David Repinski: A Day in the Life of a New CEO

cyclingEarlier this year, Crawford & Company announced David Repinski as Chief Executive Officer of our U.S. Property & Casualty business. We asked David to tell our readers a little bit more about himself than what we can read in his corporate bio.

Enter David….

I grew up here in Atlanta in the shadow of Crawford & Company. My mother worked for Crawford, but I was determined to be a Coast Guard officer. Much to my surprise, a medical issue was detected when I underwent my physical that made me an undesirable candidate. The next thing I knew I was a Crawford & Company trainee adjuster and was sent to Pensacola, Florida. Like many of us who ended up in this business, I didn’t plan for it to happen but am glad it did.

One of the most memorable moments from my early days as an adjuster happened in Pensacola, Florida. An elderly male claimant showed up unannounced at our office and yelled for me to meet him in the parking lot – so he could beat some sense into me! Our client was the City of Pensacola, and the public library bookmobile had struck the man’s pickup truck. We offered to rent him a car while his was being repaired. He was very unhappy with our refusal to rent a truck and intended to show me just how unhappy he was. That’s when I realized how passionate people are about their vehicles…and no, thankfully my supervisor didn’t allow me to meet the claimant in the parking lot.

I’ve been fortunate to come back to a company that is steeped in great working culture. My most important initial task is learning how we do business, understanding why we do it that way and determining who makes it happen. It isn’t easy to come into a service business with so many colleagues and units scattered around the world, so the initial priority is to learn and absorb, so that you understand the approach and don’t jump to false conclusions.

Already, the welcome and friendly nature of my colleagues has definitely made me feel like part of the team. This isn’t always a given for a company with an established culture and staffed with many long-tenured employees. But at Crawford, there is a strong and genuine desire to please our clients and to advance the business. There is also a willingness to consider and embrace new ideas even though our extremely educated and experienced staff is well-versed in what we do.

I don’t exactly have a typical day – I have two typical days. The first, when I’m in the office, is a nonstop schedule of meetings and conference calls. The second is when I get out on the road to visit our service centers and clients. Both are important, but I prefer being out in our offices and our clients’ offices. This is where I feel as though I’m gaining valuable, first-hand perspective on what is and what is not working. It is where the service is delivered and the relationships are forged.

My favorite thing about my job is pleasing our clients by delivering better service than what they have experienced with other service providers. When we ask our clients to depend on us and they are pleased with the results, we build the client loyalty on which our business depends. Of course, my least favorite is when the client believes that we fell short. I don’t like the taste of crow!

On a personal note, another great thing about joining Crawford is returning to Atlanta. My wife Robin and I are both from Atlanta and are happy to be back in our hometown along with our daughter Isabelle – we actually live in an area very close to where Robin and I grew up. I pride myself on being a cyclist and have a goal of riding 100-150 miles each week. (Our Atlanta based-colleagues are probably among the motorists shaking their fists at me on the weekends when they’re out trying to run errands!)  But for me, it’s a great healthy escape and my best method for reducing stress.

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