Each month, we feature one member of our smart and scrappy startup family here at Covered. This month, it’s our COO and Co-Founder, Chris Diedrich in the hot seat! When I’m writing the intro for these spotlight articles, I ask the members of our leadership team to give me their thoughts on the person we are featuring. Here is what they had to say about Chris, and what we love about him…
Ross: “Chris fills a critical yet often thankless role at Covered while doing whatever it takes to ensure Covered’s success. From meeting with the Commissioner of Insurance to cleaning the coffee pot, Chris is always willing to step in as a helping hand and contribute across the entire company. Chris is the yin to my yang.”
Jen: “Chris is the MVP, Quarterback, and Cheerleader all rolled into one.”
JC: “Chris is the man behind the scenes holding things together around here…everything from keeping us stocked on coffee and snacks, to ensuring that we are compliant in all the things. Chris is the epitome of a Boy Scout. That’s how he approaches his work , and it’s how he treats other people.”
Truth be told, these are just the highlights. Working at Covered with and for someone like Chris makes work a fun place to be. Our ideas and differences are valued, and the word “team” is synonymous with “family” thanks in large part to his significant and tireless efforts. What would we do without Chris?
So without further ado…
What is your favorite Covered Core Value (Accountability, Transparency, Collaboration, Excellence, and Generosity) and why?
My favorite core value is collaboration. The progress we make and problems we solve by working together is amazing, and the accomplishment is almost always greater than the sum of its parts.
What aspect of your role at Covered do you enjoy the most?
While I love providing our passionate employees with the tools they need to reach their full potential and seeing them succeed, I secretly love helping clients purchase an insurance policy that is exactly what they need. It feels really good to save someone money while decreasing their risk and educating them about how insurance works.
What do you enjoy about working at a start-up?
I love the camaraderie and the ability to make quick decisions that impact the bottom line
What are you listening to/reading these days?
Listening to Jazz 89.3 and about halfway through reading “Fierce Leadership” (Thanks for the copy Jen!)
What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?
I previously enjoyed managing NASA programs, so probably that
What are three career/professional lessons you have learned so far?
Great communication is critical to success in everything you do
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Who you know is often worth more than what you know
What inspires you?
Having the opportunity to change an industry for the better
What three traits define you?
What were you like in high school?
Social, naive, a little reckless. I lettered in orchestra and tennis all four years, so pretty geeky too.
What is one thing about you that people would be surprised if they knew?
One of my relaxing hobbies is keeping a saltwater aquarium. Some coral colonies have been alive in my tank for over a dozen years.
If you had to teach someone a new skill in five minutes what would it be?
What’s the next thing on your bucket list?
Travel to the Amazon and experience the rainforest
What is the most recent app you downloaded?
Google street view
You’re hosting a dinner party. Who are the 3 people, living or dead, who you would invite?
If you could witness one historical event, what would it be, and why?
The signing of the Declaration of Independence. The “rebels” who wrote and signed it were shaping a path to democracy that the rest of the world has followed. They put their lives on the line by signing and that takes some guts!
What is your favorite activity to do for fun?
Pretty much anything outdoors, the world is beautiful
What word or phrase do you overuse?
Yeah or yep
What are your top two guilty pleasures?
Ice Cream (Chocolate!)
If a song had to play every time you entered a room, what would it be?
“I wanna rock” - Twisted Sister
Do you think you would be more successful at fighting off 100 chicken sized zombies or 10 zombie sized chickens with your bare hands?
Both sound terrifying! I’d rather fight the 100 chicken sized zombies and pretend it’s soccer practice