#SETSEGStaff – Danica Klein

At SET SEG, we cultivate leaders – leaders in the insurance industry and within our organization. Our capacity to deliver a multitude of valuable services to schools across the state is significantly attributed to the talented individuals comprising our organization. Our Human Resources Manager, Danica Klein, is not only a notable addition to that talent pool but a critical force in maintaining its effectiveness.

Klein plays a pivotal role in developing and overseeing HR programs that seamlessly support the entire employment lifecycle, ensuring SET SEG is equipped with the necessary talent for success. Her responsibilities span from managing compensation and benefits to spearheading recruiting strategies, onboarding, and fostering positive employee relations. Klein not only focuses on identifying prospective leaders who align with SET SEG’s values but also on retaining and nurturing the existing talent within the organization.

Q&A: Danica Klein

Q: What advice would you give to women entering HR and/or the insurance industry?

I always give the same advice: do what scares you! Put yourself out there, seek out opportunities, and take them when they come. There will be many times when you feel underqualified, apprehensive, and “not ready.” If you take the leap and say yes, even when you’re scared, it will open opportunities and give you valuable experiences.

I am very thankful to the people who offered me a job shadow day, an internship, my first job after graduation, a meeting invite, or a morning to network over coffee. In my role here at SET SEG, I’m proud to offer those opportunities back to many talented students through our college outreach programs.

Q: What motivated you to become a leader?

I chose to study human resources because I wanted to help and serve people. To me, leadership offers that same opportunity. In leadership, you contribute to a shared mission, lead meaningful change, positively impact the business and the people, and motivate others to be the best versions of themselves.

And being in HR, it’s exciting to work with several different groups of people to unlock potential and create synergy within the organization.

Q: Describe your leadership style.

I would say that I like to meet people where they are with empathy and grace. I take a collaborative approach where we work as a team to play to each other’s strengths and solve problems together. I care for the people I work with, and when others can sense your intentions are good, it makes for an effective and trusting partnership. I am still at the beginning of my leadership journey and recognize that I have so much to learn in the years ahead.

Keeping a humble and continuous learning mindset is so important. We become better leaders when we choose to reflect on our experiences, celebrate the victories, and learn from our mistakes. I feel very fortunate to have many great leaders to learn from at SET SEG and in my local HR community.

Q: What does it mean to you to work at SET SEG?

Working as SET SEG has been a blessing in my life. We have some of the most talented, kind, hardworking, and generous people on our team. We are a small enough organization where we know everyone’s names and it feels like a big extended family.

Our team is so driven by our mission and core values that going the extra mile has quickly taken the place of the status quo. We push each other to improve and innovate. All of these factors combined make for an exceptional work environment. Looking forward to going to work each day is something I don’t take for granted.

Q: How do you feel you make an impact through SET SEG?

I’m proud to be part of an organization that makes such a positive impact on Michigan public schools. I attended public schools in Michigan for the entirety of my education and I still remember my favorite teachers and what a huge impact they made on my life.

While I am not directly working with our member districts in my particular role, I get to support our amazing employees so they can support our members daily. Ensuring that our employees feel supported and have the resources they need to successfully do their jobs brings me great joy.

I am in a unique role that strikes the balance of caring for the employee and the business simultaneously. It’s a challenge that I’ve grown to love over the years!

#SETSEGStaff – Lynn Revoldt

SET SEG is happy to announce the arrival of Lynn Revoldt, Director of Employee Benefits Client Services. With an extensive employee benefits background, Revoldt brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to SET SEG, and we are excited to add her industry expertise to our organization.

Revoldt has more than 30 years of experience serving in various employee benefits roles, ranging from claims analyst and benefits administrator to operations manager and director of operations. Prior to joining SET SEG, Revoldt provided employee benefits solutions in a variety of organizations, and she is excited to apply her experience and expertise to helping Michigan’s public schools.

Now, as SET SEG’s Director of Employee Benefits Client Services, Revoldt directs the overall design, implementation, strategy, and administration of SET SEG’s employee benefit services programs. This position ensures that SET SEG services and plans adhere to current regulations and supports the organization’s strategic initiatives through collaboration with SET SEG leadership and other departments.

Women In Leadership

At SET SEG fostering growth in leadership is key to ensuring the organization’s values are upheld at every level of service. With a diverse set of leadership styles heading our organization, we’re excited to welcome Revoldt to our team of strong women leaders advocating for our members – Michigan’s public schools.

Q&A: Lynn Revoldt

Q: What advice would you give to women entering this industry?
A:
Have faith and grace in yourself and others. It is up to you to recognize your own worth, share your knowledge, and support yourself and those around you.  Hard work is important but so is the intelligence with which you perform the service – and never forget to have grace.  There is nothing as satisfying as helping someone grow and making a long-term difference.

