Members who have consulted the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (California JPIA)’s help desk likely have a special appreciation for Office Assistant Maria Daniels, who commemorated five years of providing administrative support to training operations for the Authority in November.
“Maria leverages her incredible customer service skills to collaborate with our members and resolve issues,” said Chief Executive Officer Jon Shull. “By listening with authentic empathy—and, when appropriate, exercising her silly sense of humor—she builds strong, lasting relationships with both her colleagues and our members.”
Daniels joined the Authority in 2016 from Iron Mountain, a storage and information management service provider, where she supported the company’s in-house sales, transportation, and operations departments. She was tasked with preserving confidential records, resolving issues, fulfilling requests, and educating customers on policies and procedures. She earned accolades for her exceptional service, including recognition in a nationwide customer service survey and employee-of-the-quarter honors. In addition, she was tapped to participate in an internal mentoring and leadership program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art and art studies from California State University, Long Beach.
At the California JPIA, where she staffs the training department’s help desk, Daniels provides exceptional service while resolving technological issues such as access with usernames and passwords. She approaches each call as an opportunity to share as much information as possible, anticipating the next steps and future needs before hanging up.
“I want our members to know that I am here for them,” said Daniels. “I want them to walk away from our conversation knowing that I listened with all of my attention and addressed their issue with compassion.”
The Authority’s Annual Risk Management Educational Forum allows Daniels to flex her customer-service skills and her artistic background as part of the Marketing & Media Committee. That committee is responsible for developing a consistent graphic identity and theme for the event, both online and in print.
Daniels also supports data entry and scheduling for training. After trainings are completed, she manages the closeout process: reviewing and confirming attendance, awarding credit, and generating and sending certificates of completion. Her role is critical to maintaining an accurate history of members’ elected officials, supervisors, and staff who have completed state and federally mandated training on workplace harassment and other important topics.
“What I like most about working in the training department,” said Daniels, “is using my background in in-house sales support, as well as my customer-centric skills and abilities, being a resource for not only my coworkers but also, most importantly, our members.”
The Authority congratulates Maria on her five-year anniversary.
Providing innovative risk management solutions for its public agency partners for more than 40 years, the (California JPIA) is one of the largest municipal self-insurance pools in the state, with more than 120 member cities and other governmental agencies. Members actively participate in shaping the organization to provide important coverage for their operations. The California JPIA provides innovative risk management solutions through a comprehensive portfolio of programs and services, including liability, workers’ compensation, pollution, property, and earthquake coverage, as well as extensive training and loss control services. For more information, please visit the California JPIA’s website at cjpia.org.