stress too much about small things.
“It’s really just a short time – with my dad, just a year or two, and we were able to keep him at home longer. Actually a short period of time overall, and I try to be grateful for it,” she said.
As for finding balance, she laughed and shared something that got her through, especially when her children were younger: “Get up before everyone else in the house!”