Q: Describe your leadership style and how you lead others.
A:
I have always believed that Leadership is more than a position or a title – it is a skill and a mindset that must be constantly developed through an unending process of self-study, education, and experience. A positive attitude is such an important part of the overall equation and integrity is key.

As a leader, I will offer direction through mentorship, collaboration, and continual support to our team. The existence of unified goals will assist us in our efforts to work enthusiastically towards objectives and provide a consistent and coherent process to help achieve our organizational goals.

Q: What are you looking forward to most in your role at SET SEG?
A:
I look forward to being part of an organization that can really make a difference – an organization that puts supporting Michigan Public Schools first on every agenda.

This team operates to serve others by simplifying the complex and must keep up with, and stay on top of, a constantly changing environment. To have this opportunity to be part of the Employee Benefits Team that strives to concentrate on these important issues each and every day is truly exhilarating and I am looking forward to each new challenge as a member of the team.

#SETSEGStaff – Molly Mellema

At SET SEG, we put schools first every single day. We educate, empower, and serve Michigan public schools by offering benefits and services that keep schools safe and charitable contributions that support students within the state.

As the Chief Sales and Marketing Officer and Foundation Executive Director, Molly Mellema embraces the mission to put schools first through relationship development, brand awareness, and ensuring that schools’ unique insurance needs are met through our programs and initiatives. Mellema also serves as the Executive Director of the SET SEG Foundation, which operates with the mission to enable students to advance learning, leadership, and civic responsibility by providing financial support directly to public schools and students.

Giving Back to Schools

Leading the Foundation is a newer role for Mellema that allows her passion for schools and students to shine. SET SEG provides numerous services to districts at an administrative level, and the Foundation allows the organization to take on a different role, directly serving students and programs with financial awards and scholarships.

Mellema strives to be a positive influence for SET SEG staff, helping them grow and serve Michigan public schools. She extends that influence to the Foundation, both with increased employee involvement and student success. Through Mellema’s leadership, the Foundation instills the core values of the organization, supporting our public schools and making a significant impact on the future of every student.

Molly Mellema

Q&A: Molly Mellema

Q: How do you feel you make an impact through SET SEG?
A:
Everything the Foundation does allows me to feel like I’m making a difference and impacting students’ lives. Through the Foundation, we strive to support school districts throughout Michigan with the MASB Education Excellence Awards. It’s a great example of how we work to impact K-12 students’ futures by providing opportunities for innovative programs and empowering them to become strong leaders. Additionally, the Foundation provides scholarship opportunities for leadership camps, career technical programs, and those going into the trades.

Q: What motivated you to become a leader at SET SEG?
A:
Throughout my career I’ve found myself in various leadership roles. Most recently, however, I actively sought out a leadership role with the Foundation because I truly believe that there are so many opportunities to make a difference for students, and that is my motivation. My goal is to expand our fundraising so that we can make a bigger impact for even more students, particularly at the middle school level, as they are often underserved.

Q: What is your leadership style?
A:
I grew up around coaches, so my leadership style tends to mirror that of a coach. You need to know what motivates each individual in order to get the most out of them. I also believe you need to empower people, so they feel like they have authority and decision-making abilities. For me, this means giving people the room to grow and learn to create ideas and solutions on their own by asking questions instead of trying to jump in with solutions.

Q: What does working at SET SEG mean to you?
A:
To me, working at SET SEG means supporting Michigan public schools. That is my passion. When you look at my career, it has always revolved around schools in some way, shape, or form. Our organization invests in the future of schools. When you look at our Property/Casualty Pool, we are protecting buildings and property. Our Worker’s Compensation Fund protects educators and keeps them in front of students. And on the Employee Benefits side, we have the opportunity to work with employees on their health and wellness so they can continue to make an impact on students, the future leaders of our state, country, and beyond. Being involved in a company that does so much for public schools in Michigan is incredibly rewarding.

Meet SET SEG’s Interns

SET SEG is proud to present the five young professionals who joined departments across the company this summer to learn, share, and develop relevant professional skills, through an intensive internship program.

Meet the Team

Devin Miller, PC/WC Intern

The property/casualty and workers compensation (PC/WC) department gained Devin Miller, a 2022 graduate from Heidelberg University. Devin studied business administration with a concentration in finance and minored in economics and communications. He plans to graduate with his master’s in business administration in 2023. Miller worked alongside the PC/WC department processing claims, presenting new business proposals, and completing analysis of claims and other processes.

Jayna Bennett, Graphic Design Intern

Jayna Bennett has a graphic communications degree from Lansing Community College and works as a member of SET SEG’s Sales and Marketing Department. With an eye for design and aesthetics, Bennett uses her skills in a variety of projects, developing graphics for digital media — including social media, video, and web — as well as print publications and promotional materials.

Kezia Najjuuko, Data Analysis & IT Intern

Kezia Najjuuko is a statistics major and math minor, entering her final year of study at Eastern Michigan University. During her time at SET SEG, Kezia worked with the IT department on daily tasks, such as managing hardware, setting up new hires, installing software, and solving problems submitted to the IT HelpDesk. Her primary responsibilities included collaborating with team members to collect and analyze data while managing a variety of projects for the department surrounding data visualization.

Sam Konisberg, Sales Intern

Sam Konisberg is entering his final semester at Northern Michigan University studying business management. He joined the sales team this summer, specifically supporting the Sales and Marketing’s Employee Benefits team. Konisberg worked alongside our Sales and Development Specialists to verify and audit quotes, research new vendors, and assist the department with tasks and projects that increased efficiencies.

Samantha Burnham, Executive Intern

Samantha Burnham is a 2022 Michigan State University graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising Management. Burnham supports the executive team, particularly working closely with SET SEG Executive Director Tim Averill. She assist with daily tasks, schedule management, helping with various projects given by the executive team, and observing departments to learn more about the school insurance industry to identify needs.

Interns Making an Impact

Each summer the interns collaborate on a project that will benefit SET SEG and grant them real-world professional experience for their future careers. This year the project focused on identifying opportunities to cross-sell the three lines of business — employee benefits, workers’ compensation, and property/casualty. The students worked together to study the current book of business, determine how to track and store information for future use, and develop recommendations based on the likelihood of gaining business and its financial impact. This project concluded with a formal presentation to the executive team sharing their work and recommendations.

All five interns have grown immensely in their professional skills and showed exemplary dedication and hard work. We appreciate all the work they have done for us this summer, the projects completed, and their willingness to jump in and learn as much as possible.

We are so grateful to have this wonderful group of young professionals and are excited to see what they achieve in the future!

#SETSEGStaff – Amy Guilford

At SET SEG we create leaders – leaders in the insurance industry and leaders within our own organization. With an executive team focused on creating an environment that empowers employees to learn and grow, we’re able to serve Michigan’s public schools that much better.

Our ability to provide so many valuable services to schools throughout the state is due, in no small part, to the fiercely talented individuals that make up this organization – and that includes SET SEG’s Chief Program Administrator, Amy Guilford.

Guilford oversees SET SEG’s property/casualty, workers’ compensation, and employee benefits programs, ensuring every level of our organization successfully functions to meet our operational, financial, and service benchmarks. Since her promotion to this role in 2016, Guilford has contributed to many of SET SEG’s successful movements in the school insurance space.

Failure Equates Growth

Guilford attributes much of her success to SET SEG’s institutional focus on empowerment. With help from her mentors and predecessors, Guilford thrived in an environment that allowed growth and embraced learning through the experience of failure.

“If you work for an organization and leadership team that understands failure equates to growth, and you’re not punished or in fear of failing, it can be really empowering,” said Guilford. “I strive to foster that same culture and really grow the next generation of leaders.”

Q&A: Amy Guilford

Q: What do you most enjoy about your work?
A:
I really enjoy the people I work with. We have an incredible team of people who are mission-driven, collaborative, and hard-working. Beyond that, I love working for an organization with its whole purpose to protect and support Michigan public schools.

Q: What makes SET SEG unique?
A:
When you work for an insurance company, success is often defined by profit and financial benchmarks. But in our case, we don’t win if our schools don’t win. We aren’t capturing surplus in the form of shareholder equity. We’re returning it back to Michigan public schools.

I see SET SEG as a beautiful little gem inside the world of insurance, that not many people know about. It’s a niche area where we can do creative and innovative things for the sole purpose of protecting and servicing our members’ specific needs. That’s very different than your typical commercial insurance entity.

Q: What does it mean to you to work at SET SEG?
A:
At the end of the day, it allows me to feel like I made a difference.

Both of my children have gone through the public school system, and I can certainly empathize and understand what school administrators and employees have on their plates. It feels good for me to know that everything we’re doing is to allow them to focus on what they do best.

Q: How have you made an impact at SET SEG?
A:
I have worked for seasoned professionals early on in my career. I grew tremendously with that mentorship and now am in a position where I can help guide the younger generation. I get to pass along the technical knowledge I learned and foster new leadership and growth in others.

Q: What is your leadership style?
A:
Highly collaborative. I tend to want more people in the conversation than less. I also really challenge my team to work together to bring me a recommendation. I trust them and want to empower them to use their skills and experience to find solutions we can all then review and discuss.

Empathy is also incredibly important and is two-fold. As a working mom, I empathize with other working parents, and I also understand many of the challenges facing public schools. Understanding the needs of my team as well as the needs of our members helps me to be a better leader.

#SETSEGStaff – Jeff Crouse

We’re excited to add former Charlevoix-Emmet ISD Superintendent Jeff Crouse to the SET SEG team! After retiring from his storied career in education, he has recently joined SET SEG as a Sales and Product Development Specialist. Jeff will be assisting in the development of SET SEG’s many offerings, as well as providing additional support to the districts in his region.

While Jeff is new to the SET SEG Sales Team, he’s anything but a stranger to the organization. Jeff was the president of the SET Board of Trustees and, like many other superintendents of Michigan public schools, has worked closely alongside SET SEG for years.

Prior to SET SEG, Jeff has been in an education setting for many years, most recently as the superintendent of Charlevoix-Emmet ISD, but also as the CFO for both that district and Reed City. Jeff originally started out in finance, working in banking for years, but as the industry started to change, he was drawn back to a very familiar place: “Schools are kind of our family business – my dad, uncle, and grandpa were all superintendents and my other grandpa was a school master; it runs in the blood,” said Jeff. Even his sister recently signed on as the superintendent for Reese Public Schools, keeping the family business alive.

With a generational history in education, transitioning to a role at SET SEG when it became time to retire as superintendent made perfect sense. “I’ve always been interested in helping out schools no matter who they are – that’s kind of the mindset of being at an ISD,” explains Jeff. “You’re out there to help the 11 or 12 districts you’re serving and be a supporting partner and I think this is an extension of that kind of role.”

In addition to his many responsibilities supporting member districts at SET SEG, Jeff enjoys the outdoors, regularly playing golf and spending time boating. With three children, all of whom participate in sports, he also finds himself steeped in the school sports world, helping coach and acting as President of his local little league.

Those of us at SET SEG recognize that the only way to offer best-in-class service is to hire employees that truly understand the state of public education in Michigan. Jeff joins a significant number of former superintendents and Michigan public school personnel who have chosen to support member districts with a career at SET SEG. We are proud to offer our members support from knowledgeable representatives like Jeff and are excited to add him to the team.

#SETSEGStaff – Patty Woods

Patty Woods

A fixture of SET SEG’s support staff, Patty Woods regularly spends time communicating with business office personnel in many of our member districts. As the ACA Tracking and Reporting Lead, Patty helps public school districts across Michigan stay compliant with Affordable Care Act reporting requirements.

Patty first started at SET SEG in 2013 as an Employee Benefits Enrollment Specialist. Exceling at engaging with members, she was promoted to her current position in 2015, leading SET SEG’s efforts to assist members with the ACA reporting process.

Prior to SET SEG, Patty held a number of positions across the organizational spectrum for 25 years, gaining expertise in human resources, employee benefits, payroll, and recruiting. Her success at her current position is clearly related to her wealth of experience working with people.

When Patty isn’t helping SET SEG member districts with their ACA needs, she’s off boating or spending time with her five-year-old granddaughter. She also enjoys hunting for rare finds at garage sales and flea markets.

At SET SEG, we’re committed to providing our members with the highest level of service. It’s employees like Patty, consistently guiding members to success on a daily basis, who make that possible.

#SETSEGStaff – Tim Averill

Tim Averill

From employee to leader, Executive Director Timothy J. Averill has served SET SEG for over half of the organization’s 50 years in operation. He started his tenure at SET SEG in 1995 as a controller in finance and then, in 2002, was promoted to his first leadership role: the director of finance and corporate operations.

Four years later, Tim accepted the position of chief operating officer and was promoted to his current position in 2015 where he is responsible for overseeing daily operations, providing strategic guidance, and planning the investment approach for the organization.

Bolstered by his years of experience at multiple levels, Tim’s leadership helped SET SEG continuously offer Michigan Public Schools the highest level of service, even in the face of the significant challenges educators across the country have encountered in the last few years.

“In these challenging times our team at SET SEG is here to continue supporting Michigan public schools,” Tim said. “As we’ve been there in the past 50 years, we’re committed and dedicated to continue listening to the leaders in public education and finding ways we can support you, our members.”

Prior to joining SET SEG, Tim worked as a CPA for Plante & Moran, LLC working with self-insured funds and non-profit organizations. Tim graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in Business Administration and gained his certified public accountant certification in 1993. He is a member of both the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accounts and the Association of Governmental Risk Pools, the country’s foremost authority for public entity risk pooling.