Kirsten Heinrich Charlton

Cues and Views

Insurance operations executive Kirsten Heinrich Charlton, in brief.

February 6, 2023
3 Minutes
Kirsten Heinrich Charlton

Home: Chicagoland.  Profession: Commercial insurance operations executive.  Organization: Argo Group.  Title: Chief Global Business Services & Innovation Officer.  Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.  Alma mater: University of Wisconsin – Madison.  Languages spoken: English, conversational Spanish and German.

Current project: Industry expert mentor for University of Wisconsin’s Creative Destruction Lab.  Recent recognition: Named a 2022 Insurance Business America’s Elite Insurance Women.  Professional Passion: Fostering new talent and thinking to the commercial insurance industry. Hobbies: Yoga, hiking and puzzles of all kinds.  Last book read: Think Again, by Adam Grant.  

Personality profile: Achiever, futurist, relator.  What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Reliable.  Moral compass: Do the right thing.  How do you define a perfect friendship? Give and take, lots of laughs, lots of truths; unconditional.  How do you define an ideal business relationship? Open, respectful, challenging, fun.  What is your guilty pleasure? Ritter Sport milk chocolate with whole hazelnuts.  How do you relieve stress? Working out.  What is your go-to workout? Yoga, OrangeTheory, a brisk walk.  What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? Spontaneity.

What was your first paying job? Babysitting at ages 12 – 14.  What was your favorite childhood toy or game? I distinctly remember playing with Legos, wooden blocks, a Winnie-the-Pooh puzzle and Match Box cars.  What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? Maps of places important to our family.  Besides your parents, who has had the greatest influence on your life? My best friend Laura, who had a spark for life, an infectious smile, love and a kind word for everyone she ever met.  What’s the best advice you received in your career? Be yourself.  What modern technology innovation do you most appreciate? Smart phones.  The convenience of having and doing everything at my fingertips from anywhere in the world has been revolutionary for me.  What world event has had the greatest influence on your life? 9/11 was very personal for me and had a profound impact on future life and career decisions.

What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? 

I’m mentoring individuals and companies who are looking to modernize and transform the commercial insurance industry.

What change would you like to see in the world? A united approach towards climate change.  What message do you want to send out into the world? Everyone is going through something.  Take time to truly listen and attempt to understand.

Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? My best friend, Laura.  As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? President of the United States.  How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? I’d have all my friends and loved ones over for an outdoor dinner party with lots of good food and drink, games, laughter and fun stories.  What advice would you give your younger self? Have more fun along the way.

Personal motto: Leave every situation, place and person a little better than you found it.  Favorite quote: “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation” (Ralph Waldo Emerson).  I first heard this in sophomore year of high school and from then on, I chose to make the changes I wanted to see in my life.

